Migrating Lists from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013

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While waiting for a purchase order for Sharegate to be approved, I needed to quickly migrate content of an old SharePoint 2010 list to our new SharePoint 2013 farm. Out of the box this isn’t straight forward, and Microsoft recommend a complete backup, move and upgrade approach for the entire content database. Time-wise, this wasn’t an option and seemed overkill for a single list.

In the past I’ve experimented by writing a PowerShell script to export the list’s content to a .CSV file and it’s attachments into folders, and then another script to suck it back into the destination site.

Before heading down that route again, I searched for a different approach and found the Fast & Cheap method documented by Vlad Catrinescu.

It basically involves:

  1. Exporting the list from SharePoint 2010 via the Backup and Restore option within Central Administration.
  2. Changing the extension of the resulting files from .cmp to .cab, and extracting their contents.
  3. Amending the versions stated within the SystemData.xml file from 14.0.x.x to 15.0.x.x
  4. Repackaging them back into a .cab file via CapPack.
  5. Changing the extension from .cab back to .cmp
  6. Importing the list into SharePoint 2013 via PowerShell.
Import-SPWeb -Identity http://mysharepointsite -Path \\temp\SharePointList.cmp -IncludeUserSecurity -Verbose

It seems to have worked like a charm!