Bulk import items in Square Dashboard

Who is this article for?
  • Sellers with general items permissions. Set permissions in the Square Dashboard.
  • About bulk importing items

    If you want to add multiple items to your catalog at once, you can use Square’s item import tool to make bulk additions or changes to your catalog using a spreadsheet. The import functionality is useful if you have a large item catalog, rather than manually entering or updating items one by one. The import tool can be used to upload your catalog for the first time, as well as make changes to your catalog, or transfer your catalog to another Square account.

    Before you begin

    You can bulk import items in the Square Dashboard on a laptop or desktop computer.

    If you are using the import tool to make changes to an existing item catalog, we recommend exporting a copy of your catalog and saving a distinct file before continuing — this way, you can always revert back to the previous library if you have any issues or lose any information.

    Step 1. Download your library template

    When you download your item library template, the Excel file is formatted to text, not numbers. If you want to use the template to perform number functions, you must change the downloaded file to a numeric format.

    Option A: Create a new item library

    1. Sign in to your Square Dashboard and click Items & Orders > Items.
    2. Click the Actions drop-down menu > click Export Library.
    3. Click Export to download the template and the Excel (XLSX) file will automatically download to your desktop.
    4. Open the downloaded file. The file will have the title ‘template-YYYY-MM-DD-XXXX.xlsx’.
    5. Review the instructions at the top of the file and example text above each column field to begin editing.

    Option B: Update an existing item library

    Before you export your library, update your filters to reflect what items you would like to export. The export will only include items you are currently viewing.

    1. Sign in to your Square Dashboard and click Items & Orders > Items.
    2. Click the Actions drop-down menu > click Export Library.
    3. Choose to export All items, Items matching applied filters or Blank import template.
    4. Choose between an Excel or CSV file format (we strongly recommend downloading the Excel (.xlsx) format)
    5. Click Export. A spreadsheet will download to your computer.

    Step 2. Transfer items between Square accounts (optional)

    This step is only for Square Sellers looking to transfer items between Square accounts. If this is not your intention, go directly to Step 3.

    If you have created a new Square account and would like to transfer items from an existing Square account into a new account, the Import/Export tool can be used, but additional steps are required. 

    Once you have downloaded your Excel file, you’ll need to make a couple of changes before transferring your items to your second account.

    Delete location specific tokens

    The first column in your Excel spreadsheet will display a Token. Tokens are unique labels created by Square for every item variation. To transfer items to a new account the token field must be blank.

    Do not delete the entire column. The Token column and Token column header are required to successfully import.

    Edit location specific names

    If your new account contains different location names, you will need to update the names of the locations in the location-specific headers to match the new location names. If you do not use Inventory Management many of the cell values may be blank; you can leave them blank.

    If the account that you are copying from contains:

    • more locations than the new account, you do not need to remove the extra location-specific columns. The extra columns will be ignored.

    • fewer locations than the new account, you must add additional location-specific columns to match. The only location-specific column that every location is required to have is the “Enabled Location” column. The other location-specific columns are optional.

    Step 3. Update your item library spreadsheet

    Edit your Excel file

    When editing your Excel (.xlsx) file, we recommend using the most up-to-date version of your spreadsheet program.

    1. Update the template columns with your item information. When editing the template:
      • You cannot create or update a unit type or unit precision from your Excel spreadsheet — you will only see the option to select one of your existing units from the cell dropdown menu.
      • Don’t change any information in the Token column.
      • Don’t reorder or delete any columns. Changing the columns will result in an error when you import the library into your Dashboard.
      • Leaving the Category field blank means the item will show as Uncategorized in your Item library in Dashboard.
      • Any new values you enter in the Category column will create new categories in your Item library in Dashboard.
      • Leaving the Price field blank or writing “Variable” will create a variable-priced item.
      • Leaving the Modifier Set field blank will default the modifier to Off. Place a Y in the appropriate Modifier Set field to apply a specific modifier to an item.
      • Any changes made to the New Quantity column will replace the existing item quantity. If you enter a zero in the New Quantity column, your inventory for that item for that location will be set to zero.
      • You can assign a location-specific price, stock count, or availability by setting values in the location-specific columns.
      • Items that use rich text formatting will have HTML tags included in the item descriptions in the exported file (HTML tags are small pieces of code, such as “</p>” and “</br>”).
    2. When you are done editing your library, save the Excel file to your computer.

    Edit your CSV file

    The following information only applies if importing items using a CSV file, not Excel (.xlsx).

    You cannot create or update a unit type or unit precision from your CSV file. If you are using a CSV file, you’ll need to manually enter the unit and precision. Make sure to enter the full unit type name and precision — do not use abbreviations or the cell will return an error.

    While you can import the CSV data into a spreadsheet, if your item library contains SKUs, do not open the CSV file directly as some spreadsheet editors will modify your SKUs in unexpected ways. Specifically, they may remove leading zeros or convert them to another format.

    If you have SKUs in your CSV, open the data in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to make sure there are no errors in your file.

    Step 4. Upload your updated item library

    Once you finish updating your file, you can import the spreadsheet into your Square Dashboard to update your Item library. Before you upload your updated file:

    • Make sure the following required columns are in your Excel (.xlsx) or CSV: Item Name, Variation Name, Description, and SKU. If you have more than one location, the Enabled [Location Name] column is also required.

    • Make sure the Tax column has the required heading format, which includes the tax percentage value in parentheses within the header. For example, “Tax - Sales (7%)”.

    1. Sign in to your Square Dashboard and click Items & Orders > Items.

    2. Click the Actions drop-down menu > click Import library.

    3. Drag and drop the updated file into the upload box area or click Browse file to select your spreadsheet. Click Next.

    4. You will be prompted to match document columns for item attributes (note: If you did not change the column names in the file downloaded from Square, the product attributes should be automatically matched). Confirm each item attribute is matched to the correct column, then click Next.

    The importing process may take a few minutes to complete. If you do not receive an error message, your item library successfully imported.

    If your import is not successful, your file may have errors that need to be resolved before you can finish uploading. If your file has errors, you can choose to accept automatic updates to fix the file, or opt to make manual corrections to your file and re-upload.

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