SharePoint–Move Documents between libraries via UI without losing versions

Nov 11, 2012 by Christoph // Leave a Comment

SharePoint is awesome working with documents of different types in a document library. Especially the feature of versioning is pretty cool. But when it comes to moving documents as a standard User in a SharePoint environment, you will hit some limits, or you need to know the tool really good!

A customer asked me today how he can move a document from one library to another on the same SharePoint Site Collection, without losing the document versions. Downloading a document and uploading it to a different library as well as using the “sent to –> other location” functionality within a SharePoint library will lose the versions on the way:


Unfortunately, for a “normal user” with read rights on the Site Collection there is only one way to do so:

Explorer View


Opening both the source and the destination in Explorer View will give you the ability to move the documents with its versions.

Please be aware: Simple copying the documents within the Explorer View will not take care of the versions in any way, only moving a document will keep the original versions!


Content and structure

As a Site Collection Administrator, there is a second way to solve this problem. Content and structure, listed in the Site Administration menu (Site Actions –> Site Settings) shows up in the menu if the site scoped SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure Feature is enabled.


Here you can copy and move documents with its versions. Please be aware, that there is a difference between copying and moving documents as well:

Original Versions (Library A):


Result Copy (Library B):


Result Move (Library B):


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