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PrestaShop 101 Import Questions

When it comes to PrestaShop import, a lot of questions and misunderstandings may appear. If you fail to perform it, there must be some nuance conflicting with the PrestaShop restrictions. In this article we are going to find solutions to most frequent errors and warning messages not allowing PrestaShop users to accomplish CSV import.

Product Import

Question 1: Where can I get a sample of a CSV file correct for PrestaShop import?

Answer: Find Download Sample CSV files grid on the right side of the .csv import page.

Question 2: "File type not allowed". From what files can I perform import?

Answer: The file format you are trying to upload is not supported by PrestaShop. You can import exclusively CSV format files.

XSL, TXT, ODF, PDF formats are not allowed.

Question 3: How can I convert a document into CSV file?

Answer: Open your document in a spreadsheet program, go to File - Save As - .csv (comma separated values).

Question 4: What if my column names do not coincide with the database or suppliers names?

Answer: In this case such columns will be ignored.

Question 6: "Only UTF-8 and ISO 8859-1 encodings are allowed. You can also upload your file via FTP to the following directory:XXX"

Answer: The file you are importing uses unappropriate encoding. PrestaShop allows only UTF-8 and ISO 8859-1 encodings. You can change encoding in Excel (File>Save as>Tools>Web Options>Encoding), Notepad++(Toolbar>Encoding) or Open Office spreadsheet (when opening the doc, the program asks you to choose the encoding).

Question 7: "An error occurred while uploading / copying the file prestashop"

Answer: If you came across this error, something is wrong with the place that you are copying the file to, or with the file itself. Check all warning messages, which have appeared on the import page. If you see this one: "The import directory must be writable (CHMOD 755/777)", ensure your permissions on import directory file are set to 755 or 777. To do this, go to your store admin folder and run "CHMOD 777 import" command. If the apache/nginx user coincides with the SSH user, run the command CHMOD 755 import in the lower line.

In other cases, be sure to check the file you are trying to import:

  • it should have only CSV format;
  • it must be encoded by UTF-8 or ISO 8859-1;

Question 8: "Property Product->customizable is not valid"
"Property Product->description is not valid"
"Property Product->ean13 is not valid"
"Product (ID: X) cannot be saved"


Answer: Errors of such kind occur, if your .csv file contains some incorrect data. Check all of the fields very attentively. Also ensure the columns of your .csv file and the destination columns, which can be previewed on the second step of PrestaShop CSV import coincide. Do not forget to put "1" in "Lines to skip" field for the first line containing the field names to be skipped.

Another reason may be, that you have chosen a wrong import entity (i.e. Categories instead of Products etc.), that’s why your file columns do not coincide with the destination ones.

Question 9: "Rewrite link X (ID: X) was rewritten as X" "Rewrite link for friendly-url-autogeneration-failed"

Answer: Check "URL Rewritten" field in your .csv. It mustn’t contain spaces, capital letters or special characters. (i.e. product name iPhone 8 Black should be rewritten as iphone-8-black). Besides, you shouldn’t leave it blank.

Question 10: "The category ID cannot be the same as the Root category ID or the Home category ID"

Answer: Do not put any of your categories under ID1, as PrestaShop assigns it by default to Home category or Root category. You can ignore the destination ID column, if your file contains only category names without IDs.

Question 11: "Two columns cannot have the same type of values"

Answer: Check the destination columns on the second step of PrestaShop import. Any of the columns can have the same values. For example, if "Active (0/1)" or "Name" value is chosen in two columns, it will provoke the error.

Question 12: How can I upload a downloadable product?

Answer: There is no way to import a downloadable product to PrestaShop backend without any assisting applications. You need to use PrestaShop Batch Downloadable Product Module or use some other managing tools like PrestaShop Store Manager, which allows to upload any type of product in bulk.

Question 13: Can I create a category while importing products?

Answer: Yes, just specify its ID and name in the corresponding fields of the same .csv file.

Question 14: Can I assign one product to more, than one category?

Answer: Yes. Using this formula “Categories (x,y,z)” you can add the product to a few categories simply separating them by a comma. For example:

Categories (x,y,z)
Jewelry, Accessories

Question 15: "No Name (ID:XX) cannot be saved"

Answer: Specify the name of ID:XX category. Probably, the field is blank or contains special characters.

Image Import

Question 16: "Error copying image: XXX"

Answer: The indicated root path or URL of XXX image is incorrect. Ensure you upload images from an internal folder of your FTP server. Besides, check if the separator coincides with the selected one on the import page. In case your supplier of manufacturer delivered you the file with external references to images, Store Manager for PrestaShop can import the images for you using this data.

Question 17: How to upload a few images to one product?

Answer: Enter the image URLs into the corresponding .csv field, separating them by selected multiple value separator.

Question 18: How to get various sizes (base, thumbnail, mobile) of one product image during the products import?

Answer: In PrestaShop admin panel go to Preferences> Images>Image generation. Here you are able to set the image sizes to be applied to furtherly imported images. PrestaShop will generate different sizes of image automatically. More on this here: PrestasShop Image Preferences

Question 19: What image formats PrestaShop is compatible with?

Answer: You can choose between two image formats - JPEG or PNG.

Issues After the Import Is Finished

Question 20: The import was accomplished successfully, however the products do not show up on the frontend.

Answer: Most likely reason is that your cache is not cleared or the page was not re-indexed. These procedures are strongly recommended after applying any changes to you store.

If you cleared the cache and fully re-indexed the page, but the products still do not appear at your shop, check the product quantity (minimum 1) and Active and Out of Stock values, which must be set as "1".

In this article we tried to list the most frequent and annoying questions and issues preventing PrestaShop users from a smooth and quick CSV import. Even if their number is much bigger, the reasons causing import errors are mostly common: unsupported file format, wrong encoding, incorrect .csv values, missed separators etc. That means, that before searching help on PrestaShop forums or accusing the platform in bad performance, you should first check yourself. The process requires high attention and thoroughness, so double check your every step and every import detail. Besides, do not forget to backup your store database to ensure not losing or damaging any data.

Please, contribute to this little guidance by specifying the issues you came across in comments to this article. We will try to help you out.

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