How to Import WordPress Users from CSV, Excel, or XML
To import users, go to WP All Import › New Import, upload your file, then select Users from the dropdown list. Use the Drag & Drop interface to set up the import and execute it.
Step 1: Create a New Import for WordPress Users
Go to All Import › New Import and upload your file. Choose to import Users, then click Continue to Step 2.
Step 2: Review the WordPress Users Import File
The Review Import File interface allows you to confirm whether the incoming data has been correctly interpreted:
You can view the user information here. The import has detected 839 records. You can use the gray arrows to navigate between these records.
When uploading a CSV file, you can select the field delimiter to use. When uploading an Excel or XML file, you can instead select the node to import.
The data looks good so click Continue to Step 3.
Step 3: Map the Incoming Data Elements to the WordPress User Fields
The Drag & Drop interface allows you to map the incoming data elements to their target fields. To do so, simply drag the data elements from the Available Data section on the right to the appropriate fields on the left. We are only showing a few of the mappings here to simplify the screenshot, but there should be mappings to all the fields in the User Account Info section.
You can map the remaining user data in the Other User Info panel, as well as custom fields in the Custom Fields panel.
Once you've mapped all the relevant data elements to target fields, click the blue Continue to Step 4 button at the bottom.
Step 4: Configure Remaining Import WordPress Users Settings
The Import Settings screen allows you to configure some important import options:
- Click the Auto-detect button. This will automatically identify a unique identifier for each incoming user.
- You do not have to worry about this set of options for an import of new users. But if you re-run this import, this set of options lets you instruct WP All Import on how to handle issues such as whether the import should delete or update existing and previously imported users.
- Keep the Block email notifications during import option enabled to avoid sending WordPress email notifications to the imported users.
- Click Continue.
Step 5: Run the Import and Verify Imported Users
The Confirm and Run screen allow you to confirm the selected settings before running the import:
You can review the Import Summary section to confirm that the import settings are correct.
Click Confirm & Run Import to run the import. When it completes, you will see this screen:
This means that the import was completed successfully. To confirm that everything worked as expected, navigate to Users › All Users in the WordPress main menu. There, you should see all of your imported users:
Import WordPress Users Advanced Topics
Understanding WordPress User Passwords
To be secure, passwords should never be passed electronically between parties as plaintext. The reason for this is simple: if the file containing the passwords is intercepted, it can compromise the security of an entire website.
For this reason, WP All Export does not export the password itself. Instead, it exports a hash value for the password. Hashing is a one-way action that irreversibly scrambles a string of text. For example, a password like "Jackson7514" might become a hash value like "$P$BTCi9K8fpdALKni8kbbiyxi2IoStY71".
If you attempt to import this data back into WordPress, you will see only these hash values. Furthermore, it is not possible to reverse the hashing process to reveal the original password.
You may wonder, then, how your imported users will be able to log in. Not to worry. While we humans can't unscramble a hashed value, WordPress can fully understand it. As a result, imported users will still be able to log in using their old passwords.
If you do receive a user import file that contains a plaintext password, no problem. WP All Import can handle this, too. You just have to disable the This is a hashed password from another WordPress site checkbox:
Bulk Editing User Information
Sometimes, we need to make changes to an entire subset of data. For example, maybe you're not happy with your current user roles and you wish to change all Contributors into Authors. Or perhaps you're using a custom role plugin and decide to change your entire role structure.
You can obviously use the WordPress interface to change the role assignments one at a time, but this is monotonous and time-consuming.
An alternative is to use a bulk edit process as follows:
- Export the users you wish to change.
- Open the export file in a spreadsheet, where it is easy to perform bulk changes using copy and paste, search-and-replace functions, etc.
- After you've made your changes to the export file, reimport it back into WordPress with instructions to override the existing values.
For more information on how to do this, see this bulk editing overview.
Maintain Old User IDs When Importing
When you import WordPress users, every imported user will be treated as a new record and a new user ID will be assigned to it. However, if there's an old user ID that needs to be retained, custom code can be used along with our API to attempt to use the old ID instead of generating a new one. Please see Keep old IDs when migrating users or customers.
Keep in mind that this is only an attempt, and if the desired user ID is not available, a new user ID will be assigned to the imported user.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Export WordPress Users?
- Go to All Export › New Export and select to export Users.
- Configure your export columns using the Drag & Drop interface.
- Run the export.
- Download your export file.
For more information, see How to Export WordPress Users.
How Do I Migrate WordPress Users To Another Website?
- Export the users that are going to be migrated, then download the bundle ZIP file instead of the CSV file. The bundle contains a template that tells WP All Import how to import the export file.
- Upload the bundle file on the target website. WP All Import will automatically know how to process the import and will configure all settings for you.
See our Migration Quickstart guide for additional information.
How Do I Schedule My Users Import?
WP All Import offers different options to schedule imports:
- Use cron jobs to set up a recurring import. See Manual Scheduling.
- Use our optional and paid Automatic Scheduling Service, which can be configured directly from within WP All Import's interface. See Automatic Scheduling.
Import WordPress categories or tags, as well as custom taxonomies.
Import custom field data into any WordPress theme or plugin.
Import into any custom fields created by the Toolset Types plugin.
Execute custom code to modify import user data on the fly.