This is very similar to the question asked here, but I am unclear on the resolution. Wanted to see if anyone who has gone this route.

I want to perform an upgrade from Sitecore 8.1 to Sitecore 9.1 Update 1. I followed the steps in sitecore Upgrade guide. but when i hit the update installation wizard, i am getting close to 3k warnings. So instead of performing the upgrade, i wanted to do the actual new install. But if I do the new install, I would not be having any if the old content items. So my question is

  1. Can i just upgrade the DB(which is currently on SQL 2014) by executing the two SQL scripts (on core, web and master) -- > backup and restore on new sql 2016 DB and then point the newly installed 9.1 to this 2016 DB by just changing the connection strings?
  2. Another option i thought about is to install a new SC 9.1 version and also the DB. then create a SC package chunks from the old 8.1 version to move the content, templates, layout, media to the new 9.1 instance. This is tedious but want to know if this works - as a fall back.

We don't have any xDB - so no worries on that. Any help on this would be appreciated. thanks

  • what the changes to be done on source codes like web config or global.asax or any specific entries to be done during upgrade ? Feb 10, 2020 at 7:48

4 Answers 4


I have migrated sitecore 8 to 9 by using the Option#2 and it worked well for me.

Templates, Items, Layout , System, etc you will be able to migrate easily by using the sitecore package. But if you have a huge media library then you can not use sitecore package to transfer this, So, to migrate the media library you need to serialize the whole media library and then copy whole serialize folder to the sitecore 9 server and then revert the tree for media library.

  • After migrating this way if you found that you can not render your content then please look into this article, this can be one reason explained in this article.


  • IF sitecore 8 has some contents which have duplicated names specially for golas and rules so i will suggest to migrate those by using serialization(same way i explained for medial library)

If need more details let me know.


  • Thanks a lot. this helps. May 22, 2019 at 11:01

If you just want to migrate the databases you can use Express Migration Tool 3.1, which can help you to migrate the data from version 8.1 to 9.0 Initial Release. While running the tool just select the option below:

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Since the express migration tool does not support any version above 9.0 Initial release as a targeted version. Hence after express migration you need to run the SQL scripts mentioned in the upgrade guide from 9.0 to 9.1 Update 1.

  • Good idea. Didn't think of that.
    – Chris Auer
    May 21, 2019 at 21:07
  • 1
    Thanks @Amitabh. I had checked this, but per Sitecore documentation, It doesnt support 8.1. only up to 8.0 May 21, 2019 at 21:34
  • 1
    Aah ok that is the catch. In that case I agree with Chris that creating a package of just Content Item, Media Items and Templates should work. But you might face issues with digital marketing related stuff etc. I would keep this answer here for others who are looking for similar upgrade option for source Sitecore version below 8.1. May 21, 2019 at 23:40

Option #1 will not work because Sitecore needs to install new items in you master/core databases. This is what the update package is for.

Option #2 will work as long as you are just transferring items and templates. Any goals, rules, etc may have upgrade issues.


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    Mar 17, 2020 at 12:06

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