Sunday, 1 March 2015

Export/Import SharePoint List/Library from one site to another in different server

When you are working on a SharePoint Project you may face the requirement to migrate a list or library from one site to another site (could be on same or different server) more often than you think.
If your boss is pushing you to migrate a list from one site to another and you have no clue about how to do it, you have reached the right place.
There are 3 ways that I know of in which this can be achieved.
I am going to explain all three options with special focus to the third one because that's the most important and the most flexible.

Save List/Library As Template

While the first one is the easiest of all, it provides the least flexibility. All you have to do is :
go to the list/library settings and click on save list as template. You can choose to save the template with or without content. You should have permission to manage lists.

There are two drawbacks with this method.
  1. If the list or library is very large in size then it becomes very difficult to take backup and restore. There is a workaround for this also. But that requires you to be SharePoint administrator. What you can do is, increase the maximum upload size limit in central admin. In SharePoint 2013 its 200 Mb by default. Go to central admin --> Manage Web Application --> Select Application -> General Settings  --> set the maximum upload size.  For more information you can visit this link.
  2. Second issue is if you already have a list in your target site and you want to overwrite it or just add new items that is not possible using this method.
  3. Security settings of the list are not saved in the .stp file (list template).
If these three drawbacks are not your concern then you can go ahead with this option. Just download the saved list from source SharePoint site(.stp file) and upload it in your target site (in any server, just copy and paste the .stp file in target server) just like normal files. You can upload it in solutions gallery in site settings page.
List templates include all the columns, fields and views that you have created for the list.
For more information click here.

Granular Backup and Restore

Second approach is to use the "Granular Backup" option available in central administration page under Backup and Restore. All you have to do is :

  1. Select the site collection and site.
  2. Select the list that you want to backup.
  3. Give the path where you want to store the backup including the filename.cmp. eg- C:\backup\listname.cmp.
  4. You can check the export full security check box. It will export the users in the site.
  5. You can select what versions of files in the list you want to export (All versions, Current version etc)

As you can see this option has comparatively more flexibility than first option. But there is no facility in central administration to help import a list/library through UI. You have to use PowerShell command to import the list to target site.

Now we are left with the last option. Since that is big topic and needs special attention I am going to cover that in my next blog stay tuned. Stay healthy! Oh and please don't forget your valuable comments and suggestions so that I can provide better quality blogs. Peace Out!


  1. I really enjoyed reading your article. I found this as an informative and interesting post, so i think it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the effort you have made in writing this article.

  2. Hi Asutosh,

    I have a list in my SP2013 site containing around 1500 pictures which I have to export to SharePoint Online site. Since the list size is exceeding the limit I am not able to create STP also the second option didn't work for me.
    Please suggest something so I can achieve my goal.

    Thanks and Regards,
    Aakash Rajput

  3. Hi Asutosh,

    I have a list in SP 2013 site containing around 1500 pictures. My concern is to export the list with contents from On Premises to SharePoint Online site, I have tried both the above solutions but they didn't worked for me. Can you please suggest some thing else that could help me.

    Aakash Rajput


Feel free to share your thoughts...