Move documents and files to your SharePoint Online site

When you set up SharePoint Online for Office 365, you probably have documents and files that you want to add to your Team Site. Here are some ways you can add different kinds of content to your site.

In this article


Before you begin

Before you start to move files, check how much storage you have for SharePoint Online in Office 365. Typically, the storage limit for a SharePoint Online site collection is 10 GB, plus 500 MB per each licensed end-user. That means that, for 250 users, the maximum amount of storage is 135GB, plus 25 GB of storage for each user in OneDrive for Business. You can also purchase more storage for Office 365 if you want it. To find more information about storage limits for SharePoint Online, see SharePoint Online: software boundaries and limits.

 Tip    It's important to remember that in Office 365, storage limits for SharePoint Online (your Team Site) differ from storage limits for Exchange Online (for email accounts). For more information about mailbox storage limits, see Recipients, in the Office 365 Service Descriptions for Exchange Online.

The next step is to analyze the content that you currently have. This includes documents, images, forms, and so on.

 Tip    In File Explorer, search your existing files by size and by date. This can help you quickly identify the files that have been used recently, or are very large.

Think about how much of the content is used regularly, and whether you want to store all it in Office 365. Just as you would when you move to a smaller house, the goal is to decide what will fit at the new site. For example, if your organization now uses more storage than the Office 365 limit for SharePoint Online, you have to make decisions such as these:

  • What files do you want to move?
  • Do you want to purchase more storage space?
  • Should you plan to have room for your site to grow? (It definitely will)

If your organization is large or complex, consider inviting an expert to assist you. You can find reputable assistance at Microsoft Pinpoint software and technology services. Pinpoint is a fast, easy way for companies all over the world to find certified Microsoft experts and professional services

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Create folders, libraries, and subsites

After you identify the content that you want to move, think about how you want to organize it. You may want to start by uploading files to the Documents library on your Team Site. It’s a good idea to organize the content, especially if you expect that you'll eventually have lots of files. As the volume of content grows, you can create additional document libraries, form libraries, and pictures libraries to store that content. You can also create subsites for different kinds of documents or project.

For more information about how to plan a structure to organize the content on your site, see one of these articles:

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Upload documents, pictures, and files

To upload files, such as Word documents, PDF files, or JPG photos, upload them to a library or a folder in a library.

 Note    The maximum file size for a single file that can be uploaded to a SharePoint Online library is currently 250 MB. In addition, you can only upload 100 or fewer files at a time.

The best way to do this depends on the number of files. First browse to the destination library, and then use this table to choose a method:

Number of files Upload method
Single document Select New Document > UPLOAD EXISTING FILE, and then browse for the file on your computer.
Many documents and folders Select the Open with Explorer button on the Library tab of the ribbon. Then, drag-and-drop the files by using File Explorer.

For more information, see Upload, create, or delete files in a library.

 Note    There are certain file types that cannot be uploaded to a library. For a list of these, see the article Types of files that cannot be added to a list or library.

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Consider creating SharePoint lists for contacts, calendars, and spreadsheets

Every business has data in many forms, such as calendars, tasks, and spreadsheets. For this type of data, you can move or convert that content into a list on your site. For example, you can convert your list of business contacts to a Contacts list. In addition, you can often convert calendars to a SharePoint Calendar, which is a special kind of list.

If you now use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to track information, you can upload these spreadsheets directly to a document library in SharePoint Online. Or, you can import a spreadsheet as SharePoint lists. Because many people can update a list at the same time, SharePoint lists help encourage collaboration. You can create different views of lists to expose exactly the information that you want.

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Consider SharePoint solutions for ordinary business needs

Another way to move content is to use a SharePoint solution to manage an existing task better. For example, most organizations want to capture and share the day-to-day knowledge of the people who work there. A wiki on your site might be great for exactly this kind of sharing.

This table describes SharePoint features that can help you manage business processes.

Business process Description
Share important announcements with a team blog

Blogs can serve as a useful tool for communicating information out to your colleagues. If you want a forum to share information, consider setting up a blog.

Use a wiki to share team knowledge and collaborate

Wikis are special sites where a community of users creates and maintains information. Wikis can be a great tool for capturing and sharing process information or general reference information that is important for your work.

Move resource scheduling into SharePoint group calendars

A group calendar can be a good way to schedule common resources, such as conference rooms, audiovisual equipment, and so on. Because a group calendar lives on a SharePoint Online site, everyone on your team can view it easily on SharePoint or in Outlook.

Convert database programs into an Access app

You can use Microsoft Access 2013 to design and publish a database, and then create an Access app to use the database on your team site.

Automate business processes with a workflows

Workflows automate and track the key tasks in a business process. They are great for tasks such as approval processes or collecting feedback.

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Help site users find your content

After you move your documents and files up to your Team Site, tell other site users about it. You can offer several different ways that they can use to find content on the site.

This table describes different methods that you can use.

Method Description
Use search to locate content

The easiest way to locate content on a SharePoint Online site is to use the search feature.

Configure views on lists and libraries to make content discoverable

You can select the elements that appear in a view. For example, in one view, you might show the title and author. In a different view, you might want show only the items that were added after a certain date.

Customize site navigation

You can customize the navigation for your Team site to make it easier for site users to locate content.

Search online content when you’re offline

You can use OneDrive for Business or Outlook to search for content that’s on the SharePoint Online site when you’re offline

Keep track of content updates

Set up alerts or subscribe to an RSS feed so that you'll be notified automatically when content changes.

To learn more about ways that you can help site users find content easily, see the Planning Guide article Plan the content for your Team sites .

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Applies to:
SharePoint admin center, SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online Midsized Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E1 & E2), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Midsized Business, SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Small Business, SharePoint Online Small Business, SharePoint operated by 21Vianet - admin center