When to Use Data Loader for importing data into Salesforce


Available in: both Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience
Available in: Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, Developer, and Database.com Editions

Data Loader complements the web-based import wizards that are accessible from the Setup menu in the online application. Refer to the following guidelines to determine which method best suits your business needs:

Use Data Loader when:

  • You need to load 50,000 to 5,000,000 records. Data Loader is supported for loads of up to 5 million records. If you need to load more than 5 million records, we recommend you work with a Salesforce partner or visit the AppExchange for a suitable partner product.

  • You need to load into an object that is not yet supported by the import wizards.

  • You want to schedule regular data loads, such as nightly imports.

  • You want to export your data for backup purposes.

Use the import wizards when:

  • You are loading less than 50,000 records.

  • The object you need to import is supported by import wizards. To see what import wizards are available and thus what objects they support, from Setup, enter Data Management in the Quick Find box, then select Data Management.

  • You want to prevent duplicates by uploading records according to account name and site, contact email address, or lead email address.

What file formats can the import wizards handle?

You can import contacts and business accounts directly from an ACT! or Outlook file, or from any CSV (comma-separated values) file, such as a GoldMine or Excel file. You can import leads, solutions, custom objects, or person accounts from any CSV file.

How large can my import file be?

  • Your import file can be up to 100 MB, but each record in your file can’t exceed 400 KB, which is about 4,000 characters. To determine how many fields you can import, use this formula: 4,000 / (average number of characters in an API field name * 2). For example, if your average field character length is 40, you can import approximately 50 fields.

  • You can import up to 90 fields per record.

  • Each imported note and each imported description can’t exceed 32 KB. Text longer than 32 KB is truncated.

  • Other Bulk API limits apply. If you have missing records or truncated fields due to limits, see Bulk API Limits in the Your Bulk API Developer Guide. import is also subject to your org’s storage limit. The size of your import file doesn’t directly correlate to the storage space needed for those records. For example, a 50 MB import file might not create 50 MB of data in Salesforce.

Can I delete my imported data if I make a mistake?

From Setup, your administrator can enter Mass Delete Records in the Quick Find box, then select Mass Delete Records to perform a mass delete of accounts, contacts, leads, or solutions that you mistakenly imported. You cannot mass delete mistakenly imported custom objects.