Friday, November 7, 2008

How to move items in list/document ibrary while preserving metadeta propertries

Hi All,

May times in my mind i though of how to move items in list/document ibrary while preserving metadeta propertries?

When you have huge number of items in the lists or document library and when you want to move it to other location (other document library or list), one can follow many methods like taking the template of document library or list which includes the content and then recreate it with the other name.

Other approach is a question where you have many folders and inside that many documents, then what you can do is that in other document library in explorer view you can drag and drop the things. and they will get moved/transered, copied to other location.

But both this method have one big limitation. If you want to preserve the metadata property like Modified By, Modified Date, CreatedBy etc. These both methods fails. The reason is they will override these the fields by the latest modified by, Created By, Modified Date all will be overwritten.

So what is the way where we can preserve this metadata properties.

Well, Here we go. Follow this technique for this.

First and formost thing to do is create one list or document library with the name that you want to give. do not worry about the custom columns that will be automatically created by this procedure that we are going to do just now.

Ok, once you have created the list or document library all you have to so is go to this page.


Where you will find all lists and all document libraries. select your source library or list from the left pane. you will see the preview in the left pane as soon as you select it. There is a provision where you can select the items that you want to move. so select them, if you want to move all items or documents then select them all. and then click on Actions -> Move, that will popup one screen where you need to select the destination list or document library.

Once you do it, operation will start showing you the progress indicating how many items have been moved so far. See the below figure in action.

One you are done with that you will be re-directed to your source library or list. but when you will see your destination list or library, you will find all the contents or documents being copied there and there might be a chance that if there are custom columns may not be available in Default Views if they are present in the Default view of source list or library but yes columns are created in destination list or library. so just go ahead and add those columns in that view.

See here you even do not have to create the extra columns , do not have to copy the contents , items , folders or documents. everything is being taken care by the procedure automatically.

And the main thing to check is see the Modified Date and Modified By columns, they will be the same as they were in source library.

That's it. your job is done.


Ajith T George. said...

Hi Malay,
Your content posted is very good but for your information i would like to tell you that its not possible to move folders only by this method.

Please let me know whether any other method is there or moving contents without loosing metadata.

This process you explaned is called 'Managing contents and structure' and is already available @


SharePoint Kings said...

Thanks Ajith for your efforts.

Share your SharePoint Experiences with us...
As good as the SharePointKings is, we want to make it even better. One of our most valuable sources of input for our Blog Posts comes from ever enthusiastic Visitors/Readers. We welcome every Visitor/Reader to contribute their experiences with SharePoint. It may be in the form of a code stub, snippet, any tips and trick or any crazy thing you have tried with SharePoint.
Send your Articles to with your Profile Summary. We will Post them. The idea is to act as a bridge between you Readers!!!

If anyone would like to have their advertisement posted on this blog, please send us the requirement details to