Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customer Center
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Customer Center
Search Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Customer Center

Import contacts

Whether your contacts are stored in an email program, a spreadsheet, or on your phone, you'll probably want to import them into Microsoft Dynamics CRM so you can keep track of the people you do business with all in one place.

Step 1: Get your import file ready

First, you export your contacts into a file.

These file formats are supported:

  • Comma-separated values (.csv)

  • Text (.txt)

  • Compressed (.zip)

  • Excel Spreadsheet 2003 (.xml)

The maximum file size allowed for .zip files is 32 MB. For the other file formats, the maximum file size allowed is 8 MB.


If you need to import a larger amount of data, see the Developer Toolkit for Microsoft Dynamics CRM for additional details.

If you store contacts in more than one program, add your import files to a single .zip file. Then import the .zip file to bring in all the files at once.

Follow the procedure for the program or location where your contacts are stored:

Export contacts from an email program

  1. Export the contacts into a comma separated values file (.csv).

    To find specific steps to export contacts from your email program, open the program's Help, and search for “export.” Look for topics that include “exporting contacts” or “exporting your address book” or “export wizard” in the title.

  2. Save the file in a location where you can find it easily later.

Export contacts from a spreadsheet

  1. Open the spreadsheet.

  2. If necessary, edit any column name in the spreadsheet to match exactly with the corresponding name shown here.


    If the spreadsheet doesn't include all the column names listed, that's okay. However, if a column name does exist, it must match exactly with the corresponding name in the list or the import won't work. Spaces are required. Note that the word “Email” doesn't contain a hyphen.

    Column Name in Spreadsheet (spelling must match exactly)

    First Name

    Middle Name

    Last Name

    Business Phone

    Mobile Phone

    Job Title

    Business Street

    Business City

    Business State

    Business Postal Code

    Business Country/Region

    Email Address

  3. Save the file.

Export contacts from your phone

  1. Use a USB cable or an app to export your contacts from your phone to your computer.

    To find specific steps to export contacts for your brand of phone, search for “export contacts from my phone” in your favorite search engine (like Bing).

    To find an app, search your phone's online store.

Step 2: Import the file

You'll use the Import Data wizard to import your contacts.

  1. Follow the steps for the app you're using.

    If using the CRM web application

    1. On the nav bar, choose Microsoft Dynamics CRM > Settings.

      Settings appears on the nav bar.

    2. Choose Settings > Data Management.

    3. Click or tap Imports.

    If using CRM for Outlook

    1. In the Navigation Pane, click or tap Settings > System > Data Management > Imports.

  2. Click or tap Import Data.

  3. Browse to the folder where you saved the file that contains the export of your contacts. Select the file, then click or tap Open. Click or tap Next.


    You can import only one file at a time. To bring in more files, run the wizard again later, or add all your contacts files to a single .zip file.

  4. Review the file name, and if the file is in .csv or .txt format, verify that the field and data delimiters are correct. Click or tap Next.


    In most cases, you can accept the default delimiters.

  5. Select Default (Automatic Mapping) for the System Data Map. Click or tap Next.

  6. In the Microsoft Dynamics CRMRecord Types drop-down list, select Contacts. Click or tap Next.

  7. For any record type with an alert icon, map the column from your contacts file to the corresponding field in Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Click or tap OK, then click or tap Next.

  8. Review the summary, then click or tap Next.

  9. Click or tap Submit.

  10. To verify that the wizard was successful, click or tap Imports, then review the report. Otherwise, click or tap Finish.

Step 3: Check that the contacts imported successfully

After the wizard finishes, check your list of contacts to make sure they imported correctly.

  1. Click or tap Microsoft Dynamics CRM, then click or tap your role (either Sales, Service, or Marketing).

  2. Click or tap Contacts.

  3. Scroll through the contact list. Check that each person is listed and verify the contents of the fields for accuracy.

Applies To

CRM Online

CRM 2015 on-prem

CRM 2013 on-prem

Was this information helpful?