One of the key tasks for all SharePoint administrators is upgrading, with 2013 the upgrade path is fairly straight forward. The first thing to do is obviously install your SharePoint 2013 farm; following the eBook I wrote should help you get through that bit and then we can move onto upgrading our SharePoint 2010 content databases

Original Site

The graphic below shows a very rudimentary SharePoint 2010 site with some documents, the site has been created specifically for this post on upgrading


Database Server

If you are going to use the same database server and database for SharePoint 2010 then I would highly recommend taking a backup of the database first, if you plan on copying the database to another SQL server then you can probably skip the backup (although I wouldn’t) The Microsoft recommendation is to copy them to a new SQL server for the new farm and this is the preferred option assuming you have the SQL resources.

SharePoint 2013 Farm

The one thing you need to do before attempting to upgrade the content database is to ensure any services you had running in SharePoint 2010 are also running on your SharePoint 2013 farm as well, once you have done that then we may begin the upgrade.

Content Database Upgrade

For this post I am simply going to use the existing content database on the same server, I have deleted the web application on SharePoint 2010 just to make sure there are no connections to the DB

We now need to follow the following steps:

Create Web Application

You need to create a web application that has exactly the same settings as the one that was in your SharePoint 2010 farm, this includes URL, port, included paths, authentication etc

Apply Customisations

Apply all of the custom site settings that were part of the SharePoint 2010 farm, such as css, site definitions, web service etc

Verify Custom Components

Before we attach the content database you can use the Test-SPContentDatabase PowerShell command to verify that all custom components that you need are installed to the SharePoint 2013 farm

Attach Content Database

Now lets attach the content database, for this you can use the Mount-SPContentDatabase PowerShell command, a typical command would look like this

Mount-SPContentDatabase –Name WSS_Content_ForUpgrade –DatabaseServer SQL2012 –WebApplication http://forupgrade:19047

If you are attaching a set of databases that form a large site collection then ensure you attach the database that contains the root site collection first and then the remainder in any order you wish

In SharePoint 2013 the process of upgrade has changed slightly in that once the database is attached the process does not actually upgrade the site collections held within the database, so the first step in checking the upgrade has worked is the check the site is still working in SharePoint 2010 mode and the easiest way to do this is to navigate to the site on your SharePoint 2013 farm


As you can see the site is working perfectly on the SharePoint 2013 farm and has a lovely bar across the top telling you that you can upgrade it to SharePoint 15

Clicking Start Now will present you with a screen where you can read more about the upgrade and clicking the Upgrade this site collection button will start the process of upgrading the site collection, well sort of, you will get another ‘are you sure’ pop up


Once you click the final ‘are you sure’ the upgrade will be put into a queue,


Depending on how many sites are in the queue, eventually the page will refresh to show you the progress of the upgrade and eventually the success page, you can click on the link for the text log file to check for any errors or warning


Click on the button on the right to see your upgraded site collection in SharePoint 2013

And Finally

So that’s the upgrade process in a nutshell, as long as you follow the steps and ensure everything you setup and customised in SharePoint 2010 is in your SharePoint 2013 farm then all should be good. And this is the upgraded site in SharePoint 2013