Upgrading from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 Step by Step


This post provides a high-level step by step guide on upgrading a SharePoint 2010 site to a SharePoint 2013 (Customer Preview) and as with any Beta release is subject to change. For further information on planning and upgrading content and services to SharePoint 2013 you can visit the recently published TechNet site here.

Also make sure to check out Bill Baer's great post on Upgrade, and special thanks to Bill for sharing his custom solution used for this post J.

  1. Add and deploy any required O14 custom solutions in your SharePoint 2013 farm, notice that all O14 solutions being deployed under 14 hive but eventually it's recommended to migrate the custom code to O15.
  2. Backup and restore the SharePoint 2010 content database to your SQL Server hosting SharePoint 2013 farm.
  3. Run Test-SPContentDatabase cmdlet to identify missing components along with potential errors and related warnings. Check the upgrade log and deploy any missing components and re run the cmdlet to verify.
  4. Attach the content database to the desired web application using Mount-SPContentDatabase cmdlet.
  5. After successfully mounting the content database to web application, the site should be accessible in 14 mode.
  6. To upgrade the site simply click on "Start now" link on the toolbar, you can also go to SiteUpgrade page from Site Setting page as well.
  7. Click on "TRY A DEMO UPGRADE" link to verify the site collection upgrade (This step can be performed by Site Collection Administrators, farm admins can run
    Request-SPUpgradeEvaluationSiteCollection cmdlet as well).
  8. Provision a temporary site collection to validate the site post-upgrade.
  9. An email should be sent out to Site Collection admin when the temporary site is provisioned.
  10. After validating the temporary site we upgrade the site by going to SiteUpgrade.aspx page and clicking on "Upgrade the Site Collection" button (Farm admins can run Upgrade-SPSite cmdlet as well).
  11. During the upgrade The SiteUpgrade.aspx page shows the progress and provides a link to an upgrade log for troubleshooting purposes.
  12. Your site collection should now be accessible in 15 mode along with all new capabilities enabled in the farm and for the hosting web application such as Social and Office Web Apps.
Comments (20)

  1. Shawn says:

    Hey Ali,

    Any idea on how (if supported) we can go from MOSS 2007 to SharePoint 2013?


  2. Ali Mazaheri says:

    Hi Shawn,

    My understanding is that you need to upgrade to SharePoint 2010 first and then upgrade to 2013.

    1. venkat says:

      Yes, correct.

  3. Aryan Nava says:

    Hi Shawn,

    see this post for more information: blogs.technet.com/…/upgrade-frequent-questions-from-sharepoint-conference-2012.aspx

    Can I upgrade from Office SharePoint Server 2007 to SharePoint Server 2013?

    Not directly, but you can do what we call a “double-hop” database attach to upgrade from Office SharePoint Server 2007 to SharePoint Server 2010, and then from SharePoint Server 2010 to SharePoint Server 2013. Back up your content databases from 2007, set up a small, temporary farm with SharePoint 2010 (you can even use virtual servers if you don’t have space, and a trial version), and attach and upgrade them to 2010 there. Then, set up your destination 2013 farm, back up the 2010 databases, and attach and upgrade them to SharePoint 2013.

    This upgrade path also applies to upgrading from Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 to SharePoint Foundation 2013 – you must upgrade to SharePoint Foundation 2010 before you go to SharePoint Foundation 2013.

  4. Mooky says:

    Great post Ali! Im about to run an upgrade in my lab. Im curious as to what version of SQL you went from/to. Im on SQL 2008 R2 and thinking of migrating to SQL server 2012. Was that part of your upgrade here?

  5. I thought that you needed to have Office Web Apps Server on a server that does NOT have SharePoint Server 2013 on it!

  6. Mark Jones says:

    Great Post thanks. I have also outlined what is needed to do to upgrade a 2007 or 2010 Visual Studio to a SharePoint 2013.


  7. Swathi says:

    Thanks Ali. Good article. Helps a lot.

  8. Jmatk says:


    Running a sp 2007 that's upgraded to 2010 – but without the visual upgrade has been made….so I have no problems in the upgrade to 2013 or do I have a lot of issues to deal with ?

  9. Lorenzo Soncini says:

    What are the mininum level of SharePoint 2010 needed for upgrade? I can upgrade any version or I need a specific service pack or update?

    I'm not able to find this information.



  10. Raina says:

    How can i upgrade my Custom list definations, Custom Features, Timer Jobs, UI Branding of my FARM Application from SP 2010 to SP2013?

  11. Raina says:

    How can i upgrade my Custom list definations, Custom Features, Timer Jobs, UI Branding, which are developed using C#/Visual Studio code  of my FARM Application from SP 2010 to SP2013?

  12. Dampas Terries says:

    Hello Ali,

    Can I back up a site collection from SharePoint 2010 farm & restore it to SharePoint 2013 farm using PS commands?

    Please let me know sir.

  13. vikas jain says:

    hi ,

    I followed the steps mentioned above.

    but when I login from users other than system account i am getting below mentioned error.

    Sorry,this site hasn't been shared with you.

  14. Syed Shoaib Adil says:

    Hi Mooky,

    I don't think Ali covered migration from SQL Server 2008 R2 to SQL Server 2012 but it wont be a problem. I did migration of SP not of SQL and it worked fine. the minimum SQL server required for SP2013 is SQL Server 2008 R2 with SP1.

  15. Knut Relbe-Moe says:

    Vikas, you need to go into central admin, and change the site collection owners on the site that you just upgraded. Also you probably need to migrate the users to claims authentication if you haven't done it already.

    Best regards


  16. Divyesh Lappawala says:

    Thanks for the post.

    How much time it takes to upgrade  1 TB?  any suggestions?

  17. Peter says:

    Very informative, thanks for sharing with us.

    A proper plan of migration is required in order to accomplish SharePoint to SharePoint migration manually, regarding third party tool, LepideMigrator for Documents ( http://www.lepide.com/…/sharepoint-to-sharepoint-migration.html ) is an easy-to-use and excellent solution to migrate content from a SharePoint Server or Office 365 to the same/different SharePoint, Office 365, and OneDrive for Business.

  18. venkat says:

    Its a great post

  19. Lior says:

    The first step is taken place in the sharepoint 2013, if I allready have 14 hive container, do I have to do it? (deploy solutions)
    I need to copy a site collection from 2010 to 2013, do I need to export DB from 2010 and import it to 2013 DB with SQL studio ?

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