Why is my contact import failing or returning an error?

Last updated: November 8, 2017

This article reviews possible causes for issues when importing 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 file must include email addresses for each contact you are importing. If you've enabled HubSpot's CRM, it is possible to import contacts without an email address, but keep in mind that HubSpot will not be able to deduplicate these contacts automatically. 
  • 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. Learn more here.
  • 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 using one of the methods listed below. Please be aware that Method 1 is preferable, as there may be times UTF-Encoding in Excel does not work as expected.
    • Method 1
      • Open the file in Excel.
      • Navigate to File > Save As.
      • Name the file and select Unicode Text (*.txt) as the type. 
      • Click Save.
      • Open the file in Notepad.
      • Replace all tab characters with commas.
      • Navigate to File > Save As.
      • Name the file and change Encoding to UTF-8.
      • Change the file name extension from .txt to .csv
      • Click 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. Do not save the file in Excel, as this will cause an encoding issue again. If any of the data is erroneous, follow the steps detailed again.
    • Method 2
      • To check this in Excel, open the .csv and click File > Save As.
      • Enter your preferred filename.
      • Click the dropdown menu 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 dropdown menu and select Unicode (UTF-8).
    • You can also try to encode the file via Google docs.

If your import is still unsuccessful, please click the Help button in the bottom right-hand corner of your HubSpot portal for additional assistance.

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