SharePoint Online: Copy List Items between Site Collections using PowerShell

Requirement: Copy List Items between Site Collections in SharePoint Online using PowerShell

powershell to copy list Items between site collections in sharepoint online

PowerShell to Copy List Items between SharePoint Online Site Collections

Just set parameters accordingly and run the script. Make sure your target list is already created with the same structure (either by creating a new list from an existing list or save the list as a template and create a new list instance, so that the internal names are intact!).

#Function to copy attachments between list items
Function Copy-SPOAttachments()
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ListItem] $SourceItem,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ListItem] $DestinationItem
    Try {
        #Get All Attachments from Source list items
        $Attachments = Get-PnPProperty -ClientObject $SourceItem -Property "AttachmentFiles"
        $Attachments | ForEach-Object {
            #Download the Attachment to Temp
            $File  = Get-PnPFile -Connection $SourceConn -Url $_.ServerRelativeUrl -FileName $_.FileName -Path $Env:TEMP -AsFile -force
            #Add Attachment to Destination List Item
            $FileStream = New-Object IO.FileStream(($Env:TEMP+"\"+$_.FileName),[System.IO.FileMode]::Open)  
            $AttachmentInfo = New-Object -TypeName Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.AttachmentCreationInformation
            $AttachmentInfo.FileName = $_.FileName
            $AttachmentInfo.ContentStream = $FileStream
            $AttachFile = $DestinationItem.AttachmentFiles.Add($AttachmentInfo)
            Invoke-PnPQuery -Connection $DestinationConn
            #Delete the Temporary File
            Remove-Item -Path $Env:TEMP\$($_.FileName) -Force
    Catch {
        write-host -f Red "Error Copying Attachments:" $_.Exception.Message
#Function to copy list items from one list to another
Function Copy-SPOListItems()
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.List] $SourceList,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.List] $DestinationList
    Try {
        #Get All Items from the Source List in batches 
        Write-Progress -Activity "Reading Source..." -Status "Getting Items from Source List. Please wait..."
        $SourceListItems = Get-PnPListItem -List $SourceList -PageSize 500 -Connection $SourceConn
        $SourceListItemsCount= $SourceListItems.count
        Write-host "Total Number of Items Found:"$SourceListItemsCount      
        #Get fields to Update from the Source List - Skip Read only, hidden fields, content type and attachments
        $SourceListFields = Get-PnPField -List $SourceList -Connection $SourceConn | Where { (-Not ($_.ReadOnlyField)) -and (-Not ($_.Hidden)) -and ($_.InternalName -ne  "ContentType") -and ($_.InternalName -ne  "Attachments") }

        #Loop through each item in the source and Get column values, add them to Destination
        [int]$Counter = 1
        ForEach($SourceItem in $SourceListItems)
            $ItemValue = @{}
            #Map each field from source list to Destination list
            Foreach($SourceField in $SourceListFields)
                #Check if the Field value is not Null
                If($SourceItem[$SourceField.InternalName] -ne $Null)
                    #Handle Special Fields
                    $FieldType  = $SourceField.TypeAsString                    
                    If($FieldType -eq "User" -or $FieldType -eq "UserMulti") #People Picker Field
                        $PeoplePickerValues = $SourceItem[$SourceField.InternalName] | ForEach-Object { $_.Email}
                    ElseIf($FieldType -eq "Lookup" -or $FieldType -eq "LookupMulti") # Lookup Field
                        $LookupIDs = $SourceItem[$SourceField.InternalName] | ForEach-Object { $_.LookupID.ToString()}
                    ElseIf($FieldType -eq "URL") #Hyperlink
                        $URL = $SourceItem[$SourceField.InternalName].URL
                        $Description  = $SourceItem[$SourceField.InternalName].Description
                        $ItemValue.add($SourceField.InternalName,"$URL, $Description")
                    ElseIf($FieldType -eq "TaxonomyFieldType" -or $FieldType -eq "TaxonomyFieldTypeMulti") #MMS
                        $TermGUIDs = $SourceItem[$SourceField.InternalName] | ForEach-Object { $_.TermGuid.ToString()}                    
                        #Get Source Field Value and add to Hashtable                        
            #Copy Created by, Modified by, Created, Modified Metadata values
            $ItemValue.add("Created", $SourceItem["Created"]);
            $ItemValue.add("Modified", $SourceItem["Modified"]);
            $ItemValue.add("Author", $SourceItem["Author"].Email);
            $ItemValue.add("Editor", $SourceItem["Editor"].Email);

            Write-Progress -Activity "Copying List Items:" -Status "Copying Item ID '$($SourceItem.Id)' from Source List ($($Counter) of $($SourceListItemsCount))" -PercentComplete (($Counter / $SourceListItemsCount) * 100)
            #Copy column value from Source to Destination
            $NewItem = Add-PnPListItem -List $DestinationList -Values $ItemValue
            #Copy Attachments
            Copy-SPOAttachments -SourceItem $SourceItem -DestinationItem $NewItem
            Write-Host "Copied Item ID from Source to Destination List:$($SourceItem.Id) ($($Counter) of $($SourceListItemsCount))"
    Catch {
        Write-host -f Red "Error:" $_.Exception.Message 
#Set Parameters
$SourceSiteURL = ""
$SourceListName = "Projects"
$DestinationSiteURL = ""
$DestinationListName = "Projects"
#Connect to Source and destination sites
$SourceConn = Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SourceSiteURL -UseWebLogin -ReturnConnection
$SourceList = Get-PnPList -Identity $SourceListName -Connection $SourceConn
$DestinationConn = Connect-PnPOnline -Url $DestinationSiteURL -UseWebLogin -ReturnConnection
$DestinationList = Get-PnPList -Identity $DestinationListName -Connection $DestinationConn
#Call the Function to Copy List Items between Lists
Copy-SPOListItems -SourceList $SourceList -DestinationList $DestinationList

If you are copying list items between sites, make sure all parent lookup lists are already created in the target site first!

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack is a SharePoint Architect with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. He loves sharing his knowledge and experiences with the SharePoint community, through his real-world articles!

7 thoughts on “SharePoint Online: Copy List Items between Site Collections using PowerShell

  • September 14, 2021 at 1:57 PM

    hi, How I should modify script if list item include user field which is inactive

  • June 18, 2021 at 3:20 AM

    I am also getting same error, any fix you find for this?

  • April 13, 2021 at 10:43 AM

    I get this error: Copy-SPOListItems : Cannot process argument transformation on parameter ‘SourceList’. Cannot convert the “Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.List” value of type “Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.List” to type

    Not the most helpful of errors…

  • April 12, 2021 at 12:39 PM

    Hello Sir, thank you for the script, much appreciated, it works well for copying within the same tenant but can this be tweaked to copy to another tenant, as the users cannot be found in new tenant, can we just get the text outputs for it to resolve in people picker, or is there any other way

  • July 17, 2020 at 12:21 PM

    Thanks a lot for this post, it’s very helpful.
    What if I wanted to keep the Author, Created, Created By, Modified and Modified By fields?
    How can this be accomplished?
    From your script I see you have a section dedicated to handle special fields but these are not being kept.
    Any suggestion is very appreciated because I am having a really hard time trying to figure it out.
    Thanks in advance.

    • July 20, 2020 at 11:21 AM

      Thank a lot, it Worked.
      I saw my mistake.The created and the Modified was working but on the Author and Editor I was missing “.Email” and just adding code like below.
      $ItemValue.add(“Author”, $SourceItem[“Author”]);
      $ItemValue.add(“Editor”, $SourceItem[“Editor”]);

      Again, many thanks.


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