Download this help site
(PDF 82MB)


Bulk changes using import and export

You can update multiple contact records in bulk through a three-stage process: exporting your contacts to a spreadsheet, adjusting the spreadsheet values, and importing the adjusted spreadsheet.


Before you begin this process, you should back up your contact database by exporting it to a spreadsheet. Any existing data in imported fields will be overwritten by the imported data. You cannot undo the importing of contact records.

To update multiple contact records using this process, follow these steps:

  1. Export existing contact records to a spreadsheet.

     Click/tap to view/hide details

    To export contact records to a spreadsheet, follow these steps:

    1. Hover over the Contacts menu and select the List option.
    2. If you want to update only selected contacts, filter the list. You only need to export the records you want to adjust.
    3. Click the Export button. 

    4. On the screen that appears, select the export file format – XLS, CSV, or XML.

    5. Choose which fields to include in the export file. 
    6. Click the Export button.

    While the export file is being generated, you can click the Continue working button and safely switch to another Wild Apricot admin screen.

    Once the file is generated, you'll receive an email with a link to the file.

    If you waited until the export file was generated, the file will be automatically downloaded. As well, a dialog with a link to the file will appear, and an email with the link will be sent to you.


    Before clicking the download link within the email, make sure you are logged into your Wild Apricot account as an administrator.

    You can choose from the following columns:

    • User ID 
    • First name 
    • Last name 
    • Organization 
    • Email 
    • Phone 
    • Password
    • Group participation 
    • Archived 
    • Subscribed to emails 
    • Subscription source
    • Event announcements
    • Member emails and newsletters
    • Administration access
    • Created on
    • Profile last update
    • Updated by
    • Balance
    • Total donated
    • Membership enabled 
    • Membership level 
    • Membership status 
    • Member since
    • Renewal due
    • Renewal date last changed 
    • Level last changed 
    • Access to profile by others
    • Details to show 
    • Photo albums enabled 
    • Member bundle ID or email 
    • Member role 
    • Notes

    ...plus any custom fields you have added.


    Also, the Password column will be exported if you select the Export all fields option. The exported Password column will always be empty, but can be used to import passwords.

    Any date fields that you export will be formatted using the date format that is selected on your  Organization details  screen.

  2. Adjust the exported values.

     Click/tap to view/hide details

    With your contact records exported, you can now open the export file in Excel (or any other spreadsheet program) and adjust the exported values.


    If you want to be able to restore contact records in case of a mistake on your part, you should modify a copy of the exported spreadsheet.

    To simplify the field mapping stage of the process, you might want to delete any columns you don't want to update. Columns not in the spreadsheet will not be updated.

    The only required column when updating existing contact records is email address. You can include additional columns for each field you want to update in your contact database. The names of the columns – the column headings – are not important since you can map each column in the spreadsheet to fields in your contact database as part of the import process.

    If you want to remove a value – leaving it blank rather than replacing it with another value – enter NEVER for system date fields (like Renewal date), and CLEAR for custom fields and for the Group participation and Notes system fields.

    You can archive multiple contacts – by setting the Archived column to Yes – but you cannot delete multiple contacts through importing. Once archived, however, you can delete all the archived records.


    You cannot archive a contact through import if the contact has recurring payments enabled. You must first cancel the recurring payments.

    You can suspend a member by setting the Membership enabled cell to no, and reinstate a suspended member by setting the Membership enabled cell to yes. An empty Membership enabled value indicates that the contact is not and was not a member.

    For many system fields, you are restricted to entering certain values, or to enter values using a certain format. The valid values and formats for system fields and date fields are listed in the Import field guide.

    The following system fields are included in the export file but cannot be updated through importing.

    • Administration access
    • Balance
    • Created on
    • Level last changed
    • Member role
    • Profile last updated
    • Renewal date last change
    • Subscription source
    • Total donated
    • Updated by

    These fields will be ignored during import if present in your import file.

  3. Import the spreadsheet.

     Click/tap to view/hide details

    Once you've finished modifying the spreadsheet, you can use it to update your Wild Apricot contact database.

    To import the spreadsheet, follow these steps:

    1. Hover over the Contacts menu and select the Import option.
    2. Click the Choose file button. 

    3. Select the import file on your computer or network then click the Open button. The file must be in either .xls, .xlsx, .csv, or .xml format, and up to 50 megabytes in size.
    4. Click the Upload button. 

    Wild Apricot will now upload and analyze the import file. So that Wild Apricot can process the file properly, you will be prompted to provide some information about the import file.

    For details on the remaining steps in the import process, see Importing members and other contacts.


You can update only common and membership fields through importing. Other data related to events, donations, and finances can only be exported.

You can also perform mass updates of certain information from within Wild Apricot. You can:

  • Update the privacy settings for all members.
  • Clear the contents of a custom field for all contacts, by deleting the custom field and recreating it again.

You can import existing payments and event registrations into your Wild Apricot database using the Wild Apricot API. For more information, see Payments API V2 call and EventRegistrations API V2 call.