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Upload CSV files to Looker Studio

Add data from any source to Looker Studio.

You can bring data into Looker Studio from almost any source by uploading CSV (comma-separated values) files. File upload lets you report on data not supported by a specific connector.

In this article:

How file upload works

When you upload a file, you add that file to a "data set." You can then create a data source based on that data set.

Uploading data to Looker Studio using file upload is free.

The data sets you create belong to you and are not shareable; however the data sources you create that are based on your data sets can be shared and edited like any other. This means your data sets can be used in shared data sources and reports, but only you can access the data set itself.

You can upload multiple files to a data set. When you add new files, that data gets appended to the data set. This makes it easy to update your data as time goes on.

Uploaded data is appended (added to) existing data, not merged with it. You should take care to avoid uploading duplicate records if this would cause inaccuracies in your reports.

Your uploaded data is stored in Google Cloud Storage. There are many benefits to this including the ability to access and download your data from the cloud, and to use other Google Cloud services with your data.

Learn more about Google Cloud Storage.

Upload file format

You should be sure that the files you upload are correctly formatted. Otherwise, errors might occur during the upload, or your data may not look right in your reports.

Probably the most common cause of content errors is improper use of separators, quote marks and line break characters in the uploaded data. Understanding how file upload handles these can save you trouble down the road.

UTF-8 encoding

Your upload file should be in UTF-8 encoding. This is a standard encoding for most applications on the web. However, if you are exporting data from certain desktop product, such as Microsoft Excel™, you may need to convert your file to UTF-8 before uploading using Looker Studio.

Only tabular data

File upload can only import files of tabular data. This means your files must have a regular structure of rows and columns. Each row must have the same number of columns, even if data is missing for a particular cell in the table. Trying to upload a file with merged cells, or an inconsistent structure will fail with an upload error.

Every file you upload to a given data set must have exactly the same structure, with the same fields in the same order.

If you need to add or delete fields in an existing data set, you must delete all the previously uploaded files before uploading files with the new structure. (Or create a new data set using the new file structure.)


All the fields in your data must be separated from each other by commas.

If there are commas within the actual data in a field you want to upload, that field must be surrounded by quotes. If your data includes double quotes, you can use a single quote character to surround the field.

Header row

The first line in your file must be a header row. This row will tell Looker Studio how to name your fields. Field names must be unique, so you can't have duplicate values in your header row.

Column names must:

  • Contain only letters, numbers, or underscores. Other punctuation or special characters are not allowed.
  • Start with a letter or underscore
  • Be at most 128 characters long

The header row must also follow the rules for separators mentioned above.

Line breaks

Each line in the file must end with a line break. File upload does not support line breaks in your data even if these are escaped by quotes.

Limits of file upload

File upload is subject to the following limits:

  • 1000 data sets per user
  • 2GB total storage per user
  • 100 uploads per data set per day
  • 100MB file size limit per data set

About data sources

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Learn about new features and recent changes. Looker Studio release notes live on Google Cloud.

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