Using CSV Files

CSV files

CSV stands for Comma Separated Values, and it's a file format (.csv) for spreadsheets. Shopify accepts the import and export of CSV files for the Products, Customers, Orders (export only), and Discounts (export only) of your store.

CSV files might seem intimidating at first, but when you understand what the text and characters represent in a spreadsheet, you might use it for some bigger tasks (such as bulk editing products and customers).

CSV files with UTF-8 encoding are the only file format that can be used to import to or export from Shopify.


If you are updating a CSV file export, then remember to confirm the UTF-8 encoding to avoid generating unwanted special characters in your file. If you save your file after forgetting to confirm its UTF-8 encoding, then your data will be corrupted when you upload it as a new spreadsheet. Shopify can't recover corrupted files for you.

In a CSV file, each entry represents a cell in a spreadsheet, each line represents a new row, and each comma indicates where one entry ends and another one begins.

For example, the entries in this customer CSV file:

Csv file1

look like this in a spreadsheet program:

Csv file2

CSVs are useful for stores that:

  • are switching to Shopify from another ecommerce platform
  • have a list of Customer Accounts
  • prefer to upload Products using a spreadsheet
  • temporarily have limited internet connectivity.

Import CSV files into Google Sheets

When you export a CSV file from your Shopify admin, it opens as a .csv file in your computer's native text editor. You can also use an alternative text editor, but it's recommended that you use a spreadsheet program to view and edit your CSV files instead.

To import a CSV in to Google Sheets:

  1. Log in to your Google account.

  2. On the Google Sheets page, click Blank in the Start a new spreadsheet section:

    Sheets start blank

  3. From the Untitled Spreadsheet page, go to File > Import...:

    File import


    A CSV file with UTF-8 encoding is the only file format that can be used to import to or export from Shopify.

  4. Locate and select the CSV file that you want to edit.

  5. In the Import file dialog, select your preferred options under the Import action, Separator character, and Convert text to numbers and dates sections.

  6. Click Import:

    Import file dialog

Your CSV will look something like this after you've uploaded it:

Csv sheets example

From here you can edit your CSV. When you are done, you can export it from Google Sheets as a .csv file.

Export CSV files using Google Sheets

When you are done viewing or editing your CSV file in Google Sheets, you can export it as a .csv file to your computer.

To export your CSV file:

From your CSV spreadsheet page, go to File > Download as > Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet):

Download as csv

You CSV file will appear in your downloads folder.

Use a text editor to edit your CSV file

If you don't have a spreadsheet program, then you can edit CSV files using a text editor.

Most computers have text editors that can open CSV files. You can also use a program like Atom or Sublime Text to edit and debug your CSV file.

To format your CSV file in a text editor:

  • Column headers must be separated by commas (for example, First Name,Last Name,Email,Company,Address1).
  • The list of tags must be wrapped in quotation marks (for example, "tag1,tag2,tag3").
  • Different records must be separated by line breaks.

Advanced: CSV product imports with shipping required and taxable variants

If you need to edit the settings for a large number of products, you might want to perform a bulk update. For this, export the products that need to be updated as a .csv file, then edit the columns shown in the table:

Variant Requires Shipping Set to TRUE if the variant is a tangible item. Otherwise, set to FALSE or leave blank.
Variant Taxable Set to TRUE if the variant is taxable. Otherwise, set to FALSE or leave blank.
Variant Grams

Enter a non-zero value if Variant Requires Shipping is set to TRUE.

Leave blank or set to zero if Variant Requires Shipping is set to FALSE or is blank.

When you've finished editing your .csv file, import it to your store. Be sure to check the option Overwrite existing products that have the same handle.

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