Importing Users


The Import Users functionality within the Admin UI provides an easy way for you to add and update your users in bulk.  This article details the standard User Import tool available in the Absorb admin portal. If you're looking for information on historical or scheduled data import services, please see our Data Imports article. 

Important Notes

  • For more information on .CSV files, see "What Is A CSV File...". It covers how to save a CSV file for importing Users, and what a CSV is.
  • Important: The User Import ignores the first row of the.CSV file AND shifts the lines forward/up one row. This is important for lining up information in error messages that call out specific line numbers/items.


Absorb takes performance seriously, so we group large volumes of changes together and processes them at 10 minute intervals more efficiently than one-at-a-time.

This has the potential to introduce a short delay before you see the results but ensures that your portal is more responsive to one-off Admin actions and Learner activities. 

Creating a CSV File 

When the Update Existing Users option is enabled (toggled "ON"), any user listed on the CSV that does not exist will result in an error when proceeding with the import. 

Due to the first item above, this can be difficult to track in the LMS if the lines stated are not accurate. 

When receiving error messages, remember to add a single row at the beginning of the table to ensure you are looking at the correct user data.

  • The First Name, Last Name, and Password columns are required for New User Import (the Password column can be removed if you are updating existing Users).
  • The order of the columns is irrelevant and can be changed/altered and it will not affect the validity of the import File.
  • While the Email Address and Gender fields are not required to import users, if your .csv file has columns for these fields, the system will perform a formatting check on the cells in these columns, which blank values will fail. As such, you may need to split your CSV into multiple files if you have some learners with values for these fields, and others without
  • When the Update Existing Users option is enabled (toggled "ON"), any user listed on the CSV that does not exist will result in an error.  Due to the first item above, this can be difficult to track in the LMS if the lines stated are not accurate.


Please note that the upload will not check for data integrity (for example, if an email address is a valid email address, please review your data carefully).

Available Fields

The following fields are available to be imported via the Admin UI are:

  • Status
  • Username
  • Middle Name
  • Gender
  • Language (for a full list of Absorb's language codes click here)
  • Address
  • Address2
  • City
  • State/Province (if this in your CSV file, Country must also be present)
  • Country
  • Zip/Postal Code
  • Phone
  • Employee Number
  • Location
  • Job Title
  • Notes
  • Email
  • Date Hired
  • Termination Date
  • External ID
  • Custom Fields

When importing users, the only supported date format is YYYY-MM-DD. Please note that using any other format is not currently supported, and we cannot guarantee that the user import will complete successfully.

Unavailable Fields

The following fields cannot be included in the Import:

  • Supervisor
  • Avatar
  • CC Email Addresses

The Supervisor, Avatar, and CC Email Addresses must be updated manually through the Users report. 

Additional Fields / Settings

Additional Fields are available during the import process. The difference between the information you provide in the .CSV and the Additional Fields is that additional fields will be the SAME for ALL users in the import.

The available additional fields are:

  • Department
  • Roles:
  • Learner
  • Admin
  • Instructor
  • Language
  • Country
  • Province
  • City
  • Location
  • Job Title
  • Date Hired
  • Date Terminated
  • Notes
  • All custom fields

Uploading a CSV File 

  1. Navigate to the Users Report and select the User Import button from the top or side bar


       2. Select the .csv file you created from the File Manager or upload a new one.



Mapping the User Fields 

Once you have successfully uploaded your file, you will be presented with several options that will determine how to use the data that has been imported. 

  1. Select the User name format using the LMS USERNAME drop down menu. You can choose from any of the fields that are included in your CSV (ie. like e-mail address, or by combining the FirstName.LastName entries together)
    • For consistency, be sure to format Usernames the same as existing Users.
    • It is not possible to Update the LMS Username via the Import. 


2. Choose whether you wish to UPDATE EXISTING USERS that already exist in your LMS with the imported data. Enabling “Update Existing Users” will update/replace data in existing Users. If not enabled, all data will be imported as new Users. Proceed with caution here.

3.  If Updating Existing Users, match the LINK SPREADSHEET FIELD with the fields available in  the TO LMS FIELD drop down.



4.  Enabling SEND NEW USER EMAIL will email your portal's NEW USER message template to all the new users that are being created by the import. Updated users will be omitted.

5.  Next, you will see the SOURCE DATA PREVIEW. This will show you the top 5 records in your document to aid in selecting the appropriate Absorb field to map to.  The LMS will attempt to  intuitively auto-match your column headers with Absorb fields, but this can be manipulated using the drop-down menu below each header. Review each column and the mapped Absorb field, add and alter as necessary.


    • If a field is not matched the import will still go through, but unmatched fields will not be uploaded.
    • If you have a Username column in the CSV leave the Absorb Field as "Select..." because you already matched it in the first step of the import.


Additional Data 

Below the SOURCE DATA PREVIEW section, you'll find an expandable ADDITIONAL DATA section. This area allows you to specify additional data that will apply to all users being imported.

  1. Check off the fields that you want to include in the Import
  2. Select or Enter the relevant Data.


  • You are able to select if Users import as Active or Inactive. The Inactive status is useful if you want to import the Users ahead of time or have additional setup to do before allowing them access to the LMS. The imported Users will not be able to log in to the LMS unless their status is Active.


  • Imports can only include one department at a time. If you wish to import multiple users into various departments you will have to split the imports up into their respective department and select it in the Additional Details. You can also change the department after the users are uploaded.
  • If you have a Blended Billing Model, a tool tip will state whether the Department you've selected has Internal or External Billing applied. Please ensure you have selected the correct Department and the Department has the expected Billing Type.



Once the Mapping and Additional Data has been reviewed and confirm, select the VALIDATE button. During the validation any data conflicts will be shown as errors (including the row number). The data will need to be corrected by altering the .csv file or by adjusting the mappings.  If no conflicts are found, you'll be shown the total amount of users that will be created and updated. Click on LOAD once you are ready to have all users added to your portal.  


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