Importing data into SharePoint

Note

This is an open-source article with the community providing support for it. For official Microsoft content, see Microsoft 365 documentation.

This guide will help users understand the various options available to import files and data into SharePoint. We cover several different approaches:

Method Type of User
Document Libraries – Drag and drop files and folders End user
Document Libraries – Upload files and folders Power user
Document Libraries – Copy to and Move to Power user
Lists – Export Spreadsheet to SharePoint Power user
Lists – Import Spreadsheet to SharePoint Power user
Document Libraries – SharePoint Migration Tool Power user
Document Libraries – Sync Power user

Document Libraries – Drag and drop files and folders (User)

SharePoint document libraries support the drag and drop of files and folders from computer to site. With the target site and document library open:

  • Select the source files / folders.

  • Drag to the site and release.

Drag and drop

  • The upload status can be monitored using the “Show progress” button on the document library menu.

“Show progress” button

  • The “Show progress” button will notify you of any errors and when possible provide an intervention.

“Show progress” button with intervention

  • Example error image shown below:

“Show progress” button with error

Document Libraries – Upload files and folders (User)

Like the drag and drop of files and folders, SharePoint document libraries also support the direct uploading files and folders. With the target site and document library open:

  • Click “Upload” and select “Files” or “Folder”.

Upload of files and folders from computer to site The “Files” option does not allow the uploading of folders. Similarly, the “Folder” option does not allow files.

  • Select the source files / folders and click “Open”.

Upload files

  • The “Show progress” button will notify you of any errors and when possible provide an intervention.

“Show progress” button

Document Libraries – Copy to and Move to (Power user)

SharePoint document libraries support the copying and moving of files / folders to new locations. New locations can include a different folder, document library or site, including OneDrive for Business.

The “Copy to” feature will copy the files / folders to the new location while leaving the source files / folders unchanged. With the target site and document library open:

  • Select the source files / folders and click “Copy to”.

Source files

  • Select the target location (i.e. “Your OneDrive”).

Target location

  • Click “Copy here” to complete the file / folder copy.

“Copy here” button

  • The “Show progress” button will notify you of any errors and when possible provide an intervention.

“Show progress” button

The “Move to” feature will copy the files / folders to the new location and will move the source files / folders to the site “Recycle bin”. With the target site and document library open:

  • Select the source files / folders and click “Move to”.

Source folder

  • Select the target location (i.e. “Planning” document library).

Target location

  • Click the target site (i.e. “Human Resources” site) and then click the target document library (i.e. “Planning”).

Target site and document library

  • Click “Move here” to complete the file / folder move.

"Move here" button

  • The “Show progress” button can also be used to view the progress of a copy or upload operation.

“Show progress” button

Lists – Export Spreadsheet to SharePoint (Power user)

Microsoft Excel supports the exporting of “Tables” from spreadsheets to new SharePoint lists. With the source spreadsheet open:

  • Click “Table Design”.

  • Click “Export” and select “Export Table to SharePoint List…”.

Export Table to SharePoint list...

  • Enter the target “Address”; provide a list name and click “Next”.

Step 1 of 2

  • Review the list design and click “Finish”.

Step 2 of 2

  • Click the URL to view the new SharePoint list. Click “OK” to exit the export wizard.

Successful Excel export

  • Example exported list shown below:

Successful Excel export

Lists – Import Spreadsheet to SharePoint (Power user)

SharePoint supports the importing of “Tables” from spreadsheets to new SharePoint lists. From "Site contents":

  • Click “New” and click "List".

  • Click “From Excel”; provide a list name; upload a new spreadsheet or select an existing one and click "Next"

Step 1 of 2

  • Select the target "Table" from the spreadsheet; set the column types ("Single line of text", "Multiple lines of text", "Choice", "Title" or "Do not import") and click "Create"

Step 2 of 2

  • Example imported list shown below:

Successful Excel import

Document Libraries – SharePoint Migration Tool (Power user)

The SharePoint Migration Tool (SPMT) can be used to import files into SharePoint. SPMT is especially useful when migrating a large volume of documents from a file share. Detailed information about SPMT can be found on the Download and install the SharePoint Migration Tool page.

From your SPMT computer:

  • Open the “SharePoint Migration Tool”. Open the SharePoint Migration Tool

  • Click “Start your first migration”. Welcome screen

  • Click "File Share". Where's your content screen

  • Click “Choose folder”. Select a source screen

  • Select the source file share and click “OK”. Browse for folder screen

  • Click “Choose folder” to select a specific sub-folder or click “Next” to continue. Choose folder or click next screen

  • Enter the destination site URL and document library. Click “Next”. Select a destination screen

  • Name your migration if desired or click “Next” to continue. Review migration screen

  • Update SPMT settings if required or click “Migrate” to continue. Detailed information on SPMT settings can be on the SharePoint Migration Tool Settings page. Choose your settings screen

  • Click “Save” to store the migration or click “No thanks” to continue. Choose your settings screen

  • The summary screen will provide migration details and reports. Choose your settings screen

Document Libraries – Sync (Power user)

SharePoint document libraries support the syncing of files between computer and site using Microsoft OneDrive. The OneDrive sync app is especially useful when migrating a large volume of documents from computer to SharePoint document library. Detailed information about OneDrive can be found on the Sync SharePoint files with the new OneDrive sync app page.

With the target site and document library open:

  • Click “Sync”.
    Document library sync

  • Click “Open” to the “Getting ready to sync...” prompt.
    Getting ready to sync...

  • Confirm you login account name and click “Sign in”.
    Sign in

  • Click “Next”.
    Your folder

  • Click through the “Welcome to OneDrive” screen and then click “Open my OneDrive folder”.
    Welcome to OneDrive

Using Windows Explorer, open the source documents folder:

  • Select the source files / folders.

  • Drag to the destination sync document library and release.
    Drag and drop files and folders

  • Source folder and target document library will become synchronized.
    Source and target synchronized

  • See the OneDrive sync app in the system tray to view progress and any sync messages. OneDrive systray


Principal author: Norm Young