Import contacts

Dynamics CRM 2016

Updated: November 1, 2016

Applies To: Dynamics 365 (online), Dynamics 365 (on-premises), Dynamics CRM 2013, Dynamics CRM 2015, Dynamics CRM Online, Dynamics CRM 2016

Whether your contacts are stored in an email program, a spreadsheet, or on your phone, here’s how to import them into Microsoft Dynamics 365 so you have all your business contact information in Dynamics 365.


You can also use the new Data Loader service (preview feature) to import bulk data. More information:  Preview feature: Import bulk data with the Data Loader

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 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:

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

  1. Go to Settings > Data Management.

  2. Click Imports.

  3. Click Import Data.

  4. Browse to the folder where you saved the file that contains the export of your contacts. Select the file, and then click Open. Click 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.

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


    In most cases, you can accept the default delimiters.

  6. Select Default (Automatic Mapping) for the System Data Map. Click Next.

  7. In the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Record Types drop-down list, select Contacts. Click Next.

  8. For any record type with an alert icon, map the column from your contacts file to the corresponding field in Microsoft Dynamics 365. Click OK, and then click Next.

  9. Review the summary, and then click Next.

  10. Click Submit.

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

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

  1. Select your role (either Sales, Service, or Marketing). Go to Contacts.

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

Want to see visuals of importing contacts? Check out this eBook.