How to Migrate MS Teams from one Tenant to Another – 2 Ways Explained
Summary: In this write-up, we are going to cover one of the most asked Office 365 user queries i.e. “How to Migrate MS Teams from one tenant to another?” Go through this guide, you will find two ways that you can use to perform this task safely.
Microsoft 365 stands out as a favored business productivity suite globally. Its suite of products, notably MS Teams, excels as a premier collaborative platform for internal business communication. Nevertheless, during events such as mergers, acquisitions, or rebranding, the challenge arises when transferring data within Microsoft Teams. Users often encounter complexities when they try to migrate Teams from One tenant to another.
Why do Office 365 users find it difficult they move their Teams data? What could be the possible reasons behind it? More importantly, is there any solution to make the process easier? Let’s find answers to all the above questions by referring to this technical guide.
To begin with, the main reason behind the data migration complexity is the storage structure of MS Teams. So, first, let’s understand the Teams architecture.
How Are Microsoft Teams Storage Allocated?
Microsoft Teams is built on Office 365 groups, Microsoft Graph, and the same enterprise-level security, compliance, and manageability as the rest of Office 365.
So, when you create a Teams, the following also get created.
- New Microsoft 365 group
- SharePoint online site and document library
- In some cases, Exchange Online Shared mailbox & calendar
- OneNote notebook
- Other Microsoft 365 apps such as Planner & Power BI
You may notice that Teams is heavily integrated with many of the other products. So, for some items such as chat conversations and images stored, MS Teams uses specific Azure blob, SQL tables, and queue storage. Collectively, it’s called MS Teams substrate.
To get a clear picture of how Teams handles its storage, you can have a look at the below table.
|Storage Location & Remarks
|Stores a copy in the Exchange group mailbox
|Files shared during channel conversations
|SharePoint site is created for each team & document library is created for each channel. And, files are stored here.
|Emails sent to the channel
|When an email is sent to the channel email, it is stored in a folder called Email messages within the channel document directory.
|One on One & Group chats
|Stored in a hidden folder within the user mailbox which you can access via eDiscovery.
|Files shared in 1:1 & group chats
|Stored in a folder called Microsoft Teams Chat Files in users’ OneDrive for Business.
Apart from storage allocation for Teams, some other factors are there that pose challenges during the data migration.
Various Other Possible Challenges in Migrating Teams from One Tenant to Another
- Firstly, the variations in Microsoft Teams APIs sometimes create issues while retrieving channel chat data.
- Since Teams is built on Microsoft 365 groups, when you try to move a dynamic group’s data to other Teams, it converts into static groups at times.
- Not to mention, the configuration of Teams settings at the destination becomes tricky. And, if done wrong then there’s a high chance of data loss during the migration.
Now that you know why it becomes a daunting task to perform the migration.
Despite all the challenges, there are some ways that you can move data from one MS Teams to another. You can either use the manual method to perform this task or you can use the automated software. Let’s discuss it step by step.
Migrate Microsoft Teams from One Tenant to Another Manually
As the admin, you’ll manage & migrate the Teams content and it includes multiple steps. Also, you need to do a lot of tedious work to carry out the migration. It is recommended to go through the Teams migration checklist, before getting into the migration.
Here are the steps you need to follow –
- Step 1. Re-establish the Teams at the Destination
- Step 2. Add The Users and Assign Permissions
- Step 3. Export Contents of linked SharePoint Team Site & Import to Target
- Step 4. Export/import Teams Chat History
Let’s discuss it in detail.
Step 1. Re-establish the Teams at the Destination
- This step makes sure that all the contents of Teams have a specific destination when get migrated. So, this is the first step you can’t skip.
- For reconstructing Teams at the destination, re-create the structure of the source Team including channels and other tabs one by one. It may seem like a time-consuming process but, you need to follow this step for manually migrating Teams data.
Step 2. Add Users and Assign Permissions
- After creating the new Teams environment for the users, now you need to accommodate the valid users by adding them & assigning required permissions.
- The idea of doing this step is to invite users to join the same Teams they were members of in the old Teams environment.
Step 3. Export the contents of the linked SharePoint Team Site and import them to the Destination
- Since you are transferring data between Teams, simply the concept of ‘copy & move’ won’t work here.
- So, to perform the migration, you have to download the SharePoint content from the source tenant manually. Then again, upload the downloaded data to the destination Teams.
Step 4. Export/Import Teams Chat History
- As you know the group chat and the channel chat conversation reside in each team’s Exchange mailbox. While migrating the same you need to use PowerShell commands.
- To run the PowerShell scripts, you need to first connect to Exchange Online PowerShell.
- Then, verify Team chat content and group mailbox by following the below PowerShell command.
- Get-mailbox -GroupMailbox | select Displayname, WindowsEmailAddress
- After that, you need to go to the Security & Compliance center and export each Team’s chat history to the destination.
By looking at the manual approach, you can say that the entire process is exhausting and very time-consuming. Additionally, it still does not ensure a complete data transfer. So, why bother with all the hassle when you can automate and, make it simpler with the help of an automated tool? Without further ado, let’s discuss the tool in more detail.
Most Reliable & Secure Way to Migrate MS Teams from One Tenant to Another
Unfortunately, Microsoft has not come up with a direct solution to migrate all the content of Teams to another Teams platform yet. But, it’s possible to migrate some elements such as files, teams, groups, channel chats, etc. either manually or automate the migration process by taking the help of the professional software SysTools Microsoft Teams Migration Tool.
Automatically Migrate Teams from One Tenant to Another Using The Tried & Tested Software
The best part of this tool is that it doesn’t involve any complicated PowerShell scripts. The interface of the tool is user-friendly and the steps are really simple to carry out.
Let’s go through the steps in detail.
Step 1. Download the migration software by clicking on the Download Now button and launch it on your device.
Step 2. Select the Source and Destination as Office 365 & don’t forget to click on the ‘Teams’ checkbox.
Step 3. Provide valid Admin Email & Application IDs for both Source and Destination. Then, verify all the required permissions by clicking on ‘Validate’.
Step 4. Now, fetch the Source users by selecting either ‘Fetch Users’, ‘Import Users’, or ‘Download Template’.
Step 5. After that, map the Source and destination users, and validate the permissions once again.
Step 6. Now, you need to specify the Teams using either ‘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 7. Finally, click on the ‘Start Migration’ button to Migrate Teams from One Tenant to Another.
Data migration, particularly when involving the transfer of Teams from one tenant to another, presents a notably intricate challenge. The process becomes especially cumbersome when one attempts to undertake it manually, as the benefits do not outweigh the substantial effort required. Additionally, manual migration introduces a significant risk of data loss, making it a less-than-ideal approach.
Hence, the purpose of this article is to elucidate a comprehensive and convenient solution for users confronted with the necessity to migrate Teams between tenants. Hence, it is suggested to use the above-mentioned utility over the manual procedure.