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@jessedw44
"Even if you just use this plugin once, it will save you time. If you work on several sites its invaluable. Constantly developed, and continuously supported. Great job."

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Not 100% happy? Let us know and we’ll promptly send you a refund.

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Over 9 years experience with WordPress imports and exports.
Now is your last chance to buy a lifetime license before we switch to annual pricing. Existing licenses will be unaffected.
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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.

This documentation covers how to import WordPress users using WP All Import. For a broader look at importing WordPress users, check out:

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.

New WordPress User Import

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:

WordPress User Import - Review Import File

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.

Import WordPress Users Drag and Drop

You can map the remaining user data in the Other User Info panel, as well as custom fields in the Custom Fields panel.

Import WordPress Users Drag and Drop Other User Info

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:

Import WordPress Users Import Settings
  1. Click the Auto-detect button. This will automatically identify a unique identifier for each incoming user.
  2. 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.
  3. Keep the Block email notifications during import option enabled to avoid sending WordPress email notifications to the imported users.
  4. 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:

Import WordPress Users Confirm and Run

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:

Import WordPress Users Import Complete

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:

Review Imported WordPress 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.

WordPress doesn't even store the plaintext version of a user's password. Instead, it generates 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".

When a user logs into WordPress, their login password is converted to a hashed value using the same hashing algorithm, which is then compared to the stored hashed value for authentication.

As a consequence of this system, WP All Export can only export the hashed version of a user passwords. If you import this data into a different WordPress site, make sure that you check the This is a hashed password from another WordPress site checkbox during the import:

Hashed Passwords

This informs WP All import that it is dealing with password values that have already been hashed, so it knows it shouldn't hash them again. This way, users will still be able to use their old passwords because the hashing algorithm is the same between sites.

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, as shown in the previous image.

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:

  1. Export the users you wish to change.
  2. Open the export file in a spreadsheet, where it is easy to perform bulk changes using copy and paste, search-and-replace functions, etc.
  3. 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 About Importing WordPress Users

How Does My Data Need to be Organized So That I Can Import WordPress Users?

Don't worry about it. Our software is extremely flexible and allows you to map any incoming data element to any field regardless of layout. If the content of a field needs to be adjusted in some way, you can do this during the import process.

Can I Import WordPress User Data That's Been Added by Another Plugin?

Yes. Our software will automatically recognize the custom fields of most plugins, such as WooCommerce. More complicated plugins like BuddyPress are a bit tougher. But if you run into problems, you can always contact our support staff.

Can I Import WordPress User Passwords? Is it Secure? 

Yes. If you are using WP All Export and WP All Import, it couldn't be more secure, as password data can be fully encrypted. Users will still be able to log in with their old passwords, but if someone intercepts the import file, they won't be able to read those passwords.

How to Export WordPress Users?

  1. Go to All Export › New Export and select to export Users.
  2. Configure your export columns using the Drag & Drop interface.
  3. Run the export.
  4. Download your export file.

For more information, see How to Export WordPress Users.

How to Migrate WordPress Users To Another Website?

  1. 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 with instructions on how to import the export file.
  2. Install WP All Import on the target site.
  3. 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.
  4. Check the migrated users.

See our Migration Quickstart guide for additional information.

How Do I Schedule My User Imports?

You can schedule your WordPress user imports to run automatically using our automatic scheduling service or by setting up cron jobs on your server. We provide comprehensive guidance and support in either case.

For cron jobs, see Manual Scheduling.

For our automatic scheduling service, 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 for either ACF5/ACF Pro, or ACF4.

Import into any custom fields created by the Toolset Types plugin.

Execute custom code to modify import user data on the fly.

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