Folder Import Tool



The Folder Import Utility can be used when you need to import a directory (folder) tree including its contents into NetDocuments, either to an existing cabinet or folder structure, or to a workspace.

If you are using NetDocuments with only folders (no workspaces), you will be ready to use NetDocuments after running this tool against your current folder structure in Windows.

If you are using custom profile values, this tool also provides profile inheritance from the folders to the documents so they can also be searched using the custom profile values after they have been imported.   

Download and Install the Folder Import Utility

Please refer to the information below to install and use the Folder Import Utility.  The utility is available as a self-extracting executable. When it is installed, a shortcut titled “ND Folder Import” will be added to the Windows Start Menu. You can go to Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs to uninstall this program if needed. It is called NetDocuments Folder Import.

The utility requires Windows 7 or 8+ and the Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework software. If the .NET 2.0 Framework software is not installed on your computer, the NetDocuments Folder Import Utility installation program will not install. 

To download the Folder Import Tool use the links below: (US) (EU) (AU) 

Items to Consider

NOTE: If the Administrator has set the "Documents Inherit the Access rights of the Folders" flag for the cabinet, the documents will also inherit the Access Rights from the destination folder, overriding any cabinet level defaults or profile-based security. In this case the following behavior will occur:

When "Access rights inheritance" is enabled and a new document is created or imported into a folder, the access list of the new item is set to match the access list of the folder plus grant the current user VESA rights. Cabinet default security is ignored in this case. 

When "Access rights inheritance" is enabled, existing documents can only be filed by users who have A rights to those items. During filing, the access lists of the documents are changed to match the access list of the folder plus the current user’s rights remain as is. 

When "Access rights inheritance" is enabled for a cabinet that already contains documents, the access rights of the existing documents are not affected until they are subsequently filed or re-filed into a folder.

NOTE: ShareSpace security does not follow the above scheme and ShareSpaces are not affected by the inheritance flag at the cabinet level.

Please be aware there are also other ways to import documents into NetDocuments:

1.  Use the Upload option located within NetDocuments – used to import smaller groups of documents at a time.

2.  AutoImport – Use this option for smaller sets of documents only. This option uses a Windows Folder and is enabled in Settings > Workstation Settings. 

3.  NetDocuments Mass Import Tool – This is a separate tool that can be used to import large numbers of documents from a local drive or from a legacy DMS system. It is generally used by NetDocuments employees, certified partners, and/or the NetDocuments Repository Administrator to import files from a legacy DMS system.

Using the Folder Import Utility software

Locate the "NetDocuments Folder Import Utility" program in the Windows Start menu. When you select the utility, the NetDocuments Login dialog is displayed.  Enter your NetDocuments Username and Password.

NOTE: To use the Folder Import Utility, you are not required to be a NetDocuments Cabinet Administrator.

You will also be prompted to allow the utility to access your NetDocuments account. Learn more about Managing App Access

After logging in, you'll see the Import Options window:

Select Local Folders to be Imported 

The Import from this PC folder browse button allows you to locate your folders/documents on your computer. Remember, all subfolders under the folder that you select will also be imported with the documents stored in them.

Import Subfolders Only

You can select individual subfolders within the directory you have selected:

Select an Online Destination

The Store in this online location browse button brings up the NetDocuments Navigation pane with the available online locations:

The folder tree view displays the NetDocuments cabinets that the user is a member of.   

Pre-Import Scan

If Next is clicked after both the local location and the online destination have been selected, the pre-scan (described below) will begin to run.

This dialog will display the names of the folders being scanned. 

See the Pre-Import Check (Audit) section below for a list of all exceptions the Utility will scan for.

If the user clicks the Cancel button, the Scanning dialog will close and return to the options dialog. When the scan is completed, the Scanning dialog will close automatically and the import status page will be displayed.

If any errors were detected during the scan, they will be displayed on the import status page:


The Dates tab allows you to select only those documents that fall into a certain date range:

Advanced Import options

The Advanced tab has additional options and settings for your import:

SUGGESTION: If you are going to be using custom profiles, we suggest that you first choose the "create subfolders only" option in a first pass. Then enter the profile values and/or security for each of the folders created in NetDocuments and run the Import again and chose the Import Documents and create subfolders option again to import the documents. If you have the Inherit security flag set on the cabinet, the documents will be stamped with the same security that is set for the folders. Also the profile values for each document will be inherited from the profile values of the folder.

Incremental Mode

Whenever documents are successfully imported, their Read Only attribute is set to true. This is not done when just folders are imported without the documents.

When the import is run, any documents that have the Read Only file attribute already set will be skipped. A line will be recorded in the log saying that the document was skipped because it was marked as Read Only. There is no record in the log that the document was skipped.  

Document Paths

If the destination cabinet has a profile field enabled with a Notes data type definition (such as a comments field), you can select that field to insert the original file paths of the documents for future reference. 


Select which access option to apply upon importing the documents.

Batch Description

Enter a description for the current batch. This is displayed in the import progress window and is recorded in the fiu.log file. 

Pre-Import Check (Audit)

Run this program prior to starting an import.

The import program provides an "audit" option that lets you scan the documents prior to importing them so you can fix them before starting the import of the documents. This audit program checks for the items listed below. After running the Audit mode, an XML log file will be created in the same directory as the Import Log showing all of the problems encountered.

Items that the Audit will check:

Folder name is too long – The folder name can be a maximum of 100 characters. Any folder name greater than 100 characters will not be imported, nor will any documents or subfolders be imported. The name must be shortened to 100 characters or less.

Invalid folder name – Folder names can only contain ASCII characters. The names of these folders must be changed if their contents are to be imported. A folder name cannot contain a TAB or any of these characters: \ / : * ? " < > |

Folder path is too long – The overall folder pathname needs to be 248 characters or less. If the folder path is greater than 248 characters, the folder and all of its contents will not be imported.

Full file pathname is too long – The overall file pathname needs to be 260 characters or less. If the file pathname is greater than 260 characters, the file will not be imported.

Too many items in folder – The maximum number of items allowed in a folder in NetDocuments are 500 subfolders per folder and there is no limit for documents. But, with the Folder Import tool, there is a limit of 500 items total, per folder. If a folder has more than this maximum, it will not be imported nor will any of its contents.

Unauthorized access – The folder import process does not have access to these folders. The folders and all of its contents will not be imported.

File name is too long – A file name can be a maximum of 200 characters. Any name greater than 200 characters is truncated at time of import to 200 characters.

File is too large – Although the NetDocuments Service allows for files up to 1 GB, the folder import tool will not upload any individual files larger than 200 MB. Any document over this size will not be imported.

Invalid document name – If the file has an extension, but no file name or there is a non-ASCII character in the file name. A document name cannot contain a TAB or any of these characters: \ / : * ? " < > |

Missing file extension – The file has a name, but no extension. The file will not be imported.

Name begins with tilde – This indicates a temporary file. The file will not be imported.

Unsupported file extension – The following extensions cannot be imported into NetDocuments:  exe, com, bat, js, vbs, pif, cmd, dll, ocx, and pwl

Zero-length file – The file is empty. The file will not be imported.

_Files record – These are files/directories that were created when a user saved an email to the local file server.

NOTE: Locate folder sizes and number of files by clicking on a folder icon in the Windows Explorer and selecting the Properties option. 

Note: The Folder Import Utility (including the Pre-Import Check) does not read Protected Operating System files and will not include them in the folder and document count, nor will they be included in the audit.xml file. Some examples of these types of files are desktop.ini and thumbs.db files.

Import Status

After the pre-import check is completed, the Import Status window is displayed:

The text showing the number of items to be imported will not include the document count if the user chose to import folders only. Documents that are too large to import are not included in the count.

The text in the Import options section indicates your selections from the Options dialog. If you click Cancel the window will close and display the Options dialog with the previously entered values. If you click Start, the import begins.

Import Processing

When the import is running, the progress of the import will appear in the Import Status window:

If you click the Cancel button the import will be halted and the import summary dialog will be displayed.  

The Import Summary Dialog is displayed when the import completes or is halted:

If you halted the import process, the first line of the summary dialog will say “Import stopped.” 

For each Windows folder encountered during the import, the following will occur:

a.      A corresponding folder will be created in NetDocuments if one doesn’t already exist. If the Windows folder name includes characters that are not valid in NetDocuments folder names, they will be stripped out. Invalid characters are a TAB and any of these characters  / \ : * ? " < > |

b.      The rights on the NetDocuments folder will be set to match the rights of the parent folder. When creating a top-level folder, it will be given the cabinet default rights. If you selected the option, you as the current user, will be given VESA rights to all of the documents.

c.      The folder’s profile attributes will be set to match those of the parent folder. 

If documents are being imported, the following will occur for each document:

a.       The document will be skipped if it has the read-only flag set in Windows.

b.      The document will be uploaded to NetDocuments. If the Windows name contains characters not allowed in NetDocuments document names, they will be stripped out when forming the NetDocuments document name. Invalid characters are a TAB and any of these characters  / \ : * ? " < > |

c.       Each documents access rights will be set to match those of the folder.  If you selected the option, you will be added with VESA rights to each document.

d.      The profile attributes will be copied from the folder for each document.

e.      The document will be filed in the folder. 

Folder Import Logging

Each time the Folder Import utility is run, it will create a log file in a log file directory (folder). The log file directory is named "Import Log" and is created on your desktop. The files within it are named after the import directory with digits appended to the end of the name as multiple imports are performed.

For example, after importing a folder named "Documents" there will be three logs files named the following:




The log file will be in plain text format. It will include a heading with all the information shown in the “Selected import options” section of the folder import utility’s progress dialog. It will also include the date and time that the import was started. This heading information will be followed by a blank line.

A line will be written to the log file for each document and folder in the import directories. For documents and folders that are imported successfully, this line will be in the format “Imported – <full path/file of imported document>”. For documents and folders that fail to import because of an error or because they are too large, this line will be in the format “ERROR – <full path/file of document> – <error message>”. 

The folder import utility log files are placed in a folder called “Import Log” under the Desktop folder. If this folder doesn’t already exist, it will be created. The folder import utility log files are named after the “Import From” folder name. For example, if the Import From field was set to f:\docs\AST, the log file name would be “AST.log”. If this name is not unique, a sequential number will be appended to it.

Read-only Status

NOTE: As was described above, after doing an import, documents are flagged as read-only to ensure that they do not get imported a second time accidentally. We do not recommend that you change the documents from a read-only status, but if you have to, the following steps describe the process.

To remove the read-only status from the entire folder tree:

From the command prompt: If the directory is called "Tom" and Tom is at the root of the C drive

Then do a

c:\>  attrib -r Tom                   (to remove the RO flag from Tom)

c:\ > cd Tom                          (to get into Tom)

c:\Tom> attrib -r *.* /S /D      (To remove the RO flag from all folders and files in Tom recursively) 

Back to Top

Was this article helpful?
5 out of 5 found this helpful


Have more questions? Submit a request
Powered by Zendesk