Move or copy a folder, file, or link in a document library

Part of managing your documents is putting them in specific folders or libraries. Depending on the version of SharePoint you're using, you can copy or move content between folders in a library, between libraries, and even between libraries in other sites and subsites with the right permissions. You can also copy files and folders between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint sites.

Note: If you're not sure which version of SharePoint you have, see Which version of SharePoint am I using?

Updated Feb 7, 2017 thanks to customer feedback.

Copy files, folders, or links to another folder, library, site, or subsite in SharePoint Online

Note: Links are only available in SharePoint Online.

  1. Select the items you want to copy.

  2. In the main menu at the top of the page, click Copy to. If you don't see Copy to, click the ellipses (...) on the main menu, and then click Copy to.

    Copy files, folders, or links in a document library to a different folder, library, or site

    Notes: Does your screen look different from the examples here? If you are using SharePoint Online, your may be in SharePoint classic mode in the document library. If so, follow the SharePoint 2016 steps. If you're a document library owner, site owner, or administrator and want to set the default experience, see Switch the default experience for document libraries from new or classic.

    If you're not sure which version of SharePoint you have, see Which version of SharePoint am I using?

  3. In the Choose a destination pane, select the location where you want a copy of the files, folders, or links to go and then click Copy here. If you're copying to a different site or subsite and don't see the site listed, click Browse sites to see the full list of sites that you can copy to.

    Screenshot of the Choosing a destination when copying a files from OneDrive for Business to a SharePoint site.

    Screenshot of choosing a location when copying a file to SharePoint

    To create a new folder to copy the files to, in the Choose a destination pane, select the location in the folder hierarchy where you want to create the new folder and click New folder. Type the name of the new folder in the text box, click the check mark, and then click Copy here.

    Document Library New Copy To Folder

Limitations of the Copy to command   

The Copy to command has the following limitations:

  • 50MB file limit    Currently, the size of files and folders you can copy at one time is limited to 50MB.

  • Custom script setting must be set for personal sites    Unless the custom script setting for personal sites in your organization is set, the Copy to command restricts copying to within your current library.

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Move files, folders, or links to a different folder in the same SharePoint Online document library

Note: Links are only available in SharePoint Online.

  1. Select the items you want to move.

  2. In the main menu at the top of the page, click Move to. If you don't see Move to, click the ellipses (...) on the main menu, and then click Move to.

    MoveTo button on the main menu

    Notes: Does your screen look different from the examples here? Your administrator may have SharePoint classic mode set on the document library or you're using an earlier version of SharePoint. If so, see Introduction to libraries. If you're a document library owner, site owner, or administrator and want to set the default experience, see Switch the default experience for document libraries from new or classic.

    If you're not sure which version of SharePoint you have, see Which version of SharePoint am I using?

  3. In the Choose a destination pane, select the new location in the document library where you want the files to go and click Move here. In the Choose destination pane, you can also click New folder to add a new folder to the document library and move the item to the new folder.

    MoveTo destination pane

    To create a new folder to move the files to, in the Choose a destination pane, select the location in the folder hierarchy where you want to create the new folder and click New folder. Type the name of the new folder in the text box, click the check mark, and then click Move here.

    Create folder field with checkbox highlighted

Other ways to copy or move files to a different SharePoint Online library, site, or subsite

You can also copy or move one or more files, folders, or links to a different document library on the same SharePoint Online site or to a document library on a different SharePoint Online site or subsite using one of the following methods:

  • Sync or download files and re-upload to new location    You can sync a folder to your desktop computer, or download files independently, and then upload them to a new library, subsite, or site.

    For info on sync, see Get started syncing SharePoint sites with the new OneDrive sync client.

    To learn how to upload files, see Upload a folder or files to a document library.

  • Use Open with Explorer    Another way is to open the library in File Explorer, and then drag and drop the files into the new library. If you sync the new library to your desktop computer, you can easily drag files and folders between File Explorer windows on your desktop, and SharePoint automatically uploads changes.

    Opening a document library in File Explorer only works in Internet Explorer 10 or Internet Explorer 11, and can have some difficulties with some configurations. For more on using document libraries with file explorer, see Ways to work with site library files in File Explorer.

Note: If you have Check out required enabled, you may need to disable it temporarily so you can download multiple files. For more info, see Set up a library to require check-out of files and uncheck, rather than selecting the require check out option.

Note:  If you need to upload files and folders, use Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. Internet_Explorer_11 and Mozilla Firefox don't currently support folders. In addition, don't switch to SharePoint classic mode, as that doesn't support folders either

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Copy a file to a different library in SharePoint 2016

SharePoint 2016 lets you drag a file from a library to a folder within that library. For copying to another library or location, you can use the Copy command on the document or item menu. The copy command takes a URL as the destination.

You have the ability to copy a file to a different library, though only one file at a time, and you can't copy folders. When you use Copy, the file you copy to a destination retains a connection to the original.

Note: If you're using versioning, only the published version of a document is copied.

  1. If the library you want to send your file to is in the Quick Launch bar, right click the name of the library, and pick Copy Shortcut.

    Right-click on library in quick launch, select Copy shortcut

    If it isn't in the Quick Launch bar, open the document library you want to send the files to, and copy the address from the address bar.

    Note: Some URLs exceed 255 characters, and can't be used. If you can, use the Quick Launch bar to get your shortcut, as the address bar can contain additional content.

  2. Open the library that contains the file you want to copy.

  3. Right click the document, and click Copy.

    You can also select the file by clicking the check mark to the left of the file.

    Select a file by clicking the check mark to the left of the name

    Click Files in the ribbon, and then click Send To under Copies. If Send To is grayed out, make sure you only have one file checked.

    Ribbon with Send to menu with copy selected
  4. Select Copy, and paste the destination library URL into the Destination document library or folder field in the Copy dialog box. Check it with (Click here to test). The destination library will open in another tab or window. You can leave it open to check your copy later, or close it.

    Copy dialog box with URL selected.
  5. If you want the copy to have another file name, type it into the optional File name for the copy field.

  6. Optionally, you can also choose to ask the author to send out updates when the file is checked in, or set up an alert on the source document. For more on alerts, see Create an alert

  7. Click OK when you're done. Click OK on the Copy Progress page to start the copy.

    Send to - copy dialog with warning
  8. If the copy was successful, click Done. If it failed, note the error and correct it.

    Copy progress with Done highlighted
  9. Check to be sure your file copied to the new destination successfully. If you want, delete the source copy if you only want the file in the new destination.

Copy or move multiple files to another library, subsite, or site in SharePoint 2016

While SharePoint gives you a fairly easy way to send a single file to another library, subsite, or site with Copy, you can't copy multiple files. To move or copy multiple files, you need to get your files downloaded to your local machine, then upload them to the new location. Here's a few ideas:

  • Sync or download files and re-upload to new location    You can sync a folder to your desktop computer, or download files independently, and then using Explorer, upload them to a new library, subsite, or site.

    For info on sync, see Set up your computer to sync SharePoint Server on-premises files.

    To learn how to upload files, see Upload a folder or files to a document library.

  • Use Open with Explorer    Most libraries offer Open with Explorer. From Explorer, you then drag and drop the files into the new library. If you sync the new library to your desktop computer, you can easily drag files and folders between synced File Explorer windows on your desktop, and SharePoint automatically uploads changes.

    Opening a document library in File Explorer only works in Internet Explorer 10 or Internet Explorer 11, and can have some difficulties with some configurations. For more info on using document libraries with file explorer, see Ways to work with site library files in File Explorer.

If you have check out required enabled, you may need to disable it temporarily by unchecking the Require check out option in library settings. For more info, see Set up a library to require check-out of files.

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Copy a file to a different library in SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 uses Send to for copying to another library or location. You have the ability to copy a file to a different library, though only one file at a time, and you can't copy folders. When you use Send to, the file you copy to a destination retains a connection to the original.

Note: If you use versioning, you are copying only the published version of this document. For more info, see How does versioning work in a list or library?.

  1. If the library you want to send your file to is in the Quick Launch bar, right click the name of the library, and pick Copy Shortcut.

    Copying a shortcut

    If it isn't in the Quick Launch bar, open the document library you want to send the files to, and copy the address from the address bar.

    Note: Some URLs exceed 255 characters, and can't be used. If you can, use the Quick Launch bar to get your shortcut, as the address bar can contain additional content.

  2. Open the library that contains the file you want to copy.

  3. Select the file by clicking to the left of the file name.

    Select a file by clicking the check mark to the left of the name
  4. In the ribbon, click Files and then click Send To under Copies. If Send To is grayed out, make sure you only have one file checked.

    Send to other location
  5. Select Other Location, and paste the destination library URL into the Destination document library or folder field in the Copy dialog box. Check it with (Click here to test). The destination library will open in another tab or window. You can leave it open to check your copy later, or close it.

    Copy file dialog with URL highlighted
  6. If you want the copy to have another file name, type it into the optional File name for the copy field.

  7. Optionally, you can also choose to ask the author to send out updates when the file is checked in, or set up an alert on the source document. For more on alerts, see Create an alert

  8. Click OK when you're done. Click OK on the Copy Progress page to start the copy.

  9. If the copy was successful, click Done. If it failed, note the error and correct it.

    Copy progress with Done highlighted
  10. Check to be sure your file copied to the new destination successfully. If you want, delete the source copy if you only want the file in the new destination.

Copy or move multiple files to another library, subsite, or site in SharePoint 2013

While SharePoint 2013 provides the Send to command to send a file to another library, subsite, or site, you can't do it with multiple files. Here are some ways to copy or move multiple files.

  • Sync or download files and re-upload to new location    You can sync a folder to your desktop computer, or download files independently, and then upload them to a new library, subsite, or site.

    For info on sync, see Set up your computer to sync SharePoint Server on-premises files.

    To learn how to upload files, see Upload a folder or files to a document library.

  • Use Open with Explorer    Another way is to open the library in File Explorer, and then drag and drop the files into the new library. If you sync the new library to your desktop computer, you can easily drag files and folders between File Explorer windows on your desktop, and SharePoint automatically uploads changes.

    Opening a document library in File Explorer only works in Internet Explorer 10 or Internet Explorer 11, and can have some difficulties with some configurations. For more on using document libraries with file explorer, see Ways to work with site library files in File Explorer.

If you have check out required enabled, you may need to disable it temporarily so you can download multiple files. For more info, see Set up a library to require check-out of files and uncheck, rather than selecting the require check out option.

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Copy a file to a different library in SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010 uses Send to for copying to another library or location. You have the ability to copy a file to a different library, though only one file at a time, and you can't copy folders. When you use Send to, the file you copy to a destination retains a connection to the original.

Note: If you're using versoning, you are copying only the published version of this document. For more info, see How does versioning work in a list or library?.

  1. If the library you want to send your file to is in the Quick Launch bar, right click the name of the library, and pick Copy Shortcut.

    Copying short cut of document library

    If it isn't in the Quick Launch bar, open the document library you want to send the files to, and copy the address from the address bar.

    Note: Some URLs exceed 255 characters, and can't be used. If you can, use the Quick Launch bar to get your shortcut, as the address bar can contain additional content.

  2. Open the library that contains the file you want to copy.

  3. Click the down arrow for the file you want to copy, and then click Send to.

    Send to option with other location highlighted
  4. Select Other Location, and paste the destination library URL into the Destination document library or folder field in the Copy dialog box. Check it with (Click here to test). The destination library will open in another tab or window. You can leave it open to check your copy later, or close it.

  5. If you want the copy to have another file name, type it into the optional File name for the copy field.

  6. Optionally, you can also choose to ask the author to send out updates when the file is checked in, or set up an alert on the source document. For more on alerts, see Create an alert

    Copy file dialog box with URL highlighted
  7. Click OK when you're done. Click OK on the Copy Progress page to start the copy.

  8. If the copy was successful, click Done. If it failed, note the error and correct it.

    Copy progress dialog with done highlighted
  9. Check to be sure your file copied to the new destination successfully. If you want, delete the source copy if you only want the file in the new destination.

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Use the Send To command in SharePoint 2007

The Send To command appears on the shortcut menu for each file in the library. Site administrators or list managers can specify a custom Send To destination for a library, so that this destination appears on the shortcut menu for the people who use the library. Additionally, you can use the Send To command to copy a file to a destination that you specify.

Send to other location highlighted

By using the Send To command, you can copy files from the library in which they were created to another library. When a file is copied in this way, the copy maintains a relationship with its source file, and you can choose to update this copy with any changes that are made to the source file. Additionally, if the copy and its source file share common columns or fields, these columns or fields are also updated when the copy is updated.

The Send To command makes it easy for people in an organization to share information with other teams or to publish information to a central location. For example, a marketing team might save working drafts of its market research publications to a document library on its departmental team site. When these market research documents are completed, the team can use the Send To command to copy these documents to another document library that is accessible to marketers in the field and other teams within a company. When a marketing team member uses the Send To command to copy a document to this destination, he or she can choose to be prompted to update any existing copies whenever the source document is checked in. If appropriate, the marketing team member can then choose to update any existing copies whenever the source file is updated.

The Send to command makes it easier to maintain files across libraries and sites in an organization because when files are copied by using the Send To command, the server tracks the relationship between the source file and all of its copies. Users can view and manage all copies of an item centrally from the Manage Copies page, where they can see which copies prompt for updates, change update settings for copies, update the copies, or create new copies.

Notes: 

  • By default, you can use the Send To command to copy files to libraries within a site collection. If you copy files from a client computer that has a program that is compatible with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, such as Microsoft Office Word 2007, and a browser that supports Microsoft ActiveX Controls, such as Internet Explorer 10, you can use the Send To command to copy files not only between libraries within a site collection, but also between different Web applications. If you copy files from the browser of a client computer that does not support ActiveX Controls, you will be able to copy files only to libraries within site collections that share the same domain name as the source library.

  • If you need to copy files to a site that either has forms authentication enabled or is a secure site (for example, a site with a URL that begins with https://), you must add the copy destination to the list of trusted sites in your browser.

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Specify a Send To destination for a document library

Specify a Send To destination in the document library where the source files (original versions) are located.

  1. Make a note of the URL for the SharePoint library to which you want to be able to copy files. You can copy the shortcut if you right-click and select Copy shortcut.

    copying shortcut
  2. If the library for which you want to specify a Send To destination is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

    If the name of your library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your library.

    1. On the Settings menu settings menu , click the settings for the type of library that you are opening.

      For example, in a document library, click Document Library Settings.

  3. Under General Settings, click Advanced settings.

  4. In the Custom Send To Destination section, under Destination Name, type a brief name for the destination to which files will be copied. It is helpful to keep this name brief because the name appears after the Send To command on the shortcut menu for the library.

  5. Under URL, type the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for the SharePoint library to which you want to be able to copy files. For example, to copy to a specific document library or to a folder within a document library, type either: http://servername/sitename/libraryname or http://servername/sitename/libraryname/foldername.

    Important: Do not copy and paste the URL for the destination SharePoint library directly from the browser into this text box because this version of the URL will contain extra characters that will prevent you from being able to copy a file successfully to the destination library.

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Copy a file to a predefined destination

If a Send To destination is already specified for your library, you can copy files from this library to another library by using the Send To command.

  1. If the library that contains the file that you want to copy to another destination is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

    If the name of your library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your library.

  2. Point to the name of the file that you want to copy, click the arrow that appears, point to Send To, and then click the name of the destination to which you want to copy the document or item.

    Note: If you do not see the name of a Send To destination, it could mean that a Send To destination is not specified for this library or that you do not have the Contribute permission level for the destination library.

    Predefinded Send To location on shortcut menu

  3. If you want to rename the copy of the file, in the Destination section, under File name for the copy, type a new name.

    1. In the Update section, do either of the following:

      • If you want to be prompted to update any copies when new versions of the source file are checked in from the browser, click Yes.

        If you select this option, the copy that you create will be marked as a copy that prompts for updates, and it will be updated whenever you choose to update existing copies of a source file.

        Note: If you check in files from a program that is compatible with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, such as Microsoft Office Word 2007, you will not be prompted to update copies in the client program.

      • If you want to be alerted when the source file is updated, select the Create an alert for me on the source document check box.

        Note: You will not receive e-mail alerts when the source file is updated unless e-mail is enabled on the server. If you are not sure if e-mail is enabled on the server, contact your server administrator.

  4. Click OK.

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Copy a file to a destination that you specify

You can use the Send To command to copy a file to a library that you specify. You must have the Contribute permission level for the library to which you want to copy the document.

  1. Make note of the URL for the SharePoint library to which you want to copy the file.

  2. If the library that contains the file you want to copy to another location is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

    If the name of your library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your library.

  3. Point to the name of the file that you want to copy, click the arrow that appears, point to Send To, and then click Other Location.

    Sending to location that you specify

  4. In the Destination section, under Destination document library or folder, type the URL for the SharePoint library to which you want to copy the document. For example, to copy to a specific document library or to a folder within a document library type either: http://servername/sitename/libraryname or http://servername/sitename/libraryname/foldername.

    Important: Do not copy and paste the URL for the destination SharePoint library directly from the browser into this text box because this version of the URL will contain extra characters that will prevent you from being able to copy a file successfully to the destination library.

  5. If you want to rename the copy of the document, under File name for the copy, type a new name.

    1. In the Update section, do either of the following:

      • If you want to be prompted to update any copies when new versions of the source file are checked in from the browser, click Yes.

        If you select this option, the copy that you create will be marked as a copy that prompts for updates, and it will be updated whenever you choose to update existing copies of a source file.

        Note: If you check in files from a program that is compatible with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, such as Microsoft Office Word 2007, you will not be prompted to update copies in the client program.

      • If you want to be alerted when the source file is updated, select the Create an alert for me on the source document check box.

        Note: You will not receive e-mail alerts when the source file is updated unless e-mail is enabled on the server. If you are not sure if e-mail is enabled on the server, contact your server administrator.

  6. Click OK.

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Updating copies of a file

There are two ways that you can update copies of an item:

  • From a source file, you can use the Send To command to update existing copies of an item.

  • From any copy of an item, you can go to the Manage Copies page and view all existing copies and then select which ones you want to update.

Update copies from the source file

  1. If the library that contains the file for which you want to update copies is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

    If the name of your library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your library.

  2. Point to the name of the file, click the arrow that appears, point to Send To, and then click Existing Copies.

    Note: The Existing Copies command appears only if you chose to be prompted for updates when you initially used the Send To command to copy this source file to another location.

  3. In the Destinations section, under Copies, select the check boxes for the copies that you want to update, and then click OK.

Update copies from the Manage Copies page

If a file was copied to one or more different libraries, you can update all of the different copies from one location on the Manage Copies page, which is accessible from any copy of an item.

  1. If a library that contains a copy that you want to update is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

    If the name of your library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your library.

  2. Point to the name of the copy that you want to update, click the arrow that appears, and then click Go to Source Item.

  3. Click Manage Copies.

  4. To update all copies that already prompt for updates, click Update Copies.

  5. In the Destinations section, under Copies, select the copies that you want to update, and then click OK.

    Note: If you want to update copies that are listed on the Manage Copies page under Copies that do not prompt for updates, first you must change the update settings for these copies. For more information about how to do this, see Change the settings for a copy to make it prompt for updates.

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Change the settings for a copy to make it prompt for updates

If you created a copy of a file by using the Send To command and you did not choose to be prompted for updates, this copy cannot receive updates from the source file. You can change this setting and make the copy available for updates.

  1. If the library that contains a copy that you want to update is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

    If the name of your library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your library.

  2. Point to the name of the copy that you want to update, click the arrow that appears, and then click Go to Source Item.

  3. Click Manage Copies.

  4. Click Edit next to the item, and then click Yes under Prompt the author to send out updates when the document is checked in? in the Update section.

  5. Click OK.

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Delete a copy

If you want to completely delete an item that is a copy of another item, first you must ensure that this item is removed from the source file's list of items to update. Otherwise, the item may be recreated whenever someone chooses to update any existing copies of the source file. It is also recommended that you unlink the copy from its source file. After you have completely unlinked the source file and its copy, you can delete the copy.

  1. Unlink the source file and its copy.

    How?

    To completely remove any links between a source file and its copy, unlink the source file and its copy in both of the following ways:

    • Unlink a copy from its source so that the copy no longer retains its connection to a source file. If you do this, the source file retains a connection to the copy, and the copy can still be updated if someone chooses to update existing copies of the source file.

    • Remove the link to a copy from the source file so that the source file no longer updates the copy.

    1. In the library that contains the copy that you want to unlink from a source file, point to the name of the copy, click the arrow that appears, and then click Go to Source Item.

    2. Click Manage Copies.

    3. Click Edit next to the copy that you want to unlink from the source file.

    4. Click Remove Link, and then click OK.

      This action removes the copy from the list of copies that can be updated from the source file.

    5. Return to the library that contains the copy that you want to unlink from the source file.

    6. Point to the name of the copy that you want to unlink, click the arrow that appears, and then click View Properties.

    7. At the top of the page, click Unlink, and then click OK.

      This action removes the copy's link to its parent source file.

  2. In the library that contains the copy that you want to delete, point to the name of the copy, click the arrow that appears, click Delete, and then click OK.

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Unlink a copy from its source file

To completely remove any links between a source file and its copy, unlink the source file and its copy in both of the following ways:

  • Unlink a copy from its source so that the copy no longer retains its connection to a source file. If you do this, the source file retains a connection to the copy, and the copy can still be updated if someone chooses to update existing copies of the source file.

  • Remove the link to a copy from the source file so that the source file no longer updates the copy.

  1. In the library that contains the copy that you want to unlink from a source file, point to the name of the copy, click the arrow that appears, and then click Go to Source Item.

  2. Click Manage Copies.

  3. Click Edit next to the copy that you want to unlink from the source file.

  4. Click Remove Link, and then click OK.

    This action removes the copy from the list of copies that can be updated from the source file.

  5. Return to the library that contains the copy that you want to unlink from the source file.

  6. Point to the name of the copy that you want to unlink, click the arrow that appears, and then click View Properties.

  7. At the top of the page, click Unlink, and then click OK.

    This action removes the copy's link to its parent source file.

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Create folders, add files, or add links to a document library

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