Export/Import Lists in SharePoint 2007/2010

Despite the advantage and great features that possess the SharePoint platform, however this platform is associated with one of the “weaknesses” when it comes to import/export the lists/forms (with greater size than 10MB) from one site to another site. By default they can’t be transferred without executing some scripts on “Command Prompt” or “SharePoint Management Shell” respectively by using the STSADM tool which is the part of SharePoint.

What are Lists in SharePoint

A List is the form that contains one or more fields/columns which define the item data or metadata schema. For example, a List can be considered the form called “Projects” with the following fields: Project title, Description, Start date, End date, Status. This could be considered similar to a database table. A List might contain as well attachments.


Until I found the relevant solution I have experienced a lot of difficulties to commit the list import/export (greater than 10MB) from one site to another site in the intranet environments based on SharePoint 2007/2010!

So I had to find a way how to increase the list size from 10MB to appropriate size limit due to the fact that by default list size is 10MB which severely hampered the list export/import with populated data when these lists exceeds the size of 10MB.
For example let’s suppose that we need to transfer the list “Employee List” which has the size of 40MB from one site (example site called “Employees) into another site (example site called “Human Resources”). If the appropriate steps aren’t taken, this list it can’t be transferred, because if we follow the default/standard steps recommended by Microsoft (which means by saving the list with method  “Save list as template” as well as by checking “Include Content” checkbox), simply this is not possible cause the list that we want to transfer is greater than 10MB! In our case we have to increase the size limit for exported/imported list to 50MB.

In order to achieve list export/import we need to follow up these steps:

Step 1:

Open Command Prompt or SharePoint Management Shell, and navigate to the BIN directory (where the stsadm.exe is located) as below:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\Bin

Copy the text below:

stsadm.exe -o setproperty -propertyname max-template-document-size -propertyvalue 50000000

and paste to command prompt:

In SharePoint 2007 environment:  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\BIN>stsadm.exe -o setproperty -propertyname max-template-document-size -propertyvalue 50000000

In SharePoint 2010 environment:  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\BIN>stsadm.exe -o setproperty -propertyname max-template-document-size -propertyvalue 50000000

So, after the script is executed, the maximum size of each list is 50MB!

Step 2:

Go to List Settings, click “Save list as template”, name the list for example “Employee List”, check “Include Content” checkbox, then click OK, which means that now the list is saved to the “List Template Gallery” with all data.


Step 3:

Click on “list template gallery” link, then click to the list (in our case “Employee List”), then save the list to the local hard drive, for example in desktop.


Step 4:

Go to the new site or site collection (in our case “Human Resources”), go to Site Settings —> List templates, click Upload button, browse to the location where the file is, choose the file (in our case “Employee List”), then click OK. Now the transferred list can be used by creating new list with the same data as the previous list of the earlier site or site collection (“Employees”).


Step 5:

Now the new list can be created by using list template, respectively by clicking to the Create button, then by clicking to the template “Employee List”, then the list will be named, for example “Employee List 2”.
Finally this list is available to the new site collection with all the data!


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