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Add several users at the same time to Office 365 - Admin Help

Each person on your team needs a user account before they can sign in and access Office 365 services, such as email and Office. If you have a lot of people, you can add their accounts all at once from an Excel spreadsheet or other file saved in CSV format. Not sure what CSV format is?

Watch a short video that shows you how to add users.

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To add multiple users to Office 365

  1. Download this sample spreadsheet and open it in Excel.

    Your spreadsheet needs to include the exact same column headings as the sample one (User Name, First Name, etc...). If you use the template, consider leaving all the data in row 1 alone, and only entering data in rows 2 and below.

    Your spreadsheet also needs to include values for the user name (like and a display name (like Bob Kelly) for each user. To leave other fields blank, enter a space plus a comma in the field as shown in the following figure.

    A sample CVS file that has blank rows specified

    If you have people working in different countries, you'll need to create one spreadsheet for users in each country. For example, one spreadsheet that lists everyone who works in the US, and another that lists everyone who works in Japan. This is because the availability of Office 365 services varies by region.

    Tip:    Before you add many users to Office 365, you might want to practice with the sample spreadsheet. For example, edit the sample spreadsheet with data for a few of your users, say 5 or 10, and save the file with a new name. Run through steps described in this procedure, check the results, and then delete the new accounts and start over again. This way you can practice getting all of the data right for your situation. Also check out Tips for formatting your spreadsheet.

  2. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account.

  3. Go to the Office 365 admin center.

  4. For people to use Office 365 services, they need to be assigned a license. Before continuing, you might want to check that you have enough licenses for everyone listed in your spreadsheet. Choose Billing > Subscriptions to see if you have enough. If you need to buy more licenses, choose Change license quantity. Or, you can run the wizard and assign the licenses you have, then buy more licenses later and rerun the wizard.

  5. Now go to the Bulk add users wizard: choose Users > Active Users. Choose The icon for adding many users to Office 365 as shown in the following figure.

    An image of the Users section of the Office 365 admin center

    The Bulk add users wizard appears and steps you through adding a group of users to Office 365.

  6. In Step 1 - Select a CSV file, specify your own spreadsheet as shown in the following figure.

    Step 1 of the Bulk Add Users Wizard - Select CSV File

  7. In Step 2 - Verification, the wizard tells you whether the content in the spreadsheet is formatted correctly.

    Step 2 of the Bulk Add Users Wizard - Verification

  8. In Step 3 - Settings, choose Allowed so that the people listed in your spreadsheet will be able to use Office 365. Also choose the country in which these people will use Office 365. Remember if some people in your organization are going to use Office 365 in a different country, create a separate spreadsheet with their names and run the Bulk add users wizard again to add them.

    Step 3 of the Bulk Add Users Wizard - Settings

  9. The assign licenses page tells you how many licenses are available.

    Step 4 of the Bulk Add Users wizard - Licenses

    You can choose Buy more licenses, but you'll leave the Bulk add users wizard and go to Billing in the Office 365 admin portal. After buying more licenses, you'll have to wait a few minutes for the order to be processed and then start the Bulk add users wizard from the beginning.

    If you don't buy more licenses, accounts won't be created for everyone listed in your spreadsheet.

    In this example, we don't buy any more licenses and continue with the Bulk add users wizard.

  10. In Step 5 - Send Results, type the email addresses of the people who you want to get an email that lists all of the Office 365 user names and temporary passwords for the people in the spreadsheet.

    Step 5 of the Bulk Add Users Wizard - Send Results

    The following email is sent to all the email addresses you specified in Step 5 - Send results. This email indicates which accounts were created. Notice that accounts weren't created for some people because there weren't enough licenses.

    A sample e-mail with user credential information

    You can buy more licenses later and rerun the Bulk add users wizard with the same spreadsheet. The wizard skips over the users that already have accounts; on the results report, it will say "duplicate user name" to indicate someone with that information already has an account.

  11. The final page in the Bulk add users wizard lists the user names and temporary passwords, as shown in the following figure.

    Step 6 of the Bulk Add Users Wizard - Send Results

  12. After you've added users to Office 365, you need to tell them about their Office 365 account information. Use your normal process for communicating new passwords.

Next steps

More information about adding multiple users to Office 365

Not sure what CSV format is?

A CSV file is a file with comma separated values. You can create or edit a file like this with any text editor or spreadsheet program, such as Excel.

You can download this sample spreadsheet as a starting point. Remember that Office 365 requires column headings in the first row so don’t replace them with something else.

Save the file with a new name, and specify CSV format.

An image of how to save a file in Excel in CSV format

When you save the file, you'll probably get a prompt that some features in your workbook will be lost if you save the file in CSV format. This is okay. Click Yes to continue.

A picture of the prompt you might get from Excel asking if you really want to save the file as a CSV format

Tips for formatting your spreadsheet to add multiple users to Office 365

  • Do I need the same column headings as in the sample spreadsheet? Yes. The sample spreadsheet contains column headings in the first row. These headings are required. For each user you want to add to Office 365, create a row under the heading. If you add, change, or delete any of the column headings, Office 365 might not be able to create users from the information in the file.

  • What if I don’t have all the information required for each user? The user name and display name are required, and you cannot add a new user without this information. If you don't have some of the other information, such as the fax, you can use a space plus a comma to indicate that the field should remain blank.

  • How small or large can the spreadsheet be? The spreadsheet must have at least two rows. One is for the column headings (the user data column label) and one for the user. You cannot have more than 251 rows. If you need to import more than 250 users, you can create more than one spreadsheet.

  • What languages can I use? When you create your spreadsheet, you can enter user data column labels in any language or characters, but you must not change the order of the labels, as shown in the sample. You can then make entries into the fields, using any language or characters, and save your file in a Unicode or UTF-8 format.

  • What if I'm adding users from different countries or regions? Create a separate spreadsheet for each area. You'll need to step through the Bulk add users wizard which each spreadsheet, giving a single location of all users included in the file that you're working with.

  • Is there a limit to the number of characters I can use? The following table shows the user data column labels and the maximum character length for each in the sample spreadsheet.

User data column label

Maximum character length

User Name (Required)

79 including the at sign (@), in the format name@domain.<extension>. The user’s alias cannot exceed 30 characters, and the domain name cannot exceed 48 characters.

First Name


Last Name


Display Name (required)


Job Title




Office Number


Office Phone


Mobile Phone








State or Province


ZIP or Postal Code


Country or Region


Fixing problems when adding users to Office 365

  • Double-check that the spreadsheet is formatted correctly. Check the column headings to make sure they match the headings in the sample file. Make sure you're following the rules for character lengths and that each field is separated by a comma.

  • If you don’t see the new users in Office 365 right away, wait a few minutes. It can take a little while for changes to go across all the services in Office 365.

Applies To: Office 365 Admin, Office 365, Office 365 Small Business Admin, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet - Admin

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