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How to maintain metadata while copying documents with file explorer to SharePoint Online

    Question

  • I have a document library in SharePoint Online where I have copied two files from file explorer. After upload, I tag the documents with some custom metadata:

    The problem occurs when I overwrite these documents with new versions from file explorer. Some documents maintain their metadata, while other gets their metadata blanked out:

    What is causing this behaviour? Is it possible to make sure that the new versions maintain their existing metadata? We are planning to migrate a lot of documents this way and it would easy the process if we were enable to keep the metadata.

    Tuesday, November 22, 2016 11:07 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Could I know your detail operation steps as I can’t reproduce.

    Best Regards,

    Lee


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    Wednesday, November 23, 2016 2:52 AM
  • Please refer to this earlier thread having suggested solutions might helps you to get this job done - how can you move a document with its version history to a new library

    Also check this blog to migrate SharePoint list items & documents whilst preserving metadata properties.

    However, to maintain the metadata you'll need to use third party tools, like Lepide SharePoint Migration to move documents and preserve metadata at the same time.

    Thanks,

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016 7:30 AM
  • Hi,

    Sure, Lee. These are the operation steps:

    1. Open file explorer with some local files or open another SharePoint Document library with "Open with Explorer"
    2. Drag & drop the documents to the SharePoint Online document library, either directly to the library or through "Open with Explorer"
    3. Tag the documents with some custom metadata
    4. Repeat step 2 again

    It doesn't matter whether I'm using web GUI or "Open with Explorer" during upload. Some documents loose their custom metadata on the second upload. However, it is consistent which documents that does loose it and not.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016 7:34 AM
  • Hi, MMartin85

    You say "to maintain the metadata you'll need to use third party tools", but some metadata is persisted during second upload with my approach. The question is really what is determining whether metadata is persisted or blanked out.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016 8:15 AM
  • Hi,

    If you upload the file to SharePoint and then download/copy from SharePoint, the metadata(Managed Metadata) information will be included in the file, then you edit/update and replace the file in SharePoint, the metadata will keep.

    If you replace the SharePoint file with local version(without metadata information) and then replace the SharePoint file, the metadata information will missing.

    Best Regards,

    Lee


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com

    Wednesday, November 23, 2016 1:08 PM