Be careful when copying/moving items between libraries with different list schema using “Manage Content and Structure”

Recently a customer reported an issue when using Manage Content and Structure (also known as Site Manager) to copy documents between different libraries. In the specific scenario the customer used the same managed metadata column in both libraries with different configuration (in one secenario a different default value and in a second scenario a different term set).

The copy operation worked fine here and the item was correctly copied over to the target library. But the caveat with this copy operation was that the settings of the managed metadata library column in the target library was changed to the value of the item copied from the source library. That means the default value of the column in the target library was updated to the current value of the source library for the first scenario and the term set bound to the managed metadata column was changed to the term set of the source library.

We analyzed the behavior and identified that this behavior is by design of the current implementation. Manage Content and Structur was not designed to deal with different List Schemas in Source and Target of a Copy or Move operation.

Supported scenarios for Site Content and Structure in SharePoint are documented in the following KB article:

  • KB 317513 – Supported scenarios for Site Content and Structure in SharePoint and SharePoint Online.

The recommended workaround is to use “Open with Explorer” to copy items between different libraries in SharePoint 2013.

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