Why is my contact import failing or returning an error?

Last updated: February 15, 2017

Available For:

Marketing: Basic, Pro, Enterprise
Sales: Free, Professional

This article reviews possible causes for issues when importing lists of contacts.

  • Your import file must be saved as a .csv file to be compatible with the HubSpot Import tool.
  • You can only import up 250,000 contacts per .csv file. HubSpot does not have a file size limit on imports; however, it's important to note that the request to import may time out if the speed of your internet connection does not allow you to upload a large file. 
  • Your CSV must include email addresses for each contact you are importing.
  • You cannot import values for IP Address or Create Date.
  • All columns in the CSV file must have headers to indicate which contact property the column refers to.
  • If any of the columns you've selected for import do not correspond with a property or property value in HubSpot, you need to create a property to store the information in that column.
  • All responses to questions on the Confirm list validity screen must be true for the import to proceed.
  • Confirm that your CSV file is UTF-8 encoded. To ensure that your CSV file is UTF-8 encoded you can follow the methods listed below.

Please be aware that there may be times UTF-Encoding in Excel does not work as expected, therefore the second method is preferable.

  • Method 1
    • To check this in Excel, open the CSV and click File > Save As.
    • Enter your preferred filename.
    • Click the drop-down beside Save as File Type and make sure CSV (comma-delimited) is selected.
    • Click the Tools button at the bottom of the window and choose Web Options.
    • Go to the Encoding tab.
    • Under "Save this document as," click the drop-down menu and choose Unicode (UTF-8).
  • Method 2: You can also create an UTF-8 based .csv file using Excel and Notepad.
    • Open the Excel file > navigate to Menu > Save As > Name the file and select Unicode Text (*.txt) as the type to Save as > Click Save.
    • Open the file in Notepad. You will have to replace all tab characters with commas.
    • Go to File > Save As > name the file > change Encoding to UTF-8 > on the file name, change the extension from .txt to .csv > Save.
    • Review the icon on the file, as it should now be a MS Excel icon.
    • Open the newer .csv file in Excel and review the data only. Do not save the file in Excel as it will present an enconding issue once more. If any of the data is erroneous, follow the steps just detailed again.
  • You can also try to encode the file via Google docs.

If any of the above possibilities do not answer your question, please contact HubSpot Support by clicking on the Help button in the bottom, right-hand corner of your HubSpot portal.