Import customer and supplier contacts into Xero

Import your customer and supplier contacts into Xero using a CSV or TXT file you've created, or exported from another system or Xero organisation. If you already have contacts in Xero you can import additional contacts or make changes to existing contacts.

Image showing small blue information icon. Importing contacts is one way to enter them in Xero. Other ways are:

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Importing contacts Video (2.28) Importing contacts

Contact import

Points to note about importing contacts

Image showing small green tick. You can't import contacts directly into a particular group. Allocate contacts to a group after you import them.

Image showing small green tick. Xero displays contacts in alphabetical order, regardless of the order they appear on the import file.

Image showing small green tick. Enter customers and suppliers on the same import file. Xero automatically classifies the contacts when you enter invoices and bills for them.

Image showing small green tick. You can import up to 1000 contacts per file. If you have more than 1000 contacts to import, create separate files and import them.

Create your import file

Contacts need to be imported into Xero on a CSV or TXT file using the Xero template. Xero can then map the values in your file to the correct contact fields in Xero.

You can create your import file in 2 ways:

Download a blank template

Follow this process if you are creating your contacts import file from scratch, or transferring contacts from another accounting system.

  1. From the main header, select Contacts, then All Contacts.
  2. Click Import.
    Image showing contacts import button.
  3. Click Download template file.
    Image showing template download link.

Xero will download the template file to your computer. You can now enter or copy your contacts into the CSV template file.
Enter or copy your contacts into your import file

Export a contact file from Xero to use as a template

Use this method to create your import file if you are importing contacts from another Xero organisation, or adding to or editing your contacts in your current Xero organisation.

Enter or copy your contacts into your import file

You can use a spreadsheet program or text editor to add or edit your contacts in the import file. We'll use a spreadsheet program in our examples.

Image showing contacts CSV template file.

To make changes to the import file:

  1. Navigate to the downloaded file on your computer and open it.
  2. To add a contact, enter details in a blank row (either at the end of the file or a new row you have inserted).

    Only the Name field is mandatory. Each name must be unique.

  3. To edit a contact, make changes in the appropriate column.

    Ensure the header row is in place and you do not delete any columns. If you don't want data in a column, just leave it blank.

  4. Check the tips for creating your contacts import file to ensure the data will import correctly.
  5. When you have completed the import file, save it as CSV or TXT file format ready for importing into Xero.
    Import your contacts file

Tips for creating your contacts import file

Image showing small green tick. Data entered in the EmailAddress, FirstName and LastName columns will populate as the primary person for your contact. Enter additional people in Xero after the contact has been imported.
Primary person and additional people

Image showing small green tick. Columns requiring data in a specific format are:

Tips for updating existing contacts

If you have exported contacts from an existing Xero organisation so you can update them, take note of the tips above for creating your contacts file, as well as the following tips.

Image showing small green tick. If you change the Name field for a contact on the import file, Xero will create a new contact. If you need to change a contact's name, do this in Xero.
How to update a contact's details

Image showing small green tick. If you change the EmailAddress, FirstName or LastName fields for a contact, this will overwrite the primary person's details in Xero.

Image showing small green tick. Additional people's names and email addresses are not included in the exported file and are not affected by the import.

Image showing small green tick. If you import a new email address for an existing contact who is a recipient of repeating invoices, the repeating invoice template will not be updated. You will need to update this separately.
Changing email addresses on repeating invoices

Image showing small green tick. You can't delete, archive, merge or restore contacts through the import process.
Archive and restore contacts
Merge contacts

Import your contacts file into Xero

  1. Make sure you've saved your import file in CSV or TXT format.
  2. From the main header, select Contacts, then All Contacts.
  3. Select Import.
    Image showing contacts import button.
  4. Click Browse and select the saved import file on your computer.
    Image showing import options.
  5. Indicate how you want Xero to handle empty fields on import. Click Import.
  6. Review the information to be imported. When you are satisfied that it is correct, click Complete Import.
    Image showing information to be imported.

Once the import is complete, your contacts will display on the All tab in Contacts. From there, you can create groups, update information, merge, archive or start entering transactions for your contacts.