Migration Guide

Nextcloud strives to make migration of customers from ownCloud as seamless as possible. Due to the large technical overlap, the migration of the application is easy. Business processes are equally easily updated.

Why migrate:
Nextcloud vs other solutions

Nextcloud customers migrate from a wide range of other solutions. Premium customers receive free migration assistance from solutions like Dracoon or SharePoint. Limitations apply, ask your sales representative!

As it is frequently requested, we provide a special ownCloud-to-Nextcloud migration service for all our customers.

Why migrate:
ownCloud vs Nextcloud

Nextcloud is much more stable than ownCloud

Nextcloud offers significant scalability, security and feature improvements over ownCloud (see a full comparison here) and our experienced support team has already helped several dozen customers with sometimes tens of thousands of users migrate successfully. Our customers appreciate expert help from a German, employee-owned company set up to provide a long term relationship between customers and business. Last but not least, Nextcloud has by far the strongest expertise in large scale deployments, as is evident in our work on Global Scale.

Nextcloud is fully licensed under the AGPL, giving you all the benefits of open source and avoiding any risk of mixing a proprietary enterprise edition with open source components.

ownCloud is (...) less feature rich and less developed than Nextcloud

First rate support as well as healthy development happening in public are key to our offering. Employing over a dozen former ownCloud engineers as well as many other experienced software developers, we are in the best position to support you in keeping your data secure and easily accessible to your employees.

We can help you with Nextcloud Enterprise but you can also look for an offer from one of our partners and of course ask other home users on our forums.

Help migrating from ownCloud to Nextcloud is free. For migration from other solutions, support is included with your Premium subscription.

The ownCloud-to-Nextcloud migration tool

The easiest way to migrate is using our migration tool. This tool supports ownCloud 8.2 to ownCloud 10, migrating to the appropriate Nextcloud release automatically.

Note that ownCloud 10.0.10 can run on PHP 7.2 while Nextcloud 12 works, at most, with PHP 7.1, complicating migration. On Ubuntu you can switch the PHP version to 7.1 via this PPA.

Over time it has become harder and harder to migrate due to changes on both sides and mis-matches of the required PHP versions. If you run into such issues or have an ownCloud version newer than 10.0.10, you can search and ask for help on our forums. For custom enterprise migrations, contact our sales team.

Here's how to use the migrator.

  • Log into the ownCloud server using a command line terminal emulator, navigate to the folder where ownCloud is installed. That is typically something like /var/www/html/owncloud.
  • 2. Use these commands to download our migration script:
    wget https://download.nextcloud.com/server/installer/migrator/index.php
    and then put it in the updater folder:
    mv index.php.1 updater/index.php
    (there is already an index.php in the owncloud folder so the newly downloaded one will be called index.php.1)
  • 3. Now go to the URL of your ownCloud server in a browser and log in. Then append to the URL this: updater/index.php so it looks like: your.owncloudserver.com/updater/index.php
  • 4. Now you should see the migrator and you can just follow the steps! Watch our video below to see how easy it is.

In this video we show ownCloud, switch to the terminal, execute the commands to download the migrator and switch back to the browser to run it.

You can do the last step manually from the command line, which is adviced on large installations where the time-out on PHP via the web interface can be a problem. You can update from ownCloud 10.0.10 and older to Nextcloud 12.0.12 after which you can use our update to move to a newer Nextcloud release. We continuously monitor new releases, test them and enable upgrading but note that ownCloud is backporting a lot of big features to 'stable' releases, which threatens stability and might make upgrading harder in the future.

The manual process

Moving from ownCloud to Nextcloud follows the same process as a upgrade within either product. You can essentially follow our usual upgrade documentation.

The steps are as follows:

  • 1. Enable Maintenance Mode with the command line tool
    or set 'maintenance' => true, in config/config.php
  • 2. Backup existing configuration and database
  • 3. Delete the ownCloud code (except the data- and config-directories) and extract the Nextcloud code
  • 4. Start the upgrade process with the command line tool
    or set 'maintenance' => false, in config/config.php and visit the login page
  • 5. Disable Maintenance Mode via command line
    or set 'maintenance' => false, in config/config.php

Find more details in our documentation.

Note that, as ownCloud does not reliably support skipping releases, upgrades have to go through all releases between the existing ownCloud release and the desired Nextcloud release. We will support upgrades from ownCloud 8.2 and onwards. If you are on an older release and need help, please visit our community support forums or contact our Sales team for a custom quote.

Upgrade path

Depending on your current ownCloud release, you have to follow a different upgrade path. Nextcloud 9.0 is compatible with ownCloud 9.0; Nextcloud 10.0 is compatible with ownCloud 9.1. You can not skip releases like going from ownCloud 8.0 to Nextcloud 10, that would be skipping ownCloud 8.1, 8.2 and 9.0. You can upgrade from an ownCloud release to a compatible Nextcloud release or one newer. We generally recommend to move to the latest Nextcloud release that is compatible first before upgrading.

This is the compatiblity overview:

  • ownCloud 9.0.x is compatible with Nextcloud 9.0.x
  • ownCloud 9.1.x is compatible with Nextcloud 10.0.x
  • ownCloud 10.0.x is compatible with Nextcloud 12.0.x

This essentially means you can treat Nextcloud 9.0.x as an upgrade to ownCloud 9.0.x and Nextcloud 10.0.x as an upgrade to ownCloud 9.1.x

Note that ownCloud 9.1.6 breaks easy upgrading to Nextcloud 10.0.5. We fixed this in 10.0.6! Similar, ownCloud 10.0.2 and 10.0.3 can only be upgraded from Nextcloud 12.0.4. We make sure we properly test the upgrade paths!

These are some examples of an upgrade path. The minor release (.x below) should always be the latest bugfix release. You can find these on the changelog pages, here for Nextcloud.

  • ownCloud 8.0.x -> ownCloud 8.1.x -> ownCloud 8.2.x -> Nextcloud 9.0.x -> Nextcloud 10.0.x
  • ownCloud 8.2.x -> Nextcloud 9.0.x -> Nextcloud 10.0.x
  • ownCloud 9.0.x -> Nextcloud 9.0.x -> Nextcloud 10.0.x
  • ownCloud 9.1.x -> Nextcloud 10.0.x -> Nextcloud 11.0.x
  • ownCloud 10.0.- -> Nextcloud 12.0.0

When upgrading, make sure to enable apps after every upgrade step so they can run their own upgrade scripts. We have fixed this issue in Nextcloud 12: apps will no longer be disabled when upgrading on systems running PHP 7. Note that we recommend to move to Nextcloud as soon as possible, to ensure a more reliable upgrade process.

If you are on a very old ownCloud release or want more details, read our advanced and detailed upgrade documentation in our blog on how to protect your privacy by upgrading to Nextcloud 11 or higher. Note that upgrading from a Windows Server is not supported beyond moving over the data.


Nearly all ownCloud settings will be migrated to Nextcloud during the upgrade procedure. That means that internal and public (link) shares keep working, users keep their settings and you will retain app configuration, LDAP and external storage settings and more.

Settings from proprietary extensions from ownCloud which have open source replacements in Nextcloud, however, will sometimes need to be reconfigured. The following apps have a Nextcloud equivalent but need re-configuration:

  • File Retention
  • File Firewall
  • File Automated Tagging
  • File Drop
  • SharePoint

The open source replacements of these apps in Nextcloud offer at least the same and typically more capabilities. Configuration settings not mentioned in this list will be carried over from ownCloud to Nextcloud during upgrade.

License Compliance

Nextcloud is licensed exclusively under the AGPL or less restrictive open source licenses, removing any risk of mixing incompatible licenses or other legal issues. If you have not made any changes to the code of ownCloud Server and did not develop custom ownCloud applications, you will not need to do anything to be in compliance with the open source licenses of Nextcloud. Note that theme changes or branding are unaffected by AGPL licensing. Find more information in our FAQ. Our sales team will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Take over of support contract

Nextcloud will honor any valid contract with ownCloud which has started before the 2nd of June 2016 for free if a new agreement is signed for a period of at least 12 months.

All product names and trademarks are the property of their respective owners, which might in no way be associated or affiliated with Nextcloud.

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