Easy migration to Nextcloud from insecure and privacy-unfriendly platforms now available

Originally published at: Easy migration to Nextcloud from insecure and privacy-unfriendly platforms now available - Nextcloud

Nextcloud cares about privacy and data sovereignty. Who owns and controls our documents, photos, chat logs and calendar items matters, and we think it should be you. Millions of users agree and trust their own Nextcloud server or a reliable Nextcloud hosting provider with their data.

To help make it easier to move away from closed, insecure and privacy-unfriendly platforms, Nextcloud today announces a number of migration tools. These tools will help users of Google, Microsoft and other services to move their data in Nextcloud with just a few clicks.

Migration tools

Currently, the following migration tools are available:

Google migration

Our Google migration tool can import calendars, contacts, photos, files from Drive and Google Docs into Nextcloud. The documents can be exported as either Open Document files or OOXML (Microsoft Office format). Both can be edited with our built in office solution. Similarly, the Calendar app will get the calendars added to it and the contacts get imported in Contacts.

For those of you migrating from Google Photos, we have two tips. First, to see where your images were taken, install the Nextcloud Maps app. And for face recognition, our wonderful community has developed the facerecognition app!

With this migration, you thus get most data into the equivalent Nextcloud apps so you can keep working – but without leaking your data to Google!

To be able to migrate data, the administrator has to setup OAuth credentials with Google for their server. We unfortunately can not make this any easier as we have, each server has to register individually. The alternative would be for us to register a central server and send all our users’ data through there but that is, for probably obvious privacy reasons, not something we want to do. Find the app here and get moving!


Our Dropbox migration tool will let you import your documents and other files from Dropbox into Nextcloud Files. It is easy to connect through OAuth, not requiring any special setup by the system administrator. As with the Google migrator, your files with their directory structure are fully preserved when importing. Find the app here.


Our OneDrive migration tool is also focused on files and document migration. Like the Google migration, an admin is required to set up OAuth with Microsoft. Files and directory structure is retained when importing and future updates to add calendar, contacts and other data are on our roadmap. Get the app in our app store.


Aside from creating migration tools for the public cloud platforms above, we also updated our migration from ownCloud. Over the last years, the gap between Nextcloud and ownCloud has grown a lot, which has complicated the migration and we recently have been getting a some questions about this. So for those still on an ownCloud server, we’ve updated our migration path to allow migration from ownCloud 10.5 directly to Nextcloud 20.0.4. We would urge you to move sooner rather than later to benefit from all the performance, security and feature improvements. The migration unfortunately gets harder and less safe as we move ahead and improve our code base.

You can find information on how to migrate on our migration page. For enterprises, note that we offer easy migration services from ownCloud and other platforms, as do our partners.

Administrator settings

We mentioned for Google and OneDrive, administrators have to walk through some steps to ensure the Google and Microsoft servers accept the users’ authentication request. This process is described in our administrator settings. Feedback on this is welcome! We tried to make it as easy as possible, but unfortunately these enterprises are not very kind to distributed infrastructure and we can not do this for you.

Own your data

Data sovereignty, owning and controling your own private documents, photos, chat logs and calendar items, is a key motivation for many Nextcloud users. We’re excited that we have the opportunity to make it easier for you to achieve this and we can’t wait to see what you do with it!

The migration runs in the background, importing the files and other data in the background. We will continue to add and improve to these tools. please, give us your feedback and if you happen to be a software developer, consider contributing to these migration tools to expand their capabilities and develop more ways for millions of people to regain control over their data!

If you are not ready to migrate, you can of course integrate with external services. The app store includes various external storages including for Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive. These allow you to access your files on these storages seamlessly from within Nextcloud. External storage lets you edit, share, comment on and work with all your files, irrespective of where they are stored.

Read our press release for some more background on our new migration options.


This might be useful to have in this thread:

Links for instructions on how to setup the built-in OAuth providers are in that linked document.


To confirm, is this the one that is referred to for Google migration? https://apps.nextcloud.com/apps/integration_google


Correct! That is the right one, same with the OneDrive and Dropbox one.

Of course, if you’re not ready to migrate, the external storage apps are also helpful:

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I appear to have set this up correctly as admin. Users can connect to google accounts and the Data Migration screen will show the data they can import.
I set up an import of photos and drive over 8 hours ago and the dialogue still reads:

Photo import background process will begin soon. You can close this page. You will be notified when it finishes.


Google Drive background import process will begin soon. You can close this page. You will be notified when it finishes.

Is it normal for this to take so long to initiate?

If not, has anyone seen and dealt with this issue?


Nextcloud: 20.0.4
Google integration: 0.1.2


It imports all my files and photos, they are all corrupted however. Everything else apart from google migration works fine.

I haven’t heard that a general problem exists, so it might be worth to compare the files to spot the differences between the original and copied version.

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the nextcloud twitter account gave me this tip:

This uses cron jobs in the background, check your cron settings and the server log!

I don’t see anything related to cron in the log, and I have no idea what cron settings to look for.

Any push in the right direction would be most appreciated.

For example, running corntab -l does not show any schedules cron jobs:

ken@dysoncloudserver:~$ crontab -l
# Edit this file to introduce tasks to be run by cron.
# Each task to run has to be defined through a single line
# indicating with different fields when the task will be run
# and what command to run for the task
# To define the time you can provide concrete values for
# minute (m), hour (h), day of month (dom), month (mon),
# and day of week (dow) or use '*' in these fields (for 'any').
# Notice that tasks will be started based on the cron's system
# daemon's notion of time and timezones.
# Output of the crontab jobs (including errors) is sent through
# email to the user the crontab file belongs to (unless redirected).
# For example, you can run a backup of all your user accounts
# at 5 a.m every week with:
# 0 5 * * 1 tar -zcf /var/backups/home.tgz /home/
# For more information see the manual pages of crontab(5) and cron(8)
#  m h  dom mon dow   command

I added www-data to the /etc/cron.d/cron.allow file.
still no cron job created when I ask google migration to copy over data from drive.

I think you misunderstood how Nextcloud background processing works and haven’t read the administrator guide. Otherwise you would have seen that at least one cron job need to be created by you (the administrator) to allow background task execution.

Once this cron job has correctly been set-up Nextcloud will most likely be able to execute jobs which have been added to the job table. BTW, this doesn’t mean you will see more cron jobs using crontab -l :wink:

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Ah, OK thanks. This page in the administrator guide didn’t make sense to me until just now.

So we need to set up scheduled tasks to run cron in the nextcloud administrator settings > basic settings > Use system cron service to call the cron.php file every 5 minutes. The cron.php needs to be executed by the system user “www-data”.

The specific cron execution is shown in the administrator guide as:

# crontab -u www-data -e

And append this line:

*/5 * * * * php -f /var/www/nextcloud/cron.php

You can verify if the cron job has been added and scheduled by executing:

# crontab -u www-data -l

It doesn’t say, but this must be run with elevated (sudo) privileges.

the location of the cron.php file depends on your nextcloud instalation path. For me it was:


Before now I thought that the administrator guide page on background jobs was explaining how to set up specific background jobs executed by the local cron user. I now understand that, yes, that can be done, but ALSO one must set up the general " call the cron.php file every 5 minutes" job to have nextcloud run its own scheduled jobs (ie the data migration tool).



If you happen to have any suggestion on how to improve the wording, there’s a button on top-right of the page that should let you propose that improvement! That’d be very welcome :heart:

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