Disclaimer: We recently redesigned our Admin Area. Your store may look different than the one shown in this video, but most click paths were not affected.

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Transcript

If you follow the steps outlined in our video called "How to Import Store Data", there are still various reasons your file may fail to import. On these occasions, you'll receive an error message which may help you identify the problem. Most failures result from incorrectly formatted data in your CSV file, so we'll discuss possible formatting problems first.

When importing a file, make sure the name of each column corresponds to a field listed for the table you selected under Standard Export. You should also review the file to make sure there are no duplicate column names. Finally, virtual columns may have been included when you initially exported your file; these software-generated fields are marked by two asterisks, and cannot be imported again.

Note the table's unique identifier column, marked with an asterisk, and make sure it's present in the file. Eliminate any duplicate entries in the rows under that column.

Some characters can’t be used anywhere in the file, while others may not be allowed only within certain columns. For example, entries in the Product Code column must be entirely alphanumeric, with the exception of dashes, underscores, and periods. Examine columns like this one for spaces or other invalid characters. Then examine columns that may have multiple values, like Category IDs, to ensure that the values listed are separated by a single comma. Remove any extra commas after the last value in the cell.

Note that programs like Microsoft Excel may not preserve the formatting for existing HTML. Since many Admin Area fields allow HTML entry, be sure to double check all instances of HTML in your file before importing.

Additionally, be mindful of empty cells within your CSV file. It's normal to have these scattered throughout the named columns and rows that contain data, but it's a good practice to delete any columns and rows that are left entirely blank. We recommend removing several of the blank columns after the right-most data column, and several of the blank rows after the bottom row. Simply click and drag to highlight these empty rows or columns, then right-click your mouse and choose Delete. This will help you eliminate superfluous characters or spaces that may have been inserted by Excel.

After deleting the empty columns to the right of your data, it’s also a good practice to make sure the right-most column contains a value in every row. If it doesn't, you can simply move a column with data in every row to the right-most position in your file. Note that any blank values in “Yes/No” columns will default to Yes upon import. A blank value in the Stock Status column will set the value to NULL, which equates to unlimited stock.

If you're importing on a Mac, make sure you save the file in Windows CSV format, as other CSV formats may fail.

Finally, the size of your file can also affect how quickly and successfully data is imported. Files with a large data set are more likely to time out upon import. If this happens, simply break the data into two or more smaller sets in separate files, and import them individually. There is no specific maximum file size, since the import speed depends on numerous factors; however, it's a good idea to keep all files under 10,000 rows of data and 2 megabytes in size.

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