SharePoint 2013/2010 – Document ID Service Preserving IDs While Moving Documents

SharePoint Document ID Service Overview

The SharePoint document ID service is fantastic if you need static links to documents, regardless of where they get moved, or if their title gets changed.  With the SharePoint document ID service activated, short of deleting and re-uploading your document, you’ll have a reliable link to your document available.  This is great if you need to link back to any document within SharePoint 2010/2013 for a custom application, links in documents, or any other use case.

Moving/Copying Documents While Preserving Your Document IDs

When I was first working with the document ID service, I noticed there was some ambiguity as to how and when Document IDs were retained.  In fact, one sentence provided by MSDN directly contradicts itself:

“The only way to retain a Document ID within sites is to use the Site Content and Structure administrative page in Site Settings while moving documents. Note that copying by this method does not retain the Document ID.”

So, I tried the available actions myself and mapped out which move/copy operations in SharePoint retain your Document IDs.

Move/Copy Operations and Document ID Retention

Action Result
Tried to send a file from one library to another using the ‘Send To‘ command (Same SharePoint Site)  Document ID was not Preserved
 Tried Cutting & Pasting a file between two SharePoint libraries using file explorer view  Document ID was preserved
 Tried to copy a file between two libraries using file explorer view  Document ID was not preserved
 Tried using the Move command in “Manage Content and Structure”  Document ID was preserved
 Tried using the Copy command in “Manage Content and Structure”  Document ID was not preserved

So, basically there are only two ways to preserve your Document ID when moving documents between SharePoint libraries:

  • Enter “Manage Content and Structure” view, select the document library, select the document you want to move, click “Move” in the file’s drop down menu and select the new document library.
  • Open both the source document library & the destination document library in File Explorer View.  Drag & drop the file to the new library or cut & paste it into the destination library.

Any other method will result in your document getting a new Document ID when it arrives in the destination library.

More Information on the SharePoint Document ID Service

Additional Information on Setting the Document ID Service Up:

 

2 thoughts on “SharePoint 2013/2010 – Document ID Service Preserving IDs While Moving Documents

  1. I am finding that if I save a document from Word to a SharePoint library, then use Save As to save it again without changing the document’s metadata, then I have two documents with the same Document ID. I thought the Document ID was supposed to be unique…..

  2. Actually, that statement from Microsoft isn’t self-contradictory. “The only way to retain a Document ID within sites is to use the Site Content and Structure administrative page in Site Settings while moving documents. Note that copying by this method does not retain the Document ID”. The important words are *moving* and *copying*. Moving a document retains the ID, but copying it is making another copy of it – so the new copy has to have a new ID.

    I think that is borne out in your testing.

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