Mastering Excel to SharePoint Imports Common Pitfalls & Their Solutions

Mastering Excel to SharePoint Imports: Common Pitfalls & Their Solutions

How to Successfully Import Excel Data into SharePoint: Top Mistakes & Solutions

Importing data from Excel into SharePoint is a process many professionals engage in. SharePoint offers robust functionality to bring in Excel data, but there are pitfalls to be aware of. This article will shed light on common mistakes made when attempting to import into SharePoint list from Excel and how to avoid them. If you ever find yourself stuck or require further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Understanding the SharePoint Excel Import Feature

Many app builders often need to utilize SharePoint’s feature to import Excel data into a new list. It’s not uncommon to use Excel as a primary data source until delegation/data size limitations are reached. When these limitations become a bottleneck, migration to a more sustainable data source, like SharePoint, becomes imperative.

The typical method employed is using SharePoint’s import spreadsheet option. While this sounds straightforward, there are two prevalent mistakes to avoid:

Mistake 1: Improper Excel Spreadsheet Preparation

Before initiating the import process, it’s crucial to ensure that your Excel spreadsheet is correctly prepared. Here are the key points to consider:

  • Ensure columns and cells in Excel match the desired data type. For instance, numeric values should be formatted as numbers to prevent them from being imported as text.
  • Eliminate unnecessary columns. If you’ve linked to your source spreadsheet from Power Apps, remember to delete the auto-generated __PowerAppsID__ column.

Addressing these issues during the preparation phase can save time and reduce post-import modifications.

Mistake 2: Browser and Setting Mismatch

The import process is compatible only with Internet Explorer (IE). Therefore, using IE is non-negotiable. Moreover, you need to adjust two crucial settings in IE:

  • Add your target SharePoint site to IE’s trusted zone.
  • Deselect the “check for server certificate revocation” option under the Advanced > Security section of Internet options.

Step-by-Step Guide to Import Excel Data into SharePoint

Having set up IE correctly, let’s delve into the process of importing Excel data:

  1. Choose the New > App menu option from SharePoint.
  2. Select the Import Spreadsheet option. A security dialog might pop up; make sure to permit it.
  3. Provide a name for your new SharePoint list and locate your target spreadsheet file. If your SharePoint site isn’t in IE’s trusted zone, you might encounter a “The specified file is not a valid spreadsheet or contains no data to import.” warning.
  4. Excel will launch, allowing you to pick your source Excel data. Press the Import button to commence the data transfer.
  5. If the import action fails, there’s a possibility that the “check for server certificate revocation” setting hinders Excel from authenticating with SharePoint. Ensure that Excel’s Trust Center settings don’t obstruct sign-in prompts if authentication remains an issue.


Successfully importing data from Excel to SharePoint requires attention to detail and a keen understanding of both tools. Always use Internet Explorer, adjust the appropriate settings, and ensure your data is well-prepared. By following these guidelines, your import into SharePoint list from Excel experience will be seamless. For any queries or technical assistance, reach out to us, and we’re here to help.

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