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by Simon De Baene
Simon De Baene

Replace unsupported characters when migrating


I've tried to post a weekly tip in January, but I was too busy visiting Asia. I'm sorry. I'm back now.

This week, I'll show how it's possible to automatically get rid of the characters that are unsupported by SharePoint while migrating files and folders to SharePoint. It refers to a feature that was released a long time ago, but is unknown by most of the users.


You should know that Windows supports a bunch of special characters that are unsupported inside SharePoint. That's not a problem until you decide to get rid of your file shares and move to SharePoint. There's probably a couple of tools that can help you rename the files and folders correctly, but it adds an extra step and cost. Why not doing it all at once while migrating to SharePoint with Sharegate?

Here's a few examples of files and folders containing unsupported characters that would be rejected by SharePoint:

Files and folders with illegal characters

Step 1 - Go to the Options window

Click on the File menu in the Ribbon.

Sharegate Ribbon Menu

Click the Options button.

Sharegate Ribbon Options

Step 2 - Specify the replacements for all unsupported characters

This section allows you to map unsupported characters with supported characters. The default value is the underscore. It's that simple.

SharePoint Illegal Chracters Options

Step 3 - Bulk import your files and folders to SharePoint

Simply migrate your file shares to SharePoint and enjoy the result!


After SharePoint Migration


Before SharePoint Migration


Automatically replacing illegal characters is inevitable if you want to enjoy a peaceful migration to SharePoint. Sharegate fully supports it and also allows you to configure how to replace the illegal characters. Replacing the characters with the underscore is the default behavior. Just don't be surprised if your files and folders are named differently when your SharePoint migration is over.

by Simon De Baene
Simon De Baene
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