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2.10.1 User Guide

Import from XML

Control Panel Location: Tools ‣ Utilities ‣ Import Utilities ‣ Member Import Utility


There is no undo for importing members. If you make a mistake or there is an error in your data, there is not a simple method to correct it. Always backup your database before using this utility!

WARNING: The <member_id> tag will cause the import utility to overwrite any existing members with the same ID. It is generally recommended that you do not use a <member_id> tag, so when transferring users from one system to another, ExpressionEngine can automatically create new unique IDs for each member without overwriting any existing members.

The Import from XML utility enables you import members from an XML file in ExpressionEngine’s Member XML Format.

The utility itself contains the instructions needed to assist you during the XML import, and you should read each area carefully before performing the import. Username, Screen Name, and Email are required, and all standard member database fields are available to you, with the exception of “unique_id”. Custom member fields are also available, and if your xml includes elements that do not currently exist, the utility will give you the opportunity to add new custom member fields for those elements. It is recommended that you do not use member_id, so ExpressionEngine can automatically generate unique Member IDs when the members are later imported from the XML file.

Passwords will be randomly created for members who do not have a <password> element, and those members will need to use the “Forgot Password” link in order to log in. Passwords of the “text” type will be encrypted for you. Pre-encrypted passwords will be inserted into the database as-is. Please see the notes on the password tag for more details.

User Contributed Notes

Posted by: Mediakitchen on 18 August 2010 12:59pm
Mediakitchen's avatar

If importing md5 passwords and your xml file has the format


You will need to replace all occurences of

<password type="md5"

So you end up with something like

<password type="md5">f7ef5091e0ff28ed447d359af15aeca8</password

You can do a find and replace in any text editor so this is easy to do.

Posted by: Mediakitchen on 18 August 2010 12:57pm
Mediakitchen's avatar

Be sure that your data being imported does not contain duplicate data. For example, the importer will not permit you to import more than one new member with the same “email” or “screen_name”.

Also be sure to check that none of the usernames being imported are less than 4 characters long as EE has a minimum of 4 characters for usernames.

To sum it up, make sure you import “good” data or EE will complain with “Parse errors”

Posted by: Mediakitchen on 18 August 2010 12:54pm
Mediakitchen's avatar

If you are planning on importing a large number of members, I would recommend breaking them up into batches of no more than 500 at a time as otherwise you may experience out of memory errors.

You must have an EllisLab product license and have at least 50 posts to the community forums to contribute notes to the User Guide