Format of the CSV file isn't correct error when a Microsoft 365 user tries to import contacts

Original KB number:   3145388


A Microsoft 365 user wants to import contacts in a CSV file that was exported from another email application such as However, when the user tries to import the CSV file through the Microsoft 365 portal (People > Manage > Import contacts), they receive the following error message:

The format of the CSV file isn't correct. Be sure that the file was exported in the Outlook CSV Format

This issue may occur if the exported CSV file includes quotation marks ("").


To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Open the CSV in Notepad. (Don't use Excel to open the CSV file because the quotation marks may not be visible in Excel).

  2. On the Edit menu, select Replace. In the Find what box, type ", leave the Replace with box blank, and then select Replace All.


    Make sure that the Replace with box is blank and doesn't contain a space or any other character.

  3. Save the file, and then import it to Microsoft 365.

You receive a <#> contacts imported successfully message when the contacts are successfully imported.

More information

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