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

When you need to copy list items between site collections in SharePoint Online, PowerShell can be a quick and easy way to do it. This blog post will show you how to use PowerShell to copy list items from one site collection to another. This can be helpful if you have to copy data between two different sites or want to make a backup of your data, or you need to consolidate information from multiple lists into one location, or if you’re looking to migrate data from one site collection to another.

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 saving the list as a template and creating a new list instance so that the internal names are intact!). More here: How to Copy a List in SharePoint Online?

#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" -Connection $SourceConn
        $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 -Connection $DestinationConn
            #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 -Interactive -ReturnConnection
$SourceList = Get-PnPList -Identity $SourceListName -Connection $SourceConn
$DestinationConn = Connect-PnPOnline -Url $DestinationSiteURL -Interactive -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 created in the target site first!

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

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

  • The latest pnp.powershell module 1.11.0 breaks this script. “The object is used in the context different from the one associated with the object.”

      • Thanks Salaudeen. Confirmed working with the 1.11.0 pnp module in our environment. Very much appreciate all the information you have provided across your website. Really helpful.

  • Hi Salaudeen,
    I am having the error below running this script.
    Would you be kind to assist me to resolve it, please?

    “InvalidOperation: C:\CopyListItemsBetweenSPOSiteCollectionsPnP.ps1:37
    Line |
    37 | … ameter(Mandatory = $true)] [Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.List] $Source …
    | ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    | Unable to find type [Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.List].”

  • Hi Saluadeen, this is great and has been really useful for many of my lists. What would be really good is if it could keep the ID’s. I need the ID’s to be static when migrating Lists with Lookup values.

    I have seen another approach, although not using Powershell, which creates the item then checks it matches the ID and if it doesn’t it will delete it and then recreate until it does. Is this possible?

    Thanks for your help and very useful website!

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

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

  • 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…

    • Restarting the PowerShell ISE fixes this issue.

  • 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

  • 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.

    • 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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