Add or update multiple users from a CSV file

Before people on your team can sign in and use your organization's Google services (for example, G Suite or Cloud Identity), they need a user account. If you have many users, you can add their accounts all at once from a spreadsheet.

Before you begin

  • Make sure this is the right option: Upload users with a spreadsheet only if you're adding up to 150,000 users. However, if you have an LDAP server, such as Microsoft® Active Directory®, or have programming skills, we recommend other options for larger organizations. For details, go to Options for adding users.
  • Make sure you have enough licenses (Annual Plan only): Before you add users, you might need to add licenses to your account. Learn how to get more licenses.
New update being released: These instructions describe an updated version of this feature, which is currently rolling out to customers. If your organization’s account doesn’t yet have this update, your interface will appear slightly different.

 

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Add users from a spreadsheet

Step 1: Download the template file
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Users.
  3. At the top of the page, click Bulk update users.

  4. Download blank CSV template to download a comma-separated values (.csv) file.
  5. Open the CSV file in a spreadsheet application, such as Google Sheets or Microsoft® Excel.

    The file has columns for the attributes that can appear in each user's profile. Profiles appear in the Admin console and users' Contacts manager.

Step 2: Enter users' information
  1. For each user you want to add, enter the following required information in these columns in the spreadsheet:
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • Email Address—Use the format username@example.com
    • Password—Must be at least 8 characters. 
    • Org Unit Path—Enter a / (forward slash) if you want to place users in your top-level organizational unit. You might do this if you haven't yet set up an organizational hierarchy in the Admin console.

      For details on placing users in other organizational units, go to the format guidelines below.

      Your spreadsheet should look like something like this:

  2. (Optional) Fill in the other columns only if you want. Otherwise, you can leave them blank.

    Go to the format guidelines below for help with entering information in columns, especially:

    • Multiple values in a column
    • Values with commas or line breaks, such as a physical address
Step 3: Save the file

After you've filled in the spreadsheet, save it as a CSV file (.csv). 

Notes:

  • Maximum CSV file size is 35 MB.
  • Maximum number of records per file is 150,000.

    If your file is larger or has too many records, open it in your spreadsheet program, split the table into separate files, and save each one as a CSV file. Make sure you include the column headings row in all CSV files.

  • To upload non-ASCII or double byte usernames, first save the CSV file in UTF-8, including BOM.
Step 4: Upload the file
  1. After you've filled in the spreadsheet, save it as a CSV file.
  2. At the top of the Users page, click Bulk update users.
  3. Click Attach CSV file.
  4. Browse to the location on your computer and attach the CSV file.
  5. Click Upload. If there's an error, enter the missing information in your spreadsheet and upload the file again. For more information, go to common errors below.

    Your Tasks list opens automatically and shows the progress of the upload. Once processing is complete, you'll receive an email report.

    If there's a processing error, download the log file from your Tasks list. For more information, go to  common errors below.

It can take up to 24 hours for new users to have access to G Suite services and appear in the global Directory. Learn more about the global Directory.

Follow spreadsheet format guidelines

General guidelines
If you want to... Follow these guidelines...
Enter multiple values in a column For multiple values in a single column, such as phone numbers and email addresses, separate them with a comma (but no spaces)—for example: username1@domain.com,username2@domain.com
Enter values with commas, line breaks, or double quotes Enclose the values in double quotation marks—for example, "123 Anystreet, Anytown"
Upload non-ASCII or double byte usernames Be sure to save the CSV file in UTF-8 so the usernames are readable.
Add more columns You can enter information only in the columns available in the downloaded file. You can't add new columns, such as those for custom attributes.
Upload existing users If you enter the email address or email alias of an existing user in the Email Address column, the existing user's account will be updated with any changes you make to their information in the other columns. 
Column reference

Required columns

Column Description/Format
First Name / Last Name A first name and last name can each have up to 60 characters.
Email Address The user's sign-in name. Enter the full email address: username@example.com
Password Passwords are case sensitive. By default, a password must have at least 8 characters. You can change password requirements for your organization.

If you're updating existing users and you don't want to change their passwords, enter **** (4 asterisks).

Org Unit Path

For placing users in an organizational unit.

If you haven't yet set up an organizational hierarchy: Enter a  / (forward slash) only to place all users in the top-level parent organizational unit. You can move users to other organizational units you create later.

If you've already set up an organizational hierarchy: Use the format in the following examples​ to place each user in an organizational unit—in either your top-level parent organizational unit or a child organizational unit below it.

Examples:

  • / (for the top-level parent - don't enter your domain name)
  • /Sales (for a child below the top-level parent)
  • /Students/First Grade

 

Optional columns

Column Format
Password Hash Function [Upload Only]

Specify one of the following supported hash functions: MD5, SHA-1, or crypt.

The Password column must contain the hashed password. For example, if you use SHA-1 and the hash of password abc is xyz, enter xyz in the Password column.

Tip: You can find utilities on the web to generate hashed passwords using the supported hash functions.

Recovery Email and Recovery Phone

For providing recovery information used for login challenges.

  • Recovery email—An email address outside of your domain.
  • Recovery phone—Must be in the E.164 format. They must start with the plus sign (+), followed by the country code, area code, and phone number. Entries can have a maximum of 15 digits. Example: +16505551212.

  • Employee ID—Some login challenges ask users to enter their employee ID. The ID can contain numbers, letters, and symbols. For details, go to Add employee ID as a login challenge.
Work/Home Address If you include commas or line breaks in an address, enclose the address in double quotation marks—for example, "123 Anystreet, Anytown"
New Primary Email [Upload Only] For editing existing user accounts only. Specify a new primary email address (username).
Building ID, Floor Name, and Floor Section To enter this information, follow these guidelines.
Change Password at Next Sign-In To require a user to change their password the next time they sign in to their account, enter TRUE. Otherwise, leave the column empty or enter FALSE.
New Status [Upload Only] For editing existing user accounts only. To archive or suspend a user, enter Archived or Suspended. To unarchive or restore a suspended user, enter Active.
New Licenses [Upload Only] For editing existing user accounts only. To assign a different license to a user, enter the SKU ID for the license. Separate multiple license IDs with commas—for example: 1010020020,Google-Drive-storage-20GB,1010330002

Resolve common errors

Errors when you upload your CSV file
Error Cause/Solution
File is empty Your file doesn't contain any information.
Incorrect file format or unknown column name The columns in your file should be titled First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Password, and Org Unit Path.  
File must have the "column name" column A required column is missing.
Empty "column name" in row nn A column that requires information is empty in a specific row.

For example, you'll see the error Empty "Org Unit Path [Required]" in row 2 if you didn't enter the organizational unit in which you want the place a user's account. Go to Org Unit Path above.

File is too large to upload The CSV file is over 35 MB or there are more than 150,000 records in the file. Open the file and split the table into separate files. Save each one as a CSV file. Make sure you include the column headings row in all CSV files.
"Email Address [Required]" contains reserved username in row nn Certain accounts are reserved and can't be created—for example, abuse and postmaster.
Errors in the log file
Error Cause/Solution
ACTION FAILED:  Validation An entry contains unsupported characters. For help, go to Username and group name guidelines.
ACTION FAILED: UNKNOWN ERROR Most likely, a temporary error occurred. Try uploading the CSV file again, or uploading items in smaller batches. This error can also occur if you've entered an incorrect domain name in a user's email address (after the @ sign) in the Email Address column.
ACTION FAILED: INSUFFICIENT LICENSES Your organization's Google account doesn't have enough licenses for all the new users in your CSV file. Accounts are added starting from the top row until there are no more licenses available. You can purchase more licenses and then upload the remaining users in the CSV file.
ACTION FAILED: OU INVALID

This error usually means one of the following:

  • The Org Unit Path column isn't formatted correctly.
  • One or more organizational units you entered don't exist in the Admin console. Make sure the organizational unit names match those in your organizational hierarchy in the Admin console.
ACTION FAILED: USER NAME INVALID The email address (user name) in the Email Address column isn't formatted correctly. Make sure you enter the user's full email address. Also check for spaces in the address.  
ACTION FAILED: PERMISSION DENIED The user's email address in the Email Address column includes a domain name (after the @ symbol) that's not associated with your organization's Google account. Make sure you entered the domain name in the email address correctly.
ACTION FAILED: PASSWORD HASH FUNCTION INVALID The Password Hash Function column contains an incorrect hash function name.
ACTION FAILED: UPDATE USER LICENSES FAILED One or more SKU IDs in the New License column couldn't be updated for the user. Ensure that the SKU IDs are correct and the column is formatted correctly for multiple SKU IDs.
ACTION FAILED: ONLY VFE ALLOWED The user currently has a Vault Former Employee (VFE) license, but the New License column contains a SKU ID for a license other than the VFE. You can't add another license type to a user with a VFE license.
ACTION FAILED: UNASSIGNABLE LICENSE The New License column contains a SKU ID for a product for which you don't have a subscription.
ACTION FAILED: MULTIPLE LICENSES IN SAME PRODUCT The New License column contains multiple SKU IDs for the same product—for example, multiple Drive storage SKUs. 
ACTION FAILED: REPEATED SKU ASSIGNMENTS FOR USER The New License column contains the same SKU ID 2 or more times.
ACTION FAILED: SKU SWITCH RESTRICTED The New License column contains a SKU ID for a product that your current subscription doesn't let you upgrade or downgrade to.
ACTION FAILED: UPDATING DELETED USER The New License column contains a SKU ID, but the user account is deleted.
Errors in your Tasks list
Error Cause/Solution
Internal error Google systems encountered an error while processing a request. Please try again later. If you continue to receive this error, contact support.
Formatting or other errors Visit our G Suite Administrator Community for quick answers from fellow administrators.

Update existing user accounts

Edit accounts with a spreadsheet

You can save time when you need to edit multiple accounts by downloading a list of accounts from the Admin console. 

Before you begin

  • Any information in columns you can edit replaces existing information in the Admin console when you upload the file.
  • For columns you don't want to change, you can either delete them (if the column isn't required), leave their information in the file, or delete their information.
  • If you delete all information from a column that's not required, but leave the column in the spreadsheet, the existing information is not removed from the user's account when you upload the file.
  • If you don't want to change a user's password, make sure the Password column contains the symbols **** (4 asterisks).
  • If you don't want to edit a specific user's information, you can leave their row in the spreadsheet or remove it. If you remove all of a user's information in the file, their account is not deleted.
  • To change a user's username, enter the new email address in the column New Primary Email.
  • If you've changed the primary domain for your G Suite account, see Rename user addresses in bulk after changing your primary domain for specific instructions.

To edit several user accounts

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Users.
  3. At the top of the page, click Bulk update users.

  4. Click Download user info in CSV file to download a comma-separated values (.csv) file with all user accounts.

    Your Tasks list opens automatically and shows the progress of the download.

  5. Under Your Tasks, click Download CSV.
  6. Open the CSV file in a spreadsheet application, such as Google Sheets or Microsoft® Excel.

    The file has columns for the attributes in each user's profile. 

  7. Edit the information in the file.
  8. After you've filled in the spreadsheet, save it as a CSV file.
  9. At the top of the Users page, click Bulk update users.
  10. Click Attach CSV file.
  11. Browse to the location on your computer and attach the CSV file.
  12. Click Upload.
  13. If there's an error, enter the missing information in your spreadsheet and upload the file again. For more information, go to common errors.

    Your Tasks list opens automatically and shows the progress of the upload. Once processing is complete, you'll receive an email report.

  14. If there's a processing error, download the log file from your Tasks list. For more information, go to  common errors.

Sync user data with your LDAP server

If you have an LDAP server, such as Microsoft® Active Directory® , you can use Google Cloud Directory Sync to synchronize your Google users, groups, and shared contacts to match the information in your LDAP server.

 

Want someone to do this for you? Get professional help with setup.

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