Migration Assessment Scan: IRM Enabled Lists

Learn how to mitigate issues with IRM enabled lists during migration.


Information Rights Management [IRM] is a feature that enables you to encrypt content when a user accesses it to ensure it cannot be forwarded or manipulated. The files are stored in an unencrypted format in SharePoint. When a user accesses a file in an IRM protected list, the file is protected prior to transit. The file can only be opened in an IRM supported client application such as Microsoft Office.

There are two main components to the IRM migration process:

  • Configure the target environment to support Microsoft Azure Active Directory Rights Management.

  • Disable IRM on the source and target SharePoint libraries. This is required as the migration tooling will access the files in the same manner as a user. If IRM is enabled on the source, the migration tooling will receive an encrypted file and upload that encrypted file to the target environment. This results in a file that can no longer be opened successfully.

Data Migration

IRM settings associated with lists and libraries are not migrated. The following process is required to enable the migration tooling to properly handle IRM protected libraries. This process ensures that the content is transferred and accessible post migration.

  1. Disable IRM on the source and target list.

  2. Migration tooling will copy the files from the source and place them in the target.

  3. Enable IRM on the source and target list.

Important: Any site that is configured as “No Access” (locked), in SharePoint will be skipped. To see a list of locked site collections see the Locked Sites scan output.

Preparing for Migration

  1. IRM will need to be configured for SharePoint Online.

  2. IRM will need to be disabled on the source list prior to the migration event for that site collection.

Post Migration

  1. Enable IRM on the migrated content list.

  2. Perform the following steps to ensure documents in IRM protected libraries are protected.

    • a. Download a document from an IRM protected list.

    • Open the document on the client machine.

    • If the document is protected, there will be a status displayed beneath the ribbon, similar to the following:

Scan Result Reports




Title of the list or library with IRM enabled.


URL to the default list view.


Number of items in the list.

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