Update Dynamics 365 for Sales data with Microsoft Excel

Update Dynamics 365 for Sales data with Microsoft Excel

Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM) you can easily update CRM records (Account, Contact, etc.)  using Excel. Modifications can be made if the record being updated has not been modified between your change and the re-imported data.  Similar to the bulk edit function in advanced finds, this method allows you to update multiple records at once. In contrast to the bulk edit function, you can modify more than the 250 record max in the advanced find. The following steps will save you a lot of time if you need to update many records at once.


Let’s use the example that you want to update the Industry field for a list of Account records:

1. For the Entity to modify (Account in this instance), open Advanced Find

2. Create a view adding the column for the fields that you want to modify:

a. Within the Advanced Find form

click the New icon then  in the Look for: field click the down arrow and choose Accounts  and then click the Edit Columns icon

b. Within the Edit Columns form

c. Select the Industry field and click OK

3. For this post, we will assume you will be updating the Industry field for all Accounts, so just click the Results Icon


and your View will be created.  NOTE:  If needed, you may want to only update records based on a condition, in which case you will need to create a custom View (we will talk about creating a custom view a separate post).

4. Now that you have your View of Account records, you will export these records from the View to Excel by going to Export Accounts and choosing Static Worksheet

5. In the XLS file created from the export, modify the Industry field for the Accounts you wish to update (notice since Industry is an Option Set, the values have been exported to the worksheet)


DO NOT CHANGE THE STRUCTURE OF THE FILE (NO NEW COLUMNS, ROWS, DELETION OF COLUMNS, ROWS, ETC.).  Especially relevant, notice that columns A – C are hidden in the worksheet; these are the unique fields needed to re-import your updates.

6. Save your Excel file changes to a location on your computer that you can access

7. Go back to CRM Close the Advanced Find form Go to the Account List View and click the IMPORT DATA icon

8. Choose the XLS file you modified and Click Next

9. Check the settings on the “Review Settings and Import Data” page and make changes as necessary

10. Click Submit

11. Wait for the import to complete and review for accuracy

12. You now have your Industry field updated for the Account records you have chosen.


Records in the import will fail if the record you are updating have been modified in-between your export, change and re-import.  This limits overwriting a change a user has made while you are modifying the records.  Consequently, you should consider completing this step on off hours or in limited batches.

By | 2019-10-23T01:29:35+00:00 October 9th, 2017|Uncategorized|2 Comments

About the Author:

Chris Finnecy
Chris leads Clients through the lifecycle of their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) project. His primary objective is to direct the CRM project towards profitable and successful implementations by understanding and documenting the clients’ requirements, engaging with software publishers to find the right technical solution, and work in conjunction with technical staff to facilitate the bridge between the technical solution identified and the actual implementation and delivery of that solution. Specialties: CRM Sales, Consulting and Training with Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales (CRM) and Salesforce.com.


  1. Anand October 21, 2019 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Hi, I cannot update more than 102 rows at a time in the Contact record. I want to update more 200 rows at a time, what I am doing wrong

    • Andy Freeman
      Andy Freeman October 23, 2019 at 1:45 am - Reply

      You should be able to update many thousands of records with this method. When you export as a static worksheet, D365 will include all records in the result set, up to 100,000 rows. Take care to ensure you are not changing the layout of the Excel sheet when you are making changes, such as with copy/paste. Columns A-C (which are hidden) include the unique ID of each record, which is how D365 identifies which record to update. When you re-import the Excel spreadsheet after making your changes, you can monitor the import under Settings -> Data Management -> Imports. There you can identify any errors in the import process.

      You could also try working with smaller exports (for example, Accounts that start with “A”). If certain records are causing errors, this will help you to identify those records.

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