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4 SharePoint migration tools to consider

Moving years' worth of SharePoint data out of on-premises storage to the cloud can be daunting, so choosing the correct migration tool is an essential first step.

With several SharePoint migration tools on the market, finding the best option can be a daunting challenge.

Organizations that have managed their content with Microsoft SharePoint over the years face a staggering amount of accumulated content in on-premises storage. Transferring that content into the Microsoft Cloud environment creates easier access and cheaper maintenance.

However, choosing a tool based solely on its cost or positive reviews is a mistake as different options are better suited for specific challenges. The best course is to compare the various SharePoint migration tools and find where each is best applied.

1. ShareGate Desktop

A well-established migration tool, ShareGate not only moves all core SharePoint content objects but non-Microsoft components as well -- in particular, Nintex workflows and forms. The tool is also noteworthy for having no limit on data size and the speed at which it can complete the transfer.

Additionally, ShareGate can migrate term stores, site settings, customized views and forms while preserving site navigation and content between tenants. If things go wrong, its error reporting and remediation recommendations are particularly helpful.

It is, however, important to note that there is license variance for single and multiple users.


  • unlimited migration;
  • UI is simple and easy to use;
  • provides post-migration validation reporting;
  • friendly to Nintex; and
  • exemplary support.


  • cannot function incrementally; and
  • does not migrate at the farm level.
A chart comparing SharePoint 2019 and SharePoint Online.
How do SharePoint 2019 and SharePoint Online compare?

2. DocAve/Fly Migration (AvePoint)

AvePoint's migration tools go beyond just SharePoint, so there's considerable built-in versatility. Its SharePoint-friendly features include scanning content before migration to facilitate filtering and mapping, and monitoring the migration in real time.

Like ShareGate, AvePoint can migrate term stores, site settings, and customized views and forms. AvePoint can also migrate non-SharePoint data into SharePoint from sources like Lotus Notes and Livelink. And, as with ShareGate, site navigation is preserved with no volume limit.

AvePoint can do farm-level migration, including farm content and architecture and the farm content database, while the Fly tool can handle delicate migration objects like permissions and content metadata.


  • scheduled migration;
  • unlimited migration volume;
  • pre-scan enhances migration quality;
  • drag-and-drop utility;
  • replication control; and
  • includes migration security features.


  • AvePoint won't work with older versions of SharePoint.

3. Dell Migration Suite for SharePoint

Dell's migration tool suite can consolidate data in the migration process, and its scheduling features enable migration automation.

Its versatility derives from a multithreaded migration engine, meaning it can not only do many things at once, it can do them faster. It can also add metadata to content in the migration process, making validation easier. Migrations can be done in bulk or phased, with configurable granularity.


  • automation, scheduled migration;
  • several migration modes;
  • intuitive drag-and-drop interface;
  • content consolidation from multiple sources; and
  • real-time migration progress reporting.


  • not as easy to troubleshoot when things go wrong.

4. SharePoint Migration Tool for SharePoint and OneDrive

Microsoft's own SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) migrates all standard SharePoint content objects, including permissions, site descriptions and managed metadata, while preserving navigation, taxonomy term sets and groups. The tool also includes pre-migration scanning and post-migration reports.


  • file history preservation is selectable (control content versions);
  • incremental migration is supported;
  • migrates non-SharePoint data sources (file shares, etc.); and
  • user mappings and filter options are supported.


  • SPMT has notorious issues with migrating custom code;
  • bulk editing is not supported; and
  • third-party workflows won't migrate.

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