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OneDrive Migration Best Practices – The Step By Step Ultimate Guide

Published By Mohit Jha
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 19th, 2023

Performing OneDrive migration in Microsoft 365 can be a tough and tedious task, to make it easier we have come up with the smart and ultimate solution, by which users can get OneDrive migration best practices. Follow the complete article to accomplish the operation in a smart and easy way.

Table of Content 

But, before diving into the step-by-step procedure of best practices for OneDrive migration, let’s have a quick sneak peek of the user’s query, just to understand the real-life situation here.

User Query
My organization just acquired a smaller company and I have given this task to perform OneDrive migration. There are around 1300 GB of data, to migrate and thousands of files. Is there anyone who has used any easy way to do this task?
Please let me know the best practices for OneDrive migration


Nowadays, the massive increase in consolidation & acquisition activities within organizations leaves them in the situation of data migration in Microsoft 365. However, Microsoft does not provide any specific tools or direct methods to carry out this operation, in this way it becomes a cumbersome task for their users. Hence, we have discussed the OneDrive migration best practices that you should follow to avoid any data loss.

Here is the List of OneDrive Migration Best Practices That You Should Follow

Checkout the top 5 best practices that you should follow for OneDrive for Business migration:

#1 Examine the Current Workload and Create a Planning  

The Microsoft Office 365 suite has been used by businesses of all types for some time now, and when it comes to migrating this data, we need to be sure what data to migrate. There can be various types of data collected in OneDrive for Business. Therefore, it is one of the best practices for OneDrive migration to analyze the current workload and get an exact figure of what data needs to be migrated and what doesn’t.

#2 Determine The Migration Duration & Perform Risk Analysis

Setting a realistic deadline based on how much data you need to move and prioritize is always a great idea. By doing so, companies can decide on migration dates and deal with risks such as legal holds or eDiscovery issues. This will help them understand ​​your days off, including holidays, important business meetings, and/or other event dates that they may want to consider when migrating your OneDrive data. Moreover, prior to the migration, it is crucial to create a backup of your data to ensure that you can restore your files if something goes wrong during the migration.

#3 Perform Test Migration

Before migrating your bulk organizational data, it is always a best practice to test the migration process with a small subset of data, just to ensure that it works as expected and to identify any potential issues.

#4 Choose The Right Approach/Method

Opting for a reliable and secure migration tool can ease the entire process and ensure data integrity and security throughout the process. Some organizations still use the traditional manual upload and download approach to transfer OneDrive data. They should be aware of the downtime associated with the manual method.

We will discuss both in the next section.

5 Software Steps to Be Used as OneDrive Migration Best Practices

  • Step 1. Download & Run the Utility.
  • Step 2. Opt Office 365 as Source & Destination.
  • Step 3. Log in with the  Admin Credentials.
  • Step 4. Map Source & Destination User Accounts.
  • Step 5. Click on the Start Migration Button.

There are a few ways to carry out data transfer in Microsoft 365, we will cover the manual approach and the automated approach to achieve the same operation and will provide you with OneDrive migration best practices.

Also Read: How to Import PST to Office 365 Without Duplicates; A Stepwise Solution to Follow

Can We Include the Traditional Approach of OneDrive Migration as the Best Practice? 

In the manual method, you need to log into the source account and download all the data to your local computer and then you have to upload it to your destination account.

Let’s discuss the step-by-step procedure for the same.

Steps to Migrate OneDrive Through Manual Approach

  • Step 1. In the first step, you need to log in to your source OneDrive account
  • Step 2. Now select all the desired files and folders and download them to your local computer.
  • Step 3. After all this, log in to your destination OneDrive account.
  • Step 4. In this account, you must upload all the downloaded files and folders.

You may find this method an easy one but the reality is different. This method has its limitations, you can not use this method for larger files and folders, as it might show some syncing issues and this becomes an uphill task if you have massive data.

Let’s discuss the alternative way to perform this operation most conveniently.

Limitations of Manual Method 

  • It can take a significant amount of time to copy and paste files from one location to another manually, especially if you have a large amount of data to migrate.
  • Users are always at a potential data loss risk due to human error while manually copying and pasting files, such as accidentally overwriting or deleting files.
  • In the absence of a date filter or any advanced features, the manual method becomes less efficient than it could be.
  • Moreover, it also does not support version control, access control, or collaboration. Eventually does not ensure data integrity or hierarchy.
  • It does not support automation while downloading and uploading data and the process will have to be repeated each time for new files and new users added to the destination.

The Ultimate Solution for Best Practices for OneDrive Migration

As, we have discussed the step-by-step, Download, and Upload approach for OneDrive migration, thus, it becomes a daunting task for a large amount of data transfer in Microsoft 365.

Organizations must be aware of the possible downtime and communication halts involved in the manual approach. Technology is updating massively, making the world move towards AI, machine learning, and automation.

Hence, users are advised to use a reliable and automated approach for this operation, and in this situation, it is suggested to use the SysTools OneDrive Migration Tool. This is a one-stop solution for users seeking data migration in Microsoft 365. This is brilliant software, that ensures maximum data protection and integrity, providing a seamless user experience throughout the whole process.

Download Now Purchase Now

Detailed Steps with Screenshots for OneDrive Migration Best Practices

Step 1. Download the software on your computer and run it. Now from the first screen select the source and the destination platform as Office 365.

Step 2. To perform only OneDrive migration, you have to check the document option and also have to enable the migrate document permissions.

Step 3. In this step, you have to log in with the source and the destination Admin ID & Application ID and then click on the validate button to validate it.

Step 4. Now, in this step, you have to create a group mapping by choosing any of the three options provided in this software: Fetch Users, Import Users, and Download Template.

Step 5. After the user mapping creation, the software will validate all the required permissions, and to do so, you need to click on the validate button.

Step 6. And lastly, click on the start migration button, migration will start, and within a few minutes depending on the size of your data, you will accomplish your desired operation.

Features That Make It a Must for OneDrive Migration Best Practices:-

  • Delta Migration: This feature lets users transfer newly arrived data to the destination OneDrive account without duplicating the files.
  • Run Full Migration: This feature of this utility lets users transfer the data that remains in the previous OneDrive migration in Microsoft 365.
  • Retry Failed Migration: With the help of this feature, users can retry the transfer of those data, that failed in the initial migration.

Must Read: How to Migrate Mailbox from On-Premise to Office 365? Learn the Expert’s Way

#5 Monitor, Troubleshoot, and Verify

It is one of the best practices in OneDrive migration to monitor the migration entire process and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. It further ensures a safe and secure data transfer. Once the migration is complete, then you should verify that all files have been migrated correctly to the destination account and that data integrity is maintained.

Wrapping Up

Organizations must understand the downtime involved in data migration projects in Microsoft 365. Hence need to choose the right approach for it. Therefore, in this article, we have covered both approaches to accomplishing this task. And provided OneDrive migration best practices.

Users without any prior technical knowledge can also safely perform this migration project by using the above-given software hassle-free.