How to Migrate Teams From One Tenant to Another? Complete Tutorial for Admins

Move Files from One Teams Channel to Another
Michael ~ Modified: June 4th, 2024 ~ Microsoft Teams ~ 12 Minutes Reading

Summary: This tutorial is crafted for Office 365 admins, and users, who are seeking a comprehensive guide that can help them migrate Teams from one tenant to another. Often time this tutorial will be updated to reflect the latest developments in Microsoft Teams. So, stay connected with it. (Last Updated on – 04/06/2024)

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Nowadays, various advanced technologies and software are being introduced to enhance communication and collaborative capabilities in the workplace. One of the most used and admired platforms is Microsoft Teams, which was launched in March 2017. MS Teams provides a unified platform where users can share files and hyperlinks. Moreover, it allows them to have chats and meetings with each other.

As organizations are relying on Teams for their daily business communication and collaboration, the content created in MS Teams becomes more crucial than ever. So, whenever a company decides to or is going through an M&A (merger & acquisition) activity, it becomes the most important thing to migrate Teams from one tenant to another with all associated sensitive data. 

Despite Teams being a part of the Microsoft 365 ecosystem, when it comes to migrating its content, there is no specific manual method provided by Microsoft. Well, we can not blame them totally, the complex design and architecture of Teams make the whole process difficult and nonpractical to perform manually.

So, to make things simpler for Microsoft Teams users, this technical guide will cover the challenges and you will be aware of Microsoft Teams migration checklists. And, it will also discuss two different types of solutions to migrate MS Teams from one tenant to another effectively.

Without further ado, let’s get started with the first section i.e. the challenges!

Why It’s a Difficult Task to Migrate Teams Data?

Microsoft Teams is central to the logical architecture of productivity services in Office 365 – including data governance, security, and compliance capabilities.

It is the highly integrated architecture that makes Teams the most powerful collaboration tool. But, the design of Teams is what makes it challenging when it comes to migrating its data. And, this migration task is more complicated than it looks.

How? Let’s see!

When you create a team, here’s what gets created as well;

  1. A new Office 365 group for every team that is added.
  2. To store Teams files, A SharePoint Online site, and document library are being created.
  3. An Exchange Online shared mailbox and calendar (in some cases). 
  4. A OneNote notebook- to add their findings, commentary, and other info along with chat data.
  5. Establishes a connection with other Office 365 apps.

Know The Challenges Involved In Moving MS Teams Data to Different Tenants

Since a large number of components and services are used in MS Teams, it stores its data in different locations with different formats which poses the biggest challenge in migrating it manually.

  1. Multi-Location Storage Distribution: The below-given data provide further details based on Teams Items and additional data storage location.
    • Channel Conversations – A process that saves a copy in a hidden Exchange mailbox for compliance purposes.
    • Files Shared during Channel Conversations – A SharePoint site is created in each Teams and a document library is created for each channel. So, the files are saved here.
    • Messages Sent to Channels – These are stored in a folder named ‘Email messages’ within the channel document library.
    • 1:1 and Group Chat Messages – These are saved in a hidden folder within the user mailbox and it is only accessible via eDiscovery. It becomes a hurdle in migrating Teams chat from one tenant to another.
      Note: If your Teams chat has disappeared you can follow this guide to fix it.
    • Images Stored during Chats – These files are stored in a separate media store on Azure AD (using Blob storage).
  2. Microsoft Teams API Limitation: Another challenge is the API limitation. The variations in APIs create difficulty in retrieving channel chat data.
  3. Data Corruption: Moreover, when you try to migrate dynamic groups’ data from one tenant to another, there is a possibility that it may convert into static groups.
  4. Chances of Data Loss: Last but not least, the configuration of original settings for Teams in the destination tenant can also be tricky and it can lead to data loss, or you can face situations like Microsoft Teams not loading issue.

Despite everything, there are still some ways that you can use to migrate Teams from one tenant to another.

You may also find it helpful:  Office 365 Tenant to Tenant Migration Simplified with Comprehensive Solution

Know Various Methods to Migrate Teams from One Tenant to Another

First of all, there’s no easy way out to migrate all the Teams content to a new tenant including chat, channels, etc. However, you can move some of the components such as files, teams, groups, channel chats, etc.

You can do it either manually or take the help of an automated tool for the job.

Anyway, here we’ll discuss both the manual and the automated methods. Let’s elaborate on them one by one.

Manually Moving Teams Data from One Tenant to Another

To begin with, the manual approach is not going to be a piece of cake. Since the Teams data is not stored in one place, be prepared to do a lot of heavy lifting for the migration. The process involves various steps.

Step 1. Reconstruct the Teams at the Destination

This step is necessary to move your Teams content to your new Teams environment and to ensure that the content has a dedicated destination.

You need to re-create the structure of the source Team including channels and other tabs. It may sound time-consuming but, it’s the only way to manually transfer your Teams data.

Step 2. Add Valid Users and Assign Permissions to Each Team

After creating a new Teams environment for the users, it’s time to properly accommodate it by adding the correct users and permissions to each team.

Assuming you have followed the best practices and must have added users at the destination Azure active directory(Azure AD). The significance of this step is to invite users to join the same teams they were members of in the old Teams environment.

To do so, you need to follow these steps;

  • Export users/permissions to a CSV file using the SharePoint Online PnP PowerShell module.

SharePoint Online PnP PowerShell module.

  • To map your existing team memberships at the destination, modify the domains associated with each other. You can use the Find and Replace feature in Excel for the same. For example;

Find & Replace feature in Excel for the same

  • Use PowerShell to add users to the newly created Teams from the CSV file. Run the following commands, one after another for the desired result.

Connect-MicrosoftTeams(To connect to the destination MS Teams)

Get-Team (to generate a list of Teams and their associated group IDs)

Import-CSV -Path “YOUR_FILE_PATH” | foreach{Add-TeamUser -GroupId YOUR_TEAM_ID -user $_.email} (to upload all the users in a CSV file to the new team.)

  • Once you successfully perform all the above steps, prompt the correct members to owners within each team. From the details of all your Teams, use the emails in the ‘Owners’ column to manually identify and add the owners to the new Teams.

Step 3. Download and Upload the contents of the linked SharePoint Team Site

Since the goal here is to migrate Teams from one tenant to another, the ‘Copy’ and ‘Move’ concepts will not work. 

So, you need to manually download the SharePoint content from the source tenant and upload the same to the destination tenant.

Step 4. Execute Export / Import Teams Chat History

As you already know the group chat and the channel chat conversation reside in each team’s Exchange mailbox. For migrating the same you need to take the help of PowerShell once again.

Note: First, you need to connect to Exchange Online PowerShell for running the script.

Then, verify the Teams chat content and group mailbox with the following PowerShell command.

Get-mailbox -GroupMailbox | select Displayname, WindowsEmailAddress

After that, you have to export each Team’s chat history to the destination through the Security and Compliance Center. The steps are;

  • Go to ‘Content Search’, and provide a name for your search.
  • Choose the Team group as the location and in the Condition Card section, add a condition. Then, save the changes and run the query.
  • Once the above process is completed, Download the Export Report.
  • After the report has been exported successfully, open it to view, and save the Team’s chat history. To make it easier to view, preferably save it as a document and later upload it to a ‘General’ folder in Team’s associated SharePoint Site.
  • Repeat the process until you migrate every Team data.

From the above, you might have a feeling that the manual approach is not the ideal method to consider. Indeed, it’s not. The whole process is time-consuming and the steps are more complicated than it looks. Moreover, if the PowerShell command goes wrong(even by mistake) then there’s a chance of data loss.

Must Read: How to Transfer Office 365 Mailbox to Another Account? Best Way Explained

Hence, to save yourself from all this complexity, you can opt for the next method.

Migrate Microsoft Teams From One Tenant to Another- The Professional Way

After a successful merger and acquisition, you can’t risk leaving behind or losing a single piece of crucial information such as Teams data.

So, what could be a more convenient way than using the most reliable automated tool like Migrator Wizard Teams Migration Tool? Yes, this tried and tested software makes this overwhelming process easier for the users and helps them migrate Teams content safely without any data loss.

If you talk about the procedure, then it’s really simple and anyone (technical and non-technical users) can execute it without any difficulties.

Let’s have a look at the same.

Software Steps to Migrate Teams from One Tenant to Another

Step 1. Download the software from the given link and launch it on your desktop.

Download Now Purchase Now

Step 2. Set up the Source and Destination as Office 365 and make sure to click on the ‘Teams’ checkbox.

step-1

Step 3. Enter Admin Email and Application IDs for both Source and Destination. Then, ‘Validate’ all the required permissions.

step-2

Step 4. You can migrate Teams from one tenant to another by defining the Source users using either ‘Fetch Users’, ‘Import Users’, or ‘Download Template’.

step-4

Step 5. Once you fetch the users,  map the Source and destination users, and once again validate the permissions.

Step 6. Specify the Teams using either the ‘Fetch Teams’, ‘Import Teams’, or ‘Download template’ options. Then, map them with the Destination Team, and verify the permissions by pressing the ‘Validate’ button.

step-4

Step 7. At last, click on the ‘Start Migration’ button to migrate Teams from one tenant to another.

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That’s it! After executing the above steps, you will find the desired content of the Source Teams at the Destination Teams. Well, there is more to it.

Additional Features of The Tool:

  • It allows bulk migration of MS Teams data.
  • Facilitates Re-run migration for the skipped items that are left behind during the initial run.
  • Maintains data integrity throughout the system.
  • Generates a comprehensive report at the end of the migration.
  • Flexible and supports various Office 365 plans.

Also Read: How to Perform Distribution Group Migration to Office 365 Step By Step?

To Conclude

With time technology is advancing and situations demand some serious IT structural change from organizations. And, nowadays, MS Teams migration is one of them. But, it’s a difficult task to attain unless you have the right approach. Though manually migrating Teams data seems comfortable in reality, it’s the hardest thing you may encounter. Hence, for the convenience of the users, this tech post has explained an alternative method to migrate Teams from one tenant to another.

FAQs

Q1. What could be the potential reasons behind migrating Teams between tenants in Office 365?

There can be several reasons behind this operation, since the reasons can vary depending upon the organizational needs, however, some of the common reasons are as follows:

  • Merger and Acquisitions (M&A Activity)
  • Restructuring or Rebranding 
  • Security Enhancements and Best Practices
  • Compliance Requirements 
  • Upgrading Subscription Plan
  • Moving for More Stable Platforms, etc.

These are only a few reasons there can be n number of reasons that can lead to migration from one Teams tenant to another.

Q2. What steps are involved in migrating Teams from one tenant to another, is there any quick way available?

Since migrating Teams between tenants is not manually possible, if you do not possess core technical knowledge in Office 365. However, you can still complete the data transfer if you choose the right approach such as the discussed software allows users to execute the most complex migration in just 5 steps.

  • Step 1. Download, install, and launch the software.
  • Step 2. Enable Teams workload and set date filter.
  • Step 3. Login with Office 365 Admin Credentials.
  • Step 4. Create User, Teams, and Groups Mapping.
  • Step 5. Select Teams, validate, and click on Start. 

Q3. How do I ensure a successful post-migration phase after moving Teams to the new tenant using the above software?

If you use the manual method, then you can not track the data that has migrated to the destination tenant, but if you switch to the automated software then you can ensure success post-migration phase because the software generated two types of reports in post post-migration stage – detailed report and summary report. You can get insights into the migration process using these reports and ensure 100% data transfer.