How to remove external IDs from a user

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  • Leo Hernandez

    Thank you, this helped solve our "User is invalid because of external/email has already been taken" due to mismatched external ids or emails.

  • Jason Harlowe

    Is there way via API to remove / update the external id for an organization? 

  • Jessie Schutz
    Zendesk team member

    Hi Jason!

    I did a quick check of our developer documentation, and I see an endpoint for the external user ID in there. It's also possible to update a user (or many users) via API, so I would extrapolate from that that it should be possible to do this.

    I'm no API expert, though, so that's all the help I can give. I'd recommend cross-posting this question over to our Developer Community; there are a lot of users there with a high level of technical know-how who may be able to help!

  • Xavier Bonnefoy


    I tried to import user data (in fact setting external_id for a user), but I don't have any menu like "bulk user import", only "bulk organisation import". Were is my problem ?


  • Hervin Centeno

    Hi Xavier!

    Thanks for reaching out, and I'm sorry to see that you're having some issues importing your CSV user data. Since this functionality is available to all users, there should be no plan restriction or reason you can't import user data. In short, you can find function under  Admin > People > Bulk User Import (located in the right column) and click Update existing users

    For the sake of clarity, I have also added a screenshot of where you can find this as well:

    I hope this is helpful! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

  • David Olson

    Thanks so much for posting this information!  I am reading "conflicts can arise with authentication if a user's External ID and email do not match" and am concerned about our configuration.  

    Currently our data outside of our Zendesk instance is primarily centered around an internal ID system, that we were under the impression could be lined up with the Zendesk user field 'external_id'.

    The passage warning about mismatching emails and external IDs seems to indicate that we cannot have user accounts that have multiple emails and are automatically compiled into one user profile based on a value assigned to the 'external_id' field.

    Is that relation, a 'one to many' relationship between external IDs and emails, not possible in Zendesk user profiles?

    Thank you!


  • Lara Hines

    Thank you for this article.  This was very helpful and was able to follow the instructions without any issues.  


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