Import, upload, and export contacts in Front


You can quickly import a large number of contacts into Front using a comma delimited CSV file, without the need to manually add your contacts one by one! You can even upload their lists, description, and Twitter, in addition to basic phone and email contact information.

Other methods for uploading and managing your contacts in Front are:

If you'd like to upload accounts rather than contacts, see this guide.

Prepare your CSV file


You can download a CSV template here: Front Contacts Import Template

File formatting

Column headings and naming conventions are critical for a successful import. The file must be comma delimited and may only contain the exact fields listed below, in any order:

Column heading Contact field Example value Description
name Name John Smith [Required] Must contain the full name. First Name and Last Name cannot be divided in separate columns.
email Email Include the email address associated with the contact. You can add multiple email addresses to a contact by appending the heading: email2, email3, etc.
phone Phone number 19998887777 Include the country code (like +1 for USA) in any phone numbers for consistency. If no country code is provided, Front will add the +1 country code by default. You can add multiple phone numbers to a contact by appending the heading: phone2, phone3, etc.
link Link A link associated with this contact
contactList Contact List VIPs The name of the contact list the contact belongs to. You can add a contact to more than one contact list by listing them in contactList, contactList2, contactList3, etc.
twitter Twitter @jsmith123 The contact's Twitter handle
description Description Front is the leading Customer Communications Hub A description of the contact
accountName Account Front The name of the account the contact belongs to. This will associate the contact to the oldest account in Front with a matching case-insensitive name. For example, supplying "Acme" would link the contact to an existing "Acme" account in Front. Learn more about accounts here.
name of your custom contact field, e.g. Account Manager Custom fields Depending on the type of custom field, this could be a string, number, boolean, date time, or teammate email You can add columns for any of the custom contact fields you’ve set up.

Here are the valid values that can be supplied for each type of custom field column:

Custom field type Valid CSV values
Date and time Unix timestamp, to millisecond accuracy. 2021-11-18 09:30:00 PST would be uploaded as 1637256600000.
Inbox Provide the inbox ID (e.g. inb_12345), not the inbox name (e.g. Marketing Team Inbox). The inbox ID can be obtained via the API.
Number A number
Teammate The login email address of a user within your company in Front (usernames are not accepted)
Text Any text
Yes or no Valid values include “True”, “False”, “Yes”, or “No” (case insensitive)

The following contact fields cannot be imported:

  • Twitter DM
  • Custom channel

Important to know

  • Extra columns and rows must be deleted, including blank columns and rows.
  • You can upload up to 3000 rows (not including headers) in a single upload.
  • For large batches of contacts, you can break up your file into groups of 3000 contacts per file. Files must be uploaded one at a time.


Below is an example of a CSV file we can upload:


Step 1

Go to your Contacts Manager by clicking the Contacts icon at the top left of Front.

Step 2

In the left sidebar menu, click Shared contacts or Private contacts, depending on whether you want to upload contacts that are visible to all teammates or only to yourself. The contacts space you have selected will determine where your contacts are uploaded, as shared contacts and private contacts are kept separate.

You can also click Accounts to import a list of accounts.

Step 3

Click the Import button at the top right, then select from CSV.

Step 4

Drag and drop a CSV file or click the Choose file button to select a file from your computer.

Step 5

Click Import CSV to start importing your file. If your CSV is correctly formatted, you’ll see a confirmation in green text.

Step 6

After the import, you will see a new contact list created in the left panel based on the import date, in the format: YYYY-MM-DD. This is an easy way to access your contacts from a single import all at once.

If you'd like, you can delete this contact list by following the steps here. If you listed any new contact list names in your CSV, those contact lists will also be created for those contacts. Otherwise, you’ll find your contacts in your specified lists.

Errors you might see

Contact imports require specific formatting to ensure you can use your contacts correctly in Front! If you hit an error, please check the following common issues and solutions:

We display

How to fix

Missing headings in first row

We cannot detect a header row. Check to see if you have an extra empty row and check that your first row contains field names.

File type not in .csv format

We only support comma delimited CSV files. Convert your file to a .csv format.

Maximum rows 3000

We only support a maximum of 3000 rows per file (not including the header). You can always split large CSV files into smaller ones.

Download error file: Click Download updated CSV to view a file containing rows with errors, along with the error messages. Please see an example error log file below along with common error types and how fix them:

We display

How to fix

Invalid column heading

There are columns we don’t recognize (could be typo or totally new fields) or columns we don’t support multiple of (name#, description#, team#). If you wish to bring in custom columns, you may do so with our API. Please reference the following for additional details: 

Name, email, or phone must be included

You’re missing values in critical fields: name, email, or phone for certain rows. Double-check and remove those rows or fill them out.

Invalid email

A value in the email column is not properly formatted (<text>@<text>.<text>).

Invalid Twitter handle

A value in the twitter column is not properly formatted (@name between 1 and 15 characters).

Invalid phone number

Please ensure that your phone number is in the format: +1-999-999-9999.

More row columns than header columns

You have more columns in that row than in the header row. 

Updating contacts with a new upload

If you upload a new CSV that may have some of the same contacts that are already in your Contact Manager, Front will scan for duplicates automatically based on an existing phone number or email address. If there is a match in phone or email, then Front will only replace or update the new fields in your new CSV.

How fields on existing contacts are updated

  • If the value was blank before and there is a new value provided in the CSV, use the new value provided in the import.
  • If there was an old value before and there is a new value now, we add the new value provided in the CSV and remove the old value. The only exception is when the value being updated is a phone number or email field, in which case we will add the new value as a separate entry and keep the old value. 
  • If there was an old value before and the value provided for that field in the CSV is blank, we will remove that value from that contact except for phone number and email. You will need to ensure you pass the current contact field value in the CSV in order to retain that value after the update.

Exporting contacts

There are two ways to export your Front contacts: either directly from your Contacts Manager, or through Front's contact API endpoint

To export your contacts directly from your Contacts Manager, go to your Contacts Manager and click Export at the top right.

You'll be able to choose to export Shared contacts, Private contacts, or Shared  and auto-created contacts.

The Shared and auto-created contacts option will export all contacts from your Shared contacts plus any contacts from your auto-created contacts that were created in team inboxes that you have access to.

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    • ashish
    • ashish
    • 5 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I need to know if there is a way to fetch custom field of contact from front app...Sorry this question is not related to this thread..could not find a better platform to ask

  • Hello, is there a way I can view analytics on which countries emails are coming from?

  • Brooke Hahn At this time, this isn't something that Front analytics includes. However, if you figure out a way to tag each conversation with the Country name, then you can pull analytics on those specific tags.

  • Is there any particular reason why we can't just import a CSV into FrontApp ourselves..?

    Like 1
  • Allie Huang We haven't built this capability yet, but we hope to in the future.

  • If we send a CSV for import, will it update existing customers?

  • Grant Andrew Yes, it will.

  • Cori Morris based on phone number, or does the update require an email address? How do we prevent and manage duplicates?

  • Tim Berman It does not require an email address and duplicates will not occur. If we import contacts with the same name but different email address from what's already in your Contact Manager, the new imported information will override what's already there.

    Like 1
  • Cori Morris I have dupes from Intercom. Need to be able to associate more than one Intercom cookie with a user as sometimes, they visit from home and work, or on more than one device from home. Some contact via SMS, as well.

  • Tim Berman You can have multiple phone numbers per contact. On the .csv, your would just need phone2, phone3, etc.

  • Can 'description' be a number string? 

  • Chris Morris Yes!

  • what an epic fail! - this is basic stuff, importing your contacts into a mail app!

  • Nicholas Saunders , it is definitely something that needs to be addressed. In the meantime, they just launched the Piesync integration, which allows you to sync in all your contacts from tons of tools, real-time. Beats manual uploads! 

  • Have you been able to implement Excel uploads of contacts yet?

    • Helena Liadmin
    • Support Program Manager
    • Helena_Li
    • 4 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi Chris ! We hope to work on this in the coming months and make this feature available soon!

  • What happens if I upload a CVS with a lot of rows and a lot of them match contacts that are already in our contact book? 

    Is there a way to display the old vs new contact and allow for us to merge or overwrite on a row-by-row basis? 

    (I guess i answered my own question by doing a small test... FYI to everyone else... importing overwrites whatever you already had if there was an existing contact already with the same info) 

    Like 2
  • Cori Morris hello! Any chance analytics based on customer's country has been a new feature released since I last enquired 12 months ago? 🤞

  • Are there any plans to let users customize fields for upload? For instance, we are an education company and we like to be able to mention students' names in emails to their parents; it would be great if we could upload contact info with a student name that would populate a designated field within the email itself.

  • Hello, is there any chance you add export contacts feature? 

    Like 1
    • Kenji Hayward
    • Head of Customer Support
    • Kenji_Hayward
    • 2 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi Inna Halanzovska ! I've added a +1 to a feature request for this. In the meantime please feel free to contact and ask us to export them for you. Thanks : )

  • is there a limit to the number of contacts a team can have?

  • Debra Gunn No, there is not a limit to the number of contacts you can have.

    Like 1
  • It looks like every time we import contacts a new group of contacts is created. if we do this everyday then I assume this list will continue to grow. is there any way we can get all imported contacts to fall under one contact group?

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