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Migrate file shares to SharePoint and preserve properties

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When you are planning a migration from a file share to SharePoint or Office 365 (or even OneDrive for Business), you most likely start with no or very few metadata. A great way to enhance your metadata is to preserve Office document properties and to map them with your SharePoint metadatas.


This weekly tip is dedicated to those who are migrating file shares to SharePoint or Office 365 and want to preserve the metadata stored inside their Office documents. For more file share migration tips and best practices, visit this article As we all know, Office document properties has been a good alternative to SharePoint metadata for a long time and it’s critical to maintain it while migrating to SharePoint since it usually stores valuable information to your organization.

Office document properties

I can see my Office documents in Windows Explorer. I want to migrate these files to SharePoint without losing the metadata stored inside the Office documents.

Windows Explorer files

Inside Word, I can visualize the Office document properties: Signed Date, Related to, Name and Tags.

Specify custom properties in Office document

Step 1 – Map properties

I start the Copy files to SharePoint tool and choose the destination library. Then, I click the ‘Map properties’ button in the Ribbon menu.

Map properties

Step 2 – Add properties from file

In the property mappings window, I click the ‘Add properties from file’ button. It allows me to select a file (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Visio) and extract its Office properties from it.

I can also click the ‘Add property’ button to manually enter a property name, but it’s faster to use the extractor.

Add properties from Office file

Sharegate extracts the properties from the Office document and adds them all to the available properties in the mapper.

Adding properties from Office file

Step 3 – Map the properties using the drag & drop functionality

It’s dead simple. I drag & drop the available properties and I assign them to the corresponding SharePoint columns listed at the right.

**The mapped properties can have different types. Sharegate is powerful enough to make the conversion during the migration. In this example, the ‘Tags’ field is stored as a text field inside the Office document, but inside SharePoint it’s a managed metadata field type.

Map Office properties with drag-and-drop

Step 4 – Create a property template

I create a property template and I keep the original values for all columns.

Property template for your content type

Step 5 – Enjoy

I can see that my files were copied and the metadata stored inside my Office documents was preserved in my SharePoint metadata.

Office document properties


In this weekly tip, I’ve shown you how to preserve the Office document properties during a file share migration to SharePoint. This feature is fully integrated in the property mapper and doesn’t require any advanced skills. It allows you to quickly fill your SharePoint metadata while migrating your file shares.

For more articles on file share migration you can read the following blogposts

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