Original Poster
Marc Boulesteix

Help: ImportXML stuck on loading


I'm trying to import the same data from a certain number of youtubers but some cells stuck on loading while other give me the data i'm looking for. 
I don't understand why this is happening, the formula is the same and the different youtubers webpages seem to have the same html structure. 

This is what I get:
http://youtube.com/RoosterTeeth/aboutRooster Teeth8,635,4434,382,278,437
http://youtube.com/BlueXephos/aboutYOGSCAST Lewis & Simon7,369,1533,342,626,668

And this is the formula written in the cells (I take the 3rd row as an example):

In the cell C3: =IMPORTXML(A3;"//*[@id='browse-items-primary']/li/div/div[3]/div/span[1]/b")
In the cell D3: =IMPORTXML(A3;"//*[@id='browse-items-primary']/li/div/div[3]/div/span[2]/b")

Thanks for the answer!
Community content may not be verified or up-to-date. Learn more.
All Replies (6)
Hi Marc,

Thank you for taking the time to post your question to the Google Docs Help Forum.

How many IMPORTXML() formulas do you have on your Google Sheet? If it is a large number, it is possible that some are not being processed because of the processing constraints on the Sheet.

Unfortunately, there is no way to get around these loading limitations on functions.

You may be able to accomplish your parsing with Google Apps Scripts, though. The Script editor is located under "Tools" in the menu. To learn more, please visit the Google Apps Script online documentation for Developers. You may also be interested in joining the Google Apps Script G+ community. If you would like to contract someone to write the code for you, you may also find the Jobs category of the Google Apps Script G+ community a good resource. Some users opt to run a Script to parse websites on command versus relying on the automatic updating of IMPORTXML().

Hope this helps! Please let me know if I can provide further assistance.

Best of luck,
Original Poster
Marc Boulesteix
Hi Samantha,

Thanks for your quick answer. I have more than 1000 IMPORTXML formulas so I guess that it's a limitation problem.  I will check the Google app script and see if I can learn how to do my query. 



Can you tell me if there is a paid version of google sheets that increases the processing capabilities/limitations for things like 1000+ IMPORTXML functions on a single spreadsheet?

Hi Drew,

Thank you for posting to the forum.

I recommend looking into both Google Apps for Work and also Google Cloud. Both of these have additional resources for businesses or organizations that need more than the free consumer products have to offer.

Best regards,
Jason Rosendale
Jason Rosendale
Hi Samantha, 

I've been following the half-dozen threads on this topic for a few weeks now and absolutely agree with your answer -- there does seem to be a throttle on our use of IMPORTXML and related functions. But there is a lot of vague and conflicting information about what those limits are, exactly, and what the limits would be with a Google Apps for Work or Google Cloud account.

Specifically, I've seen a few mentions of a 50-import limit in various reples to these threads. But I can't find any official source for the current existence such a limit. Some very old (2+ year) posts have a link to this page (https://support.google.com/drive/answer/37603?rd=1), which appears to have mentioned a 50-import limit at one time. But the version of the page from Feb 2014 (https://web.archive.org/web/20140217150914/https://support.google.com/drive/answer/37603#) very specifically states that this limit has been completely removed. And there is no official mention, anywhere, of the limit being reinstated (unless your replies on this board are the official statement. :) ).

I have looked over the documentation for Google Apps for Work and Google Cloud. Neither of them mention IMPORT limits at all. Can you tell us what that limit is? I'd hate to sign up for some kind of paid account only to find that there's still a cap of 100 IMPORT statements.

There's a separate matter of whether it is a good idea, from a customer-support perspective, to remove a critical piece of functionality from the google docs application with no warning either beforehand or after the fact. It shakes my faith in the product a bit when I wake up one day and find that we've been forcefully upgraded to something that breaks every document across my organization.

I don't need a response quickly: we've already moved all of our documents to a different system. But you might want to take the time to confirm with someone at Google (if you work for Google? It's not clear to me) that the 50-import limit has been intentionally reinstated. And if it has, they might want to update the documentation so that people know about it. I'm sure other people reading these threads will appreciate it.

I apologize if anything here seems like a personal attack against you. I appreciate you taking the time to answer everyone's questions.

Edit (06/01/2016): I turns out that I was using Google Apps for Work the entire time. So it doesn't look like moving to Google Apps for Work is a good solution to this issue.

Edit 2 (06/07/2016): The workaround I created using the "urlfetch" method within Google Scripts has now also been throttled. I'm receiving the message "Service invoked too many times in a short time: urlfetch rateMax. Try Utilities.sleep(1000) between calls". Using Utilities.sleep between calls doesn't appear to do anything since the calls are made in parallel and not sequentially.
Aaron Weisberg
Aaron Weisberg
I don't know if I'm too late to this discussion, but on my 2nd importXML function on a new sheet, I am getting a perpetual Loading... error.  

I have several other sheets that use the importXML function, so what I'm wondering is, do each of our accounts have a limit to how many importXML calls we can make across all of our sheets?
Were these replies helpful?
How can we improve them?
This question is locked and replying has been disabled. Still have questions? Ask the Help Community.


Some community members might have badges that indicate their identity or level of participation in a community.

Google Employee — Google product team members and community managers
Community Specialist — Google partners who help ensure the quality of community content
Platinum Product Expert — Community members with advanced product knowledge who help other Google users and Product Experts
Gold Product Expert — Community members with in-depth product knowledge who help other Google users by answering questions
Silver Product Expert — Community members with intermediate product knowledge who help other Google users by answering questions
Product Expert Alumni — Former Product Experts who are no longer members of the program
Community content may not be verified or up-to-date. Learn more.


Member levels indicate a user's level of participation in a forum. The greater the participation, the higher the level. Everyone starts at level 1 and can rise to level 10. These activities can increase your level in a forum:

  • Post an answer.
  • Having your answer selected as the best answer.
  • Having your post rated as helpful.
  • Vote up a post.
  • Correctly mark a topic or post as abuse.

Having a post marked and removed as abuse will slow a user's advance in levels.

View profile in forum?

To view this member's profile, you need to leave the current Help page.

Report abuse in forum?

This comment originated in the Google Product Forum. To report abuse, you need to leave the current Help page.

Reply in forum?

This comment originated in the Google Product Forum. To reply, you need to leave the current Help page.

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center