HowNow Online Import Existing Files

Importing Bulk Files into HowNow

The process of importing existing files into HowNow Online is a three step process:

1. Files are synced from your local server to Azure cloud storage – this sync must consist of only those files that are required to be imported into HowNow Online - files or folders cannot be excluded in the next step. We can only import files for active clients as the API we have for the cloud practice management systems does not allow us to sync across archived or closed clients. 

2. A scan is run over the folders and files to allocate the client name and filters – these are matched as follows:

  • Client– if the client code or client name in HowNow Online exactly matches a folder name, the system will allocate the client to the folder
  • Filter – if the filter in HowNow Online exactly matches a folder name, the system will allocate the folder to the filter

Once this process has run, a report is produced which enables manual matching of any clients or filters that were not allocated during the scan.

3. When all items have a client/filter allocated the import process commences – during this time users can access HowNow Online and any files as they are uploaded.

Going live with HowNow Online - the import transition period 

As we can not guarantee a time frame for the files to be imported into HowNow Online, due to internet speed and what might come up as errors in the meta data report we recommend the following for working through the transition period where files will be save in two places. 

Set a Go Live date for HowNow Online within the firm - users will be trained and will start saving any newly created files into HowNow. It is important that no files are saved into the old document management system and the import to HowNow Online will be started by one of our support team. If needed, users can copy a file from the old document management system and add to HowNow Online (we recommend changing the title to add an identifier such as 'updated' to easily be able to identify the latest version when the old file is imported to HowNow Online). The import will then take place and all files will appear in HowNow Online when completed. 

Sample time frame for these steps


Internet Upload Speed

Size of Uploads

Approximate time

Time per gb

Sync files from your local server



33 hours

18 mins

Import from cloud storage into HowNow



71 hours

40 mins



Internet speed is upload speed (not download speed) – internet speed can be variable at any given time during the day or night, it will depend on the contention ratio. This is the ratio of potential maximum users on the internet to actual bandwidth available to them all.

Size of uploads is the total size of all files to be uploaded – variations in upload speed can occur depending on the actual file sizes.

Approximate time is based on our experiences to date, again this is variable and depends on some of the factors outlined.

We do not recommend syncing files on an internet connection that does not have at least a 5gb upload speed - the internet connection must be business grade.

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