In this entry we’ll take a look at the manual migration process for getting content from your Public Folders to SharePoint Online. This process could be used if you had a small number of Public Folders to migrate. If you have a large number of Public Folders it would be recommended that you take a look at 3rd Party Migration Tools.

1. Export the Public Folder(s) to a PST file or multiple PST files.

Export To PST screenshot

In this example we have top level Public Folder which contains subfolders called Calendar, Contacts, Mail and Post Items, and Tasks.

2. Connect the SharePoint Calendar, Contacts and Tasks to the Microsoft Exchange Online Outlook mailbox.

Connect Calendar To Outlook Screenshot

Connect Contacts To Outlook Screenshot

Connect Tasks To Outlook Screenshot

3. You’ll then need to connect the PST containing the Public Folder data to the Exchange Online mailbox. In the image below you’ll see our Outlook client is connected to the PST as well as the SharePoint libraries.

Outlook Connections Screenshot

4. At this point you simply have to copy the items from the PST file to the corresponding SharePoint library connected to Outlook. To copy calendar items, it’s usually easiest to go to the View menu, select Current View, and choose All Appointments so you can get a list of the appointments which you can copy and paste into the SharePoint Calendar library.

Once the items have been copied, you can view them in SharePoint. In the images below, dummy data was used which is way the names are so strange.

Calendar In SharePoint Screenshot

Contacts In SharePoint Screenshot

Tasks In SharePoint Screenshot

So that explains how to get Calendar, Contact and Task data into SharePoint Online. But what about mail and post items? You can’t copy items to a SharePoint Doc library using Outlook, but you can map a drive to a SharePoint doc library and then copy the messages from Outlook to the mapped drive.

First you’ll have to get the path of the SharePoint document library. To do that, browse to the Document Library in your web browser and copy the URL of library.

Doc Library Path Screenshot

In the example above the path is:

We’ll need to convert that to a UNC naming convention, in this case:

\\\Shared Documents

Then we’ll need to map the drive.

Map Drive Screenshot

Once the drive is mapped, it’s simply a matter of copying the messages from the PST in Outlook to the mapped drive.

Messages Copied to Explorer Screenshot

After the messages are copied they are visible in SharePoint:

Docs In SharePoint Screenshot

As well as in Outlook:

Docs In Outlook Screenshot

So as you can see, it’s not that difficult to do a basic data move from Public Folders to SharePoint Online. The difficultly comes in when you have a large number of folders and when you have to migrate permissions to SharePoint.

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