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INTRODUCTION

Offboarding is the ability to move data from Office 365 to file shares or to a local computer. This is a manual process. This document describes the steps to save a SharePoint document library or list content from a SharePoint Online environment to file shares or to a local computer.

This document covers the following SharePoint Online archive scenarios:
  • Administrator or site owner archives the contents of a SharePoint Online document library. This is a manual process when you use SharePoint Online.
  • Administrator or list owner archives the contents of a SharePoint list. This is a manual process when you use SharePoint Online.
  • Administrator or list owner archives the following information from a SharePoint list to Outlook: 
    • Calendar items
    • Contact items
    • Document libraries
    • Discussion lists
    • Tasks
 This document doesn't cover the following scenarios:
  • Migration of SharePoint content from SharePoint Online to a local SharePoint installation: Transferring content between SharePoint Online and local SharePoint installations isn't supported in this version of SharePoint Online.
  • Preservation of list content properties, functionality, and relationships: SharePoint list content can be archived in spreadsheet or database table format. These spreadsheets or tables contain the content from the SharePoint list. However, the properties, permissions, functionality, and relationships between the various tables and table contents aren't preserved. 

PROCEDURE

Archive SharePoint Online document library content

To archive SharePoint Online document library content, you must be able to connect to your organization’s SharePoint Online sites. You can download your document library contents and save them as you would any other file. SharePoint Online Administrators can view, download, and save all document library content in their organization’s SharePoint Online sites. Site owners can view, download, and save all document library content from sites for which they have administrator permissions.

To archive document library content, follow these steps:
  1. Create a local folder to save your document library content to.
  2. Browse to the SharePoint document library.
  3. Click the LIBRARY tab, and then click Open with Explorer.
  4. Select the files to save, right-click the selected files, and then click Copy.
  5. Right-click the folder in which to save the files, and then click Paste.
  6. Repeat this process for every SharePoint document library.

    Note If your Windows Explorer settings display hidden files and folders, you'll see hidden folders in the document library file structure. These folders contain ASPX pages and can be safely ignored.
SharePoint document libraries can contain many kinds of files, and SharePoint maintains information about each file that SharePoint stores. Most of this other information isn't preserved when files are downloaded. For example, the following information isn't preserved when a file is downloaded:
  • Document properties
  • File access permissions
  • Relative links between files
  • Workflow information
  • Versioning information
  • Templates

Archive SharePoint List

To archive SharePoint Online document library content, you must be able to connect to your organization’s SharePoint Online sites. The person archiving SharePoint list content must have either Excel 2010 or Excel 2013 installed.

The following kinds of SharePoint lists can be linked to Outlook:
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Tasks
  • Document Libraries
  • Discussion
  • Lists
To archive SharePoint list data to Excel, follow these steps:
  1. Browse to the SharePoint list.
  2. On the LIST or LIBRARY, tab, click Export to Excel.
  3. Select Open.
  4. Under Import Data, select where you want to put the data (if this is applicable). The list is exported to Excel.
  5. You can save the file to your local directory.
  6. Repeat this process for every SharePoint list.

    Note This process will save entries in a list. The actual content such as files and attachments won't be saved when you use this method.
To archive a SharePoint Calendar list to Outlook, follow these steps:
  1. Browse to the SharePoint Calendar to be archived.
  2. Click the CALENDAR tab, and then click Connect to Outlook.
  3. On the Actions menu, click Connect to Outlook, and in the Outlook dialog box, click Yes. The Calendar is saved to Outlook.
To archive a SharePoint Contacts list to Outlook, follow these steps:
  1. Browse to the SharePoint Contact list.
  2. Click LIST, and then click Connect to Outlook.
  3. In the Outlook dialog box, click Yes. The Contact list is saved to Outlook.
To archive a SharePoint Tasks list Outlook, follow these steps:
  1. Browse to the SharePoint Tasks list.
  2. Click LIST, and then click  Connect to Outlook.
  3. In the Outlook dialog box, click Yes. The Tasks list is saved to Outlook.
To archive SharePoint Document Libraries to Outlook, follow these steps:
  1. Browse to the SharePoint Document Library.
  2. On the ribbon, click LIBRARY, and then click Connect to Outlook.
  3. In the Outlook dialog box, click Yes. The Library is saved to Outlook.
To archive a SharePoint Discussion Board list to Outlook, follow these steps:
  1. Browse to the SharePoint Discussion list.
  2. On the LIBRARY tab, click Connect to Outlook.
  3. In the Outlook dialog box, click Yes. The Library is saved to Outlook.
The OneDrive for Business sync client is an additional option that provides the functionality to take SharePoint items offline and save them to your local computer. For more information about how to use the OneDrive for Business sync client, go to the following Microsoft website:
Sync OneDrive for Business or SharePoint site libraries to your computer

Known limitations

SharePoint list content must be exported to Excel or to an Access database. Simple lists can be exported to Excel. However, if the content of a single cell exceeds Excel’s maximum cell size limit of 32,767 characters, the information that exceeds that maximum is lost. If your lists contain large cells, you should export to Access.

SharePoint lists are used to host complex data like wikis and blogs. These complex data forms consist of several tables. For example, blog tables are as follows: Categories, Posts, Comments, Links, and Other Blogs. For the best results, export wikis and blogs to Access. When wikis and blogs are exported to Access, each of these tables is exported correctly. However, all properties, permissions, and relationships between tables and contents are lost.

When you export list data to Access or Excel, list data will be saved. However, attachments and documents within the list won't be archived. To archive attachments and documents, follow the instructions in the "Archive SharePoint Online document library content" section.

Additional resources

For more information about how to use and troubleshoot "Open with Explorer" issues, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:  
2629108 How to use the "Open with Explorer" command and how to troubleshoot issues with this option in SharePoint Online for Office 365
For more information about data portability in SharePoint Online, visit the following Microsoft website:
Data portability
For more information about how to synchronize a SharePoint 2010 list by using Access 2010, visit the following Microsoft website:
Synchronize a SharePoint 2010 list with Access 2010


Still need help? Go to the Office 365 Community website.

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Article ID: 2783484 - Last Review: July 6, 2014 - Revision: 8.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft SharePoint Online
Keywords: 
o365 o365e o365a o365p o365m o365022013 KB2783484

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