Importing Entries to Gravity Forms: The Ultimate Guide

"Importing entries to Gravity Forms". The Gravity Forms logo next to an upload icon

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Import entries into Gravity Forms from a CSV file or migrate your form entries from other form plugins to Gravity Forms.

Estimated reading time: 18 minutes

So you’ve recently made the switch to Gravity Forms and you’re wondering how to import all of your old entries? 

Congrats! Gravity Forms is the most advanced, customizable, and robust form plugin available for WordPress. 

In this post, we’re going to show you all the different ways to import data into Gravity Forms.

There are so many different spreadsheet programs out there – Google Sheets, Excel, Apple Numbers. We’ll show you how to get your data from these programs into Gravity Forms.

Have you been using a different WordPress form plugin, such as WPForms, Formidable, or Ninja Forms? You’ll learn how to import that data into Gravity Forms.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Why Import Data Into Gravity Forms?

Having the ability to import form entries into Gravity Forms is helpful for a variety of reasons.

For example, imagine you’re migrating your website to a new host. Backing up your form entries is crucial to ensure that you don’t lose important data.

Imagine you’ve collected hundreds of entries using Ninja Forms but now you want to start using Gravity Forms instead. Being able to import your entries allows for a smooth transition from one form plugin to another.

Do you store user data in a third-party business spreadsheet application? Using Import Entries you can import that data into Gravity Forms and display it on your website using GravityView or GFChart.

Need to bulk edit entries in a CSV file? Using Import Entries you can bulk edit entries from a CSV file before uploading them to Gravity Forms.

The import functionality also allows you to customize your entries in Excel (or another spreadsheet program) before loading them on your website.

Formatting Your Data as a CSV File

Gravity Forms does not include import entry functionality. The best way to import entries into Gravity Forms is by using the Import Entries plugin by GravityView.

The plugin allows you to bulk import entries into Gravity Forms from a CSV file. Here’s how you can export your data in a CSV format from common spreadsheet programs.

Exporting a CSV From Excel

Do you have entry data saved in Microsoft Excel? You can convert it to a CSV file by following these simple steps.

First, open the Excel file. Next, click on File in the top left corner, select Save As, and choose where you want to save your file.

An open Microsoft Excel spreadsheet with an arrow pointing to "File" in the top left corner

Now, click on the dropdown next to where it says “Save as Type”, select CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv), and click on Save.

An open file explorer window showing how to save an Excel document as a CSV file

Your data is now ready to import. If Gravity Forms has trouble reading the dates in your CSV, you’ll need to try a different date format.

Date Formatting in Excel

It’s always a good idea to ensure your dates are formatted correctly for Gravity Forms. Here’s a list of date formats allowed by Gravity Forms:

  • mm/dd/yyyy (example: 06/18/2021)
  • dd/mm/yyyy (example: 18/06/2021)
  • dd-mm-yyyy (example: 18-06-2021)
  • dd.mm.yyyy (example: 18.06.2021)
  • yyyy/mm/dd  (example: 2021/06/18)
  • yyyy-mm-dd  (example: 2021-06-18)
  • yyyy.mm.dd  (example: 2021-06-18)

To change the formatting of your dates in Excel, select the date column, click on the dropdown menu under the Home tab and select one of the default date formats.

Showing the format dropdown menu in Excel where you can change the data format to a date format

If that doesn’t work, click on the dropdown and select More Number Formats at the bottom. Next, click on Custom and enter one of the accepted date formats in the box labeled Type.

The Format Cells box in Excel with the custom category selected

Although a lot of people use Excel as their preferred spreadsheet program, other popular programs are gaining in popularity.

Export a CSV From LibreOffice

If you haven’t heard of LibreOffice before, it’s a free, open-source Microsoft Office alternative. Here’s how to export your data as a CSV from LibreOffice.

First, click on File in the top left corner and then Save As. Make sure to select Text CSV (.csv) from the File Type dropdown menu.

Saving a file as a CSV in LibreOffice

On the Settings panel, select Unicode (UTF-16) and then click Save.

Export a CSV From Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a free spreadsheet program that comes as part of the Google Suite of applications. 

If you want to export data from Google Sheets as a CSV file, follow these steps.

First, log in to your Google account, go to your Drive and open your Google sheet in a new browser tab. Next, click on File in the top left corner, hover over Download, and select Comma-separated values (.csv).

Selecting "File" and then "Download" and then "Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet) in Google Sheets

Your Google sheet will now download to your computer as a CSV file.

Export a CSV From Apple Numbers

Apple Numbers is a spreadsheet program that comes included with most Apple devices. If you like to work with Data in Apple Numbers, you can easily export it as a CSV file by following the below steps.

First, click on File in the top left corner, hover over Export To and select CSV.

Selecting "File" and then "Export To" and then "CSV" in Apple Numbers

Next to Text Encoding, select Unicode (UTF-16) and click Next to save your file.

Exporting a CSV From Gravity Forms

If you’re migrating form entries from one website to another, you’ll need to first export your entries from Gravity Forms and then import them to your new domain.

There are several ways to export entry data from Gravity Forms. You can use the Gravity Forms inbuilt export feature to download your data as a CSV file, or you can use a plugin to export data straight to Excel.

To learn more about exporting data from Gravity Forms, read Exporting Data From Gravity Forms: The Ultimate Guide

Import Entries Plugin by GravityView

Now that you’ve exported your data as a CSV file, you’ll be able to use the Import Entries plugin to import it into Gravity Forms. 

Import Entries is a powerful plugin that allows you to bulk import form entries into Gravity Forms. The plugin makes importing data to Gravity Forms a breeze and there is no limit on the number of rows you can import.

Here’s how it works.

  1. Upload your CSV file
  2. Map your fields
  3. Let the importer do its magic

Start by purchasing Import Entries from our website. You can get it as part of our All Access license or you can purchase it as a standalone plugin.

Next, log in to your account page, go to Downloads, download the Import Entries plugin and upload it to your WordPress website.

After activating the plugin, hover over Forms in the left-hand menu, click on Import/Export, and then click on Import Entries.

Selectiong "Forms" and then "Import/Export" inside the WordPress admin menu

You’ll now see the GravityView Import Entries screen. You can click to upload your CSV file, or simply drag and drop it into the upload box.

After your file has been uploaded, you have the choice to either:

  1. Import it to an existing form
  2. Create a new form
The Gravity Forms Import Entries plugin displaying the option to import entries to an existing form or create a new form

1. Importing Entries to an Existing Form

Choose your form from the list or search for it by typing the name into the search box.

Next, you need to map the fields in your CSV to the corresponding field in your form. The importer will automatically detect the different field types, but you can override this by clicking on the dropdown and selecting the correct field.

The Import Entries plugin with an open dropdown menu to map fields from a CSV to the correct form field in Gravity Forms

You can also add additional fields by clicking on the dropdown menu and selecting the “Add Form Field” option at the bottom. 

When you’re done mapping your fields, click Continue With Import

The final step is to configure the import options. Import Entries allows you to ignore required form fields during import, skip field validation, send email notifications, and more.

You can also specify which rows to import based on parameters that you set using conditional logic. This is helpful if you have a large amount of data in your CSV and you need to prune your entries.

The Configure Import Options screen inside the Import Entries plugin

Once you’ve configured the import options, click on Continue With Import. The importer will now import your entries into Gravity Forms.

2. Creating a New Form

Give your new form a new and click Continue With Import.

Now you can choose which fields from your CSV will be converted into form fields. The importer will automatically detect the field type, but you can override this by selecting a different field type from the dropdown menu.

You can also rename your fields by entering a new label in the Field Label box.

If there’s a field that you don’t want to import, click on the X next to the dropdown field.

An Arrow pointing to the "X" next to the field type dropdown menu

You may also need to adjust any date or time fields, depending on the date/time format. For example, if you see a message that says “Date Not Recognized”, open the field properties by clicking on the gear icon and select a matching date format.

An arrow pointing to a warning message that says "Date Not Recognized"
A dropdown menu showing different date formats

Once you’re finished configuring the columns for your import, click on Continue With Import.

Next, you need to configure the import settings. You can use conditional logic to only import certain rows, send email notifications for each new entry, and more.

Once the import is complete, you will see a new form in Gravity Forms that contains all of the entries that you imported.

Updating and Importing Users in Gravity Forms

The Import Entries plugin integrates seamlessly with the Gravity Forms User Registration Add-On. The User Registration add-on allows you to register new users on your WordPress website when they submit your form. 

To create new users using the Gravity Forms User Registration add-on, all you need is a form in Gravity Forms with a Username and Email Address field. 

Using the Import Entries plugin, you can bulk update existing users or create new ones! This is a powerful feature to have if you’re migrating users to a new membership system.

Start by exporting your user data as a CSV file. Then, use the Import Entries plugin to import your CSV to a new or existing user registration form.

An arrow pointing to the User Registration form under "Choose a form for this import"

The Import Entries plugin automatically maps your field values to the correct form field.

The Import Entries plugin displaying a preview of the data to be imported into Gravity Forms

If you are importing entries with an entry ID that matches an existing entry, Import Entries will update the existing user with the new information.

After importing is complete, you should no be able to see your new users on the WordPress Users page.

The Users page in the WordPress dashboard displaying new user imported using the Import Entries plugin for Gravity Forms

Export List Fields as JSON

When exporting List fields, Gravity Forms creates a new column in the CSV file for each response. This can result in a lengthy and complicated file that’s difficult to read.

Import Entries gives you the ability to import and export List fields as JSON instead. This helps create a more compact and easy-to-read CSV.

When exporting your form entries from Gravity Forms, you’ll see a new “Export as JSON” option for all of your List fields. 

Highlighting the option to export as JSON for Gravity Forms form fields

Importing Entries to Gravity Forms From Other Form Plugins

What if you’re moving from another form plugin to Gravity Forms but you don’t want to lose all of your form entries?

Luckily it’s easy enough to export entries from one form plugin and import them into another. Here’s how to import entries from popular WordPress form plugins to Gravity Forms.

Migrating from WPForms Pro to Gravity Forms

Are you migrating from WPForms to Gravity Forms? All you need to do is export your form entries from WPForms as a CSV file and then import them into Gravity Forms using the Import Entries plugin.

Note that in order to save form entries in your WordPress database, you’ll need WPForms Pro. The Lite version of WPForms does not support saving form entries.

First, log in to your WordPress website, hover over WPForms in the left-hand menu and click on Tools.

Next, click on the Export tab at the top and choose your form from the dropdown under where it says “Export Entries”.

The WPForms Export page inside the WordPress dashboard

After selecting your form, you’ll be able to choose which fields to export, limit entries to a specific date range, and filter entries using conditional logic.

When you’re done, click Download Export File.

Moving from Formidable Forms to Gravity Forms

First, you need to export your entries from Formidable forms as a CSV file and then import them into Gravity Forms using the Import Entries plugin.

Log in to your WordPress website, hover over Formidable in the left-hand menu, and select Import/Export

Scroll down to where it says Export, select CSV as the Export Format and choose your form from the list.

The Formidable Forms Import/Export page inside the WordPress dashboard

When you’re done click on Export Select to begin the download. Once complete, you can customize your CSV file in Excel or import it directly into Gravity Forms using the Import Entries plugin.

Import Ninja Forms Entries Into Gravity Forms

To export form entries from Ninja forms, hover over Ninja Forms in your WordPress admin menu and click on Submissions.

.Next, select your form from the dropdown menu at the top and click on the button that says “Download All Submissions”.

The Ninja Forms Submissions page inside the WordPress dashboard

Your form entries will now be downloaded to your computer as a CSV file. You can then import this file into Gravity Forms using the Import Entries plugin.

Importing Forms to Gravity Forms

Did you know that you can import forms into Gravity Forms, not just entries? This is helpful if you’re moving to a new domain or want to backup your website data.

To import a form hover over Forms in your WordPress admin menu, click on Import/Export, and then click on the Import Forms tab.

The Gravity Forms success message saying "Gravity Forms imported 1 form successfully. Edit Form."

Next, click on the Choose Files button and select the form file you want to import (this should be a JSON file).

After clicking Import you will see a message come up saying that your form was imported successfully. You should now be able to see it in your forms list.

Importing a form will not import the associated entries. If you want to import a form as well as its entries, you’ll have to do it separately.

Importing a Form Template

If you’re creating a new form and want a head start, you can download and import a form template from the Gravity Forms template library.

To do this, open the form template library, browse for the form that’s most suited to your needs and click on it.

The Employment Application Form template from the Gravity Forms template library

Scroll down and click on the button that says “Get This Form Template”. The form will now download to your computer as a JSON file.

The Downloads list inside the browser showing the form template JSON file

Follow the steps above to import the template to your Website. Once it’s finished importing, you can customize it depending on your needs.

Gravity Forms Import: Wrapping Up

Having the ability to import entries and forms into Gravity Forms truly is a game-changer.

The best way to import entries into Gravity Forms is by using the Import Entries plugin by GravityView. It’s fast, secure, and easy to use.

Import Entries allows you to bulk import entries from a CSV file and there are no limits on the number of rows you can import!

Export your data as a CSV file from Excel, Google Sheets, Apple Numbers, LibreOffice, or easily migrate from WPForms, Ninja Forms, Formidable, or another WordPress form plugin and import it directly into Gravity Forms. 

Importing and migrating your form data has never been so easy!