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Auto-generate SKUs with Square for Retail

With Square for Retail, you can automatically generate unique SKUs when you add a new item variation or create a barcode label – so you can spend less time setting up your items and more time making important decisions for your business. Additionally, you can enable a single setting to automatically populate unique SKUs in bulk for any existing item variations in your item library missing a SKU.

Note: Automatic SKU generation is currently available through the online Square Dashboard and the Square for Retail app on iOS and Square Register.

Get Started

The Automatically generate SKUs setting will be toggled on by default, but you can toggle it off at any time by visiting Items & Orders > Items > Settings > Inventory in your online Square Dashboard. Once you confirm the setting is on, you can start auto-generating SKUs by following these steps:

  1. Go to Items & Orders > Items in your online Square Dashboard.

  2. From the Actions drop-down menu, select Generate SKUs. Note: Your access to the item library may be limited for several minutes while the update takes place.

  3. Once you’ve confirmed you would like to auto-generate SKUs by clicking the Generate SKUs button, all item variations missing SKUs will receive their own unique SKUs. If all of your item variations already have SKUs, you’ll see a pop-up confirming there are no more SKUs to generate.

  4. Click Save.

SKUs will autogenerate any time you create a new item or item variation from the Square for Retail app on iOS or Square Register. SKUs will also autogenerate for items imported from your online Square Dashboard as long as the item variation doesn’t already have a SKU and the Automatically generate SKUs setting is turned on. 

For existing items, if the item or item variation has no SKU value and the autogenerate SKU setting is turned on in dashboard, a Generate SKU button will appear next to it. Select this button to generate a unique SKU for that item.

Note: If your device is offline or does not have a stable internet connection, SKUs will not automatically generate and the Generate SKU button will not appear, even if the setting is turned on.

Print Labels

You can also auto-generate SKUs when creating a barcode label. To get started:

  1. Go to Items & Orders > Items in your online Square Dashboard, and click Actions.

  2. From the Actions dropdown menu, select Print labels.

  3. On the Create labels screen, click Add item and select which item you want to print labels for or click Select multiple items to choose more than one.

  4. Once you select the item(s), click Create Labels. From here, if any item variations are missing SKUs, you’ll see a pop-up allowing you to either Continue without SKUs or Generate SKUs. Click Generate SKUs to auto-generate SKUs for the item variations missing them.

  5. From here, choose Print labels or Download PDF.

Item Options

SKUs will also auto-generate when you add item options during the item creation process. To get started:

  1. Go to Items & Orders > Items in your online Square Dashboard, and click Create an item.

  2. On the Create item screen, click Add options. Fill in the option set name, display name and options you want to add, and click Next. Once you finish, click Create variations.

  3. When the variations populate on the Create item screen, your unique SKUs will appear. 

  4. Click Save.

You can also duplicate your variations and SKUs by clicking Actions > Duplicate. SKUs will also autogenerate any time you create a new item in the Square for Retail app on iOS or Square Register.


If I delete an item, will I be able to use the same auto-generated SKU again?

No. The auto-generated SKUs will not populate a second time, even if the item variation(s) they were associated with are deleted. As a workaround, you can manually assign a previously auto-generated SKU to a new item variation.

Does this feature allow me to auto-generate GTINs as well?

At this time, the ability to auto-generate GTINs for item variations is unavailable. Since product manufacturers set GTINs, Square for Retail does not support automatic GTIN generation.

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