Bulk copy SharePoint files and folders with metadata

default post thumbnails

There are a couple of ways to preserve metadata when bulk copying file shares to SharePoint—and then there’s the ShareGate way.

So you want to copy SharePoint files from your computer to a SharePoint library, and are wondering what your options are? Well, you’re in luck because SharePoint already offers two—the Multiple Upload function and the Windows Explorer view.

Let’s take a look at all your options more closely.

Option #1: Copy SharePoint files using the Windows Explorer view

The Explorer view is one way of transferring your files from your computer to a SharePoint library. It works the same way as if you were moving files from one folder to another in your file share system.

One disadvantage of this function is that it’s extremely slow, and doesn’t allow you to predefine a set of metadata on the files you are moving.

If your content type in SharePoint has a required field, all your documents will be checked out under your name. This means you’ll need to edit every document, one by one, to set the missing properties. For massive file uploads, seeing a “not responding” window is not a rare occasion when employing this method.

Option #2: Use SharePoint’s Multiple Upload function to bulk copy files

The Multiple Upload function is, by far, the one that I prefer.

You can upload your files by selecting them from your computer, and you can monitor their status as they are uploaded.

Unfortunately, you can’t copy more than 100 files at a time, and you can’t copy a folder as a single item. If you want to bulk copy files in a folder structure, you need to first recreate your folder structure in SharePoint, and then copy your folder content one by one.

Additionally, there doesn’t seem to be a way of easily managing the properties of documents once they are uploaded.

Option #3: Use ShareGate to bulk copy SharePoint files and preserve metadata

With ShareGate’s migration tool, you can simply browse the contents of your computer, and conveniently copy files or folders to a SharePoint library.

Additionally, as you copy your files, you can also define a Property Template that will automatically set all your metadata to your files.

Furthermore, there’s virtually no limit to how much you can migrate over: You’ll be able to copy more than 10,000 files at once, without experiencing any problems.

1) Access your file shares through ShareGate

ShareGate will conveniently display all your file share folders in one place, enabling you to easily locate what you’re looking for, and prepare it for bulk copying into SharePoint.

2) Define properties for your documents that you’d like to preserve during migration

Once you’ve selected the files to be copied to SharePoint, you can easily define the properties you’d like to carry over. This eliminates the tedious work of having to modify each document after it’s been copied. Once you’ve defined all your properties, you can simply click “Copy”.

3) Simple! All your documents are now in SharePoint, with their metadata preserved



ShareGate’s migration tool takes the heavy lifting out of your migration project. Intuitive features help you prepare, execute, and validate your move, whether you’re migrating an entire environment or just a few lists.  

See for yourself with a free, full-featured ShareGate trial!

What did you think of this article?

Recommended by our team

Getting started is easy

Try ShareGate free for 15 days. No credit card required.

Gif Transparent

On-demand webinar Harmonize your SharePoint sites with Teams