Bulk importing organizations

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  • Phil Holcombe

    There seems to be a broken link in this document: At the bottom, it states: See Limitations of bulk importing users and organizations. When I click on the link, I get an 'oops' page.

  • Jessica Marasco

    Hey Phil, 

    Sorry about that! The article has been updated. 



  • Juan Arroyo

    Just to confirm shouldn't the column default should be named domains? I was a little confused when importing orgs with domains. 

    Seem to take the domain list when I renamed the column from default to domains. 

  • Jessie Schutz

    Hi Juan!

    Quick clarification: are you saying that when you change that column name to "domains" everything still imports without a problem?

    If that's the case, let me know and I'll have our Docs team update the article!

  • Jorge Morales

    What about adding a sample CSV or Excel file for Organization Bulk importing?

  • Nikki

    hi i have tried to bulk update organisations with customer field but it does not update. i have used the field key in my import load sheet. 

  • Nicole - Community Manager

    Hey @Nikki - Welcome to the Zendesk Community! Most often if an update doesn't work, it's because the .csv isn't properly formatted. 

    We suggest you start by checking the following things: 

    1. Be sure that there's a header row, which includes the name of each field

    2. It has to include all of the required fields (specifically the name field)

    3. Any of the fields listed have to be in the exact order of the table 

    4. If you're not importing data for a specific field, the field should be left off the sheet entirely

    Double-check if all of those pieces are in place, and if they are and it still doesn't work, let us know. 

  • Justin C. Flannery

    When trying to update organizations (and not create new ones) how do you overcome the following error:
    "Name: [ORGANIZATION NAME] has already been taken"

    The name is supposed to match to update organizations, so why would it trigger an error?

  • James Sanford

    Hey Justin!

    As long as you have "Update existing organizations" checked on the Bulk organization import page you should not generally receive an error like this.  Is it possible you have the same organization name included twice on the file you are updating? 

    I'll create a ticket so we can troubleshoot this further.  Please keep an eye out in your email for that!

  • Alan Domladovac Silva

    How could I update an organization if I need to modify the name?

  • Jessie Schutz

    Hey Alan!

    You can actually change the name of an Organization from the agent interface. Just go to your admin menu (the gear icon on the left) and go to Manage > People > Organizations. Click on the Org you want to re-name, and from there, click on the name at the top of the page. A text box will a appear, and you can change the name from there:

  • Sheldon Dickinson

    Hi Guys, Is there a way to get an export of organisations in CSV? We want to do a bulk update of close 1500 organisations via export/import, however there only appears to be the ability to export an XML file. 

  • Jessie Schutz

    Hi Sheldon!

    Organization data can only be exported in XML format, so you'd need to convert it to CSV after you've finished exporting. I know there are some conversion tools online that will help you do this.

    Otherwise, you can export the information using our API.

  • Sheldon Dickinson

    I find it very bizarre that you export organisations in XML, then only accept for them to be imported in CSV. One would think that you would have some consistency there and provide the export in the same format that needs to be imported.

  • Justin


    Yes, exactly. 

  • HDM Contact

    Hey All,

    Our service can help you to export organizations, contacts, tickets, whatever from Zendesk to CSV format.

    Ping us here https://help-desk-migration.com

  • Jeff Carter

    Is it possible to do a bulk import to change Organization names?

  • Jessie Schutz

    Hi Jeff!

    This is an interesting question...I don't think this is something you'd be able to do using the methods outlined in this article; what you'd ultimately end up doing is adding a bunch of additional Orgs, and your users would be in both the old and the new Orgs.

    It might be possible to do this using the API, though. I'd just say to be careful when making those kinds of changes. If you have any business rules or macros that involve Org names, changing a bunch of those names will break them. So make sure you do a complete audit of workflows that would be impacted by these changes.

  • Frank Roberts

    FYI...When bulk importing organization tags, they must be separated by spaces, not commas as it states in the article. 

    "When user and organization tagging has been enabled for Zendesk Support (see Adding tags and users to organizations), you can add tags to the organization. Separate each tag with the comma."

  • Nicole - Community Manager

    Thanks, Frank! We've brought this to the documentation team's attention. 

  • Mike Robinson

    How would I bulk update the organisation names? Im having trouble working this out. I have got a CSV file with the column name of NAME and the original organisation names listed below. What would I put in the next column with the updated organisation names?

    Thanks in advanced.

  • Diogo Maciel

    Hi Mike!

    In this case you would have to know the external ID of the organizations that you are looking to update the name of in bulk. Since the easiest way to get the full list of external ID's on the organizations would be to use the API, it may be easiest to utilize our API to also update the organization names. This section of our API documentation discusses how to update organizations: https://developer.zendesk.com/rest_api/docs/core/organizations#updating-organizations

  • Ed Ebert

    Hi, I find the "important" note on updating orgs a little confusing.  If I include a record for an existing org (identified by external id or id) and have data is some fields but not others, what happens, exactly?  For example, if I have data in the Id, Name, and Shared fields but not in the Tags field, will the existing tags in the org record in Zendesk be cleared or will they be left alone?  In other words, are only the fields with data in the import csv updated in Zendesk, and others untouched, or all all fields in the org completely replaced with whatever is in the csv?

  • Austin Lacey

    Hi Ed,

    Thanks for your note!

    Empty fields in the CSV import will overwrite any existing data in the system.

    So, if you currently have data listed in the tags field but import the same organization with the tags field blank, the existing tags will be removed since the field in the CSV file is blank.

    Please let us know if we can help with any other questions!

  • Ed Ebert

    It's not what I was hoping hear, but thanks for the information.

    We're trying to resync orgs with our Salesforce accounts, so I'm planning to use the spreadsheet to upload as opposed to writing a program to use the API.  But we already have many of the orgs in Zendesk and have them all tagged and commented, I don't want to lose any of that.  I'll have to export the orgs from Zendesk and merge it into the data from Salesforce and reimport.

  • Hannes Merisaari

    Hi! I have noticed that you can change any org info with bulk importing. But there is one thing I don't get it. What field is the key indentifier of an org in the CSV-file?

    I managed to change defaults (e.g. domains), external id and a name of an org without creating a new organisation.

    I did those changes in a separated imports, not in a single one, but I'm still surprised, what may happen if I try to update several orgs with too smilar names or something?

  • Patrick Bosmans

    Hello Hannes,

    With Zendesk, the name of the Organization is unique and cannot be replicated across multiple orgs.  That way, any changes are attributed to the unique org name and no other org is affected.


  • Jake Nelson

    I'm a little confused with the custom_fields section and the syntax. My field key (business unit) has a drop down menu. Can you make it select a specific item from the drop down? If so what would the syntax be?


  • Brett - Community Manager

    Hi Jake,

    If you're drop-down field key is business_unit you would use custom_fields.business_unit and then use the values specific tag to select the appropriate item from the drop-down menu. 

    Let me know if the above doesn't make sense.


  • Jake Nelson

    That does make sense but I've just tried multiple formats and can't seem to get it to work from the import module.

    EG: I have 3 different business units - support, operations, sales

    If I want to select sales what syntax do I put into the excel sheet? I've tried the following to no avail.




    custom_fields.business_unit sales

    Apologies if I wasn't clear, I just don't know what goes after the custom_fields.business_unit part.




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