How to Replicate Data from a Network File Directory in a SharePoint Document Library with List Bulk Import 2.5

Update: List Bulk Import is now available from the Bamboo Solutions storefront.

List Bulk Import allows users to easily migrate documents, pictures, and list data into SharePoint from: legacy databases; spreadsheets; SharePoint to SharePoint Server; Office 365; Claims-based and Forms-based Authentication environments; and/or any SharePoint document management application with large volumes of data and/or documents that need to be widely accessed. List Bulk Import allows you to retain valuable index information when importing to SharePoint, while eliminating the need for data re-entry. The import program has the option of running in the background, allowing users to continue to work while the application uploads documents and other data to SharePoint.

In this post, I will demonstrate how to replicate an existing network file directory as a SharePoint Document Library.


Your company has recently invested in SharePoint, but how do you access your existing network file directories while maintaining the same file structure?


One of the import tools provided List Bulk Import allows you to Replicate File Structure. With this tool, you can quickly import entire file structures into existing Document Libraries with just a few clicks.

Upon opening List Bulk Import, you will be asked to initially configure the target SharePoint Site.  This is where you will enter the URL to your on-premises SharePoint site, or SharePoint Online site. TIP: List Bulk Import is expecting the Site URL.  An example would be if you were to access your SharePoint Online site, the browser might display https://servername/site/default.aspx.  You will want to enter https://servername/site in the target site URL field.


From the main screen, select Replicate File Structure Job or, alternatively, you can select the option from the “Import Tools” menu.

NOTE: Before proceeding, confirm that the Document Library you want to import the file structure to already exists in your SharePoint site.  If it doesn’t, create the Document Library, and then reset the connection to your target SharePoint site in List Bulk Import:

When running the “Replicate File Structure Job,” you have two sources from which you may choose:

  • Replicate files from local or network file directory; and,
  • Replicate files from SharePoint Server.

In this article, we will demonstrate the “Replicate files from local or network file directory,” although the settings for “Replicate files from SharePoint Server” has similar settings and should be easy to follow on your own:

On the next screen, you have various settings. The first thing is you need to select is the root folder of the local or network directory you want to import. Select Browse to display a selection tree:

After selecting the directory to import, you’ll have a variety of options from which to choose:

  • Get documents in all sub-folders will retrieve files in both the root and the sub-folders.
  • Copy folder structure will create all the sub-folders found in the selected root directory in the Document Library.
  • Overwrite existing files(s) will, if the selected Destination List already contains files, define if the file found in the source directory should replace the existing file in the Document Library. Remember, files of the same name can be stored in separate folders within the same Document Library, however, only one file of the same name can exist in any given folder.
  • Copy all versions is available if the source is an existing SharePoint Document Library and would copy all versions and import them into the Target library. Since we have selected a local or network directory as the source in this example, this option is now disabled.

On the final screen, you can optionally choose to save the replication settings as a template to be used in future replications, or simply import the files. In the same window, you will see the progress of your import:

Looking for a walk through from start to finish? See this post: How to Import an Excel File with List Bulk Import 2.5.

If you’re ready to give release 2.5 of List Bulk Import a try, it’s available in Bamboo Labs as a free download today! With this Beta version, there is a 15-item limit, and the trial is good for 30 days. If you like what you see, you can purchase a license key from the storefront to fully activate the product and circumvent the 15-item limit. Please note that this Labs version of the product is still in Beta and we ask for your patience if you experience any issues. To report any problems you may encounter, please go to the List Bulk Import 2.5 forum and post your feedback there.

Happy importing!

 Read the entire series celebrating the release to Bamboo Labs of List Bulk Import 2.5:


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