Add multiple users with a CSV file

You can add multiple user accounts to Office 365 at the same time with a CSV (comma-separated values) file.

  1. Click Admin > Office 365 > Users and groups.
  2. Click Bulk add Bulk add.

The wizard steps you through adding a group of users at once. Be sure that you include (at a minimum) a complete email address (like bob@contoso.com) and a display name (like Bob Kelly) in your CSV file for each user. All column headings are required. Users aren't added until you finish going through all of the steps of the wizard.

More information


Not sure what a CSV file is?

A CSV file is an easy way to transfer a large amount of data between programs. It is a plain-text file that stores database-style information in a special format. The format requires column headings in the first row, followed by rows of data. Each row must contain one record, and each field must be separated by commas.

The best way to learn about the CSV format is to use the blank template or sample CSV file:

  • Download the file:    Click Admin, click Users and groups, and then click Bulk add Bulk add. On the first page of the Bulk add users wizard, click the download link.
  • Edit the file:    You can edit the file in a text editor, such as Notepad.
  • Look at the format:    The template contains the headings (the user data column label), which is the first row in the sample CSV file. You add each record (user) to a separate line under the heading. The sample file is an example of a correctly formatted CSV file, and you can replace the example data with your user information. It's important not to add, change, or delete any of the column headings or else Office 365 might not be able to create users from the information in the file.
  • Separate values with commas:    You must use a comma between each of the fields (user's first name, last name, and so on).
  • Save the file with a new name:    Save the file with a new name for each CSV file that you create. Be sure to use the .csv file extension.

Tips for CSV formatting

  • What if I don’t have all the information required for each user?    The User Name and Display Name are required, and you cannot add a new user without this information. If you don't have some of the other information, such as Fax, you can use a space plus a comma to indicate that the field should remain blank.
  • How small or large can the CSV file be?    The CSV file must have at least two rows. One is for the column headings (the user data column label) and one for the user. You cannot have more than 251 rows. If you need to import more than 250 users, you can create more than one CSV file.
  • What languages can I use?    When you create a CSV file, you can enter user data column labels in any language or characters, but you must not change the order of the labels, as shown in the sample. You can then make entries into the fields, using any language or characters, and save your file in a Unicode or UTF-8 format.
  • Are you adding users from different countries or regions?    If so, use separate CSV files for each area. You'll step through the bulk import wizard for each CSV file, giving a single location of all users included in the file that you're working with.
  • Is there a limit to the number of characters I can use?    The following table shows the user data column labels and maximum character length for each in the sample CSV file.
User data column label Maximum character length
User Name (Required) The maximum total length of the user name is 79 characters (including @ symbol), in the format name@domain.<extension>. The user’s alias cannot exceed 30 characters, and the domain name cannot exceed 48 characters.
First Name 64
Last Name 64
Display Name (Required) 256
Job Title 64
Department 64
Office Number 128
Office Phone 64
Mobile Phone 64
Fax 64
Address 1023
City 128
State or Province 128
ZIP or Postal Code 40
Country or Region 128

Troubleshoot problems

  • Double-check that the file is formatted correctly.    Check the column headings to make sure they match the headings in the sample file. Make sure you're following the rules for character lengths, and that each field is separated by a comma.
  • Use a simple text editor when you create or edit your CSV file.    Simple text editors, like Notepad, are less likely to let weird characters or other bad formatting get included by accident.
  • If you don’t see the new users right away, wait a few minutes.    It can take a little while for changes to go across all the services in Office 365.
 
 
Applies to:
Office 365 Enterprise admin, Office 365 Midsize Business admin, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise admin, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet - Midsize Business admin