Checklist for migrating data from shared drives to SharePoint or MS Teams

In this checklist:

Review before migration

1a. Before you begin

Pre-flight Items

  • Request a copy of your department R: drive report. Review and update the report.

  • Identify content owners

  • Identify your IST Migration Facilitator

  • Understand basics of destination locations. SharePoint Online for storage or Microsoft Teams FILES locations (Note: Teams FILES backend is SharePoint Online).

  • Communicate about the change. Your IST Migration Facilitator can provide communication templates

  • Consider scheduling around departmental activities and important dates

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1b. Review Best Practices

Keep your SharePoint Online site simple

  • We do not recommend multiple sites;

  • Avoid subsites

  • Use multiple Document Library when you have unique permissions.

  • Document Library works best when fewer than 5000 items are in the Library (Microsoft Display of Results limit. May cause error with OneDrive SYNC)

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2. Records Management

When reviewing or cleaning up data, for migrations:

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3. Training

Plan for training/orientation for content users

  • Assess knowledge of destination location (SharePoint Online or MS Teams FILES) in your department

  • Share training resources with staff in your department (your IST Migration Facilitator can provide links for you; also see November 8th R drive presentation)

  • If needed, contact your IST Migration Facilitator or IST account Rep, to request training

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4. Plan post-migration support

  • Determine and communicate to your department, their contacts for:

    • Assistance and access, during the migration (e.g. departmental IT contacts)

    • Access post-migration (e.g. data owners)

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Planning the Migration


  • What data are you migrating?

  • Where are you migrating your data to: SharePoint and/or MSTeams?

  • Who is responsible for managing this data?









1. Review content and assign responsibilities

Shared drive review and clean up

Managers may need to assign data review/migration planning of certain folders to specific staff/groups based on area of responsibility/data privacy.

Eliminate items that are no longer required. For example:

  • Personal items/photos

  • Duplicate documents (NOTE: not revisions)

  • Reference material from other sources

  • Empty folders.

  • Access databases stored on shared drives cannot be migrated to SharePoint.

  • Note: scripts may need to be rewritten to reference the new location.

  • SharePoint sites cannot be assigned a drive letter

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2. Folder structure redesign (optional)

Restructure shared drive if necessary (optional)

If the current shared drive file structure is disorganized and not user friendly, this is a good opportunity to consider a new file structure with your team:

  • Discuss, agree on, and develop the new file structure

  • Organize your current data into the new structure to make the migration as simple as possible
    (OR consider this during the migration, if the data is moving to different destination locations)


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3. Security and Access Controls

Managing access to and protecting sensitive information

For this task, leverage your R drive report (the Excel spreadsheet), from your IST Migration Facilitator.

  • Identify which areas of your file structure and/or which folders specifically contain personal/sensitive/confidential information and require access controls to be applied in either SharePoint or Teams

  • Ensure adequate documentation noting which people/positions/groups require access to specific folders or documents

  • Work with your IST Migration Facilitator to ensure the required security and access controls are placed on the files in their new location.


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4. Naming (optional)

Renaming files (optional)

Caution: renaming files will impact opening recently used files from history/‘Recent Files’

  • Labelling files correctly is critical and allows easily locating them later.  If the name of the file doesn’t reflect its content and doesn’t follow a naming convention you may find it useful to re-name the files.

  • Avoid using spaces and the following characters: ” * : < > ? / \ |

  • Filenames must be short and meaningful.

  • Dates should be YYYY-MMM-DD format for filtering and sorting


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5. Inactive files and deletion

Assess data to determine if it needs to be migrated or if it can be legally destroyed

If data is no longer required for ongoing business, and is also NOT required for legal, financial or audit purposes, it may be eligible for destruction. However, there are laws preventing you from just deleting university data/records:


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6a. Test migrate

Pre-migration scanning using the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT)

If IST is migrating the data for you, you can disregard this step

If you are migrating your department’s data using the SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT):

  • Pre-migration scanning, using the SPMT, a few days before the migration is essential

    • The pre-migration scan will identify invalid characters, long pathnames, and files that may not migrate that will need to be reviewed/corrected before the migration date

  • It is also recommended to do a test migration of a small folder or small number of files to ensure the process works as expected.

  • Ensure you have taken the IST SPMT training

  • Connect with your IST Migration Facilitator to determine who will be migrating the data and coordinate dates.

    • Even if you are migrating the data, the dates need to be coordinated with the IST Migration Facilitator, to ensure folders are renamed and read-only, at migration time

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6b. Scheduling migration

  • Please schedule the migration date(s) with your IST Migration Facilitator.

  • It is acceptable to move different sets of folders on different dates.


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6c. Reviewing

Post-migration Reviewing

  • Consider the questions in the next column ->

  • See the next section, “Review of migrated data”

  • Have all files identified for migration been migrated?

  • Have the migrated items retained all necessary functionality and essential characteristics?

  • Are you satisfied with the authenticity, completeness, accessibility, and useability of the migrated items?

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Review of migrated data

Use the guide below to check that data has migrated correctly. You may also have additional specific things that you will want to check.

  • Post-migration reviewing does not have to be performed individually on every file.

  • The number of files selected for checking needs to be appropriate either statistically or commensurate with the risk/business needs for the data. For example, the number can be proportionate to the number of items migrated.

  • Post-migration reviewing should include a range of file types across a number of years if possible.

  • Original files, if needed for comparison, will be in your department R drive in “Z-foldername

Items for consideration


Items for consideration


Has the filename migrated correctly?

Does the name of the item/file in the source location match the name of the item/file in the migrated location?

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Has all the required metadata been migrated?

Has information about the item/file such as author of the document, document date etc. been migrated?

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Is the migrated document able to be opened?

Open the migrated item/file to ensure there are no issues encountered.

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Has the migrated document maintained its formatting?

Check to ensure that the formatting hasn’t been lost or corrupted during the migration.

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Is the migrated document able to be edited? (if applicable)

Check to ensure that it can be edited and saved (and is not ‘Read Only’).

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Is the total number of migrated items correct?

Take note of how many items are located in the source location (e.g. R drive folder) and then check that the total items in the migrated location (e.g. SharePoint Library/MS Teams FILES folder) is the same. Note that there may be differences due to file types that do not migrate (e.g. ~ files, or thumbs.db files don’t migrate and will be re-created when needed)

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Has your quality checking of migrated items been thorough?

Ensure that you quality check multiple items of as many different file types that you can. For example, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, PDF documents, photos, videos, etc.

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Need help?

Contact the IST Service Desk online or 519-888-4567 ext. 44357.

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