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How to Use the Import Data Wizard in Microsoft Dynamics 365?

As you make your move towards a more efficient CRM from Microsoft, you will have to import your existing data into Microsoft Dynamics 365.

You might have data stored in different formats and different applications like spreadsheets and different devices like your PDA (personal digital assistant), laptops, mobile phones, and so on. Integrating all types of customer information from varied sources can take a lot of time and careful consolidation.

Fortunately, Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides an import wizard that saves you a lot of time and manual labor that you might have to expend otherwise to transfer all your data into the new system. Here is a brief guide on the useful Data Import Wizard feature and instructions on how you can import your data in Microsoft Dynamics 365.

If you are looking for another way to import your data, see our article on How to Import Data with Microsoft Dynamics 365.

What Is An Import Data Wizard In Microsoft Dynamics 365?

The Import Data Wizard from Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a useful utility feature that lets you import large sets of data from third-party applications, connectors, and custom code into your Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. You can access this tool from the Data management Settings.

Wizard wearing a black cloak and holding a wooden cane with a skull on the top... exactly how we picture the Import Data Wizard!


The major function of the Import Data Wizard is to make data imports easy, fast, and accurate. The Import Data Wizard provides an easy-to-use interface to upload data source files and import the contained data to Dynamics 365. You can upload source files of varying formats like XML, CSV, TXT, .XLS, and even upload multiple files at once in compressed .zip formats.

Once uploaded, you can set the data configuration settings for accurate field mappings and get the relevant data transferred into your Microsoft Dynamics 365 data records. You get additional features like:

  • Import order
  • Duplicate detection
  • Error handling for failed rows
  • Data import reverts
  • Data import templates
  • And more to make data imports easy, efficient, and faster.


The import data wizard in Microsoft Dynamics 365 provides a simple interface to carry out most of your data migration needs with little effort. You save a lot of time that would otherwise go into manual data entry and any subsequent error fixes.

It supports multiple data formats allowing you to consolidate data from various sources and easily integrate them with your unified Dynamics 365 database. It aids in faster implementation of your CRM solution and helps keep your data up to date and accurate. Sounds almost magical, no ?

What Data Can You Import In Microsoft Dynamics 365?

Data Format

Before you import your data into Microsoft Dynamics 365, it is recommended to prepare it and export it into any of the file formats supported such as:

  • Excel Workbook
  • Comma-separated values
  • XML spreadsheet 2003

The Import Data Wizard allows you to import data from multiple source files and support multiple entity types. You will also need to be ready with the data maps to configure the mappings to transform the source file data into record fields.

Every column in the source file should be mapped to a corresponding appropriate data field. Data columns that are not mapped will not be imported.

Maximum Capacity Files

When uploading a single source file for data import, the maximum size allowed is 8 MB. The recommended row size for each source file is 20,000 or lesser.

When you upload multiple source files bundled into a .zip format, the maximum file size allowed is 32 MB.

So when you have to import large volumes of data, you may end up running The Import Wizard multiple times for each batch. Hence it is recommended that you choose a programmatic way to import large data sizes. Importing data programmatically can also help you gain access to features like:

  • Viewing stored source data
  • Error logs
  • Data maps that allow for complex transformational mapping. Say you want to combine first name and last name into a single data field, you can do so with concatenation operation with the help of programmatic data import.  

The import data wizard may not be a suitable choice for working with massive loads of data. But it is a convenient tool if you want to update data fields from small data files quickly.

From Which Source?

The import data wizard tool can import data files from your email program, spreadsheets and can be used on mobile devices as well.

How To Use Microsoft Dynamics 365 Import Data Wizard?

Here are the steps to using the Dynamics 365 import data wizard:

Step 1: Prepare Your Import Data File Ready

Export the data from your email program, spreadsheet, or phone to a supported file format.

Email Program

Export your email contacts to CSV file by using the export option to export your contacts and address book.


Edit your spreadsheet column names to match the contact information schema. Make sure the spelling is as shown below.

  • 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

Save the file once you have made the required column name changes.


Export your contacts with any of the inbuilt apps or contact export apps from the online store.

Step 2: Import The File

From the Power Platform Admin Center, go to Environment > Settings > Data  Management > Data Import Wizard.

Snapshot of the Settings menu in environments, where to access the data import wizard

Import the file by selecting Import From Excel/ Import from CSV / Import from XML as required depending on the data source file. Upload the file.

If uploading an XML file, you can select an Alternate Key for updating existing rows.

Step 3: Review Mapping

Select Review Mapping option > Review Mapping Page to set the appropriate column mappings to the data fields.

The Primary Columns section of the page will list down the required columns that must be mapped. This list will also include any alternate key you have selected. If your column names match the data field names, they will be automatically matched. You can review these mappings and make edits to them as needed.

You can choose to ignore or include the Optional Columns.

Set up the necessary value configurations as required for columns with fixed values by selecting it to be an Option Set type of column under the Choice Mapping section. You can also use the Look Up Reference section to find any existing associated account or contact data while importing your data files.

Once you have reviewed mappings, you can select Finish Import to initiate the data import.

How To Check The Import Status Of Your Data In Microsoft Dynamics 365?

To check the data import status in Microsoft Dynamics 365, go to your Contacts and go through your Contact List. You can check if all the contact data has been appropriately imported from your source files and verify the correctness.

Data imports can be easy, but make a mistake with field mappings, use wrong file formats, use mismatching columns, and you may not be able to import all your data successfully. Using some guidance will help you ensure that all data you import with the Import Data Wizard in Microsoft Dynamics 365 will be successful and accurate.

Are you feeling stuck while trying to import your data in Dynamics CRM? Contact Gestisoft today.

Cat stuck in a backpack... poor love!
Cat stuck in a backpack... poor love!

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October 05, 2021 by Lukas Vézina Marketing Content Specialist

Marketing specialist working at Gestisoft since 2017, I firmly believe any subject can be interestingly presented. It just takes empathic and creative storytelling.