New format “Excelify: CSV” for truly big data export and import

Shopify export very large store to CSV file

If you have a store that is so large that the data don’t fit into an Excel file, now you can choose to Export into “Excelify: CSV” format.

That will still allow you to export several entities in the same export (Products, Collections, Customers, …), because each entity is saved into its own CSV file, and they are all zipped into one nice zip file to take less space.

The only limitation here is that you cannot export Metafields. It’s because each item Metafield can be only discovered when that item is read from Shopify, but CSV files don’t allow to add columns on the fly.

You can import that same zipped CSV format as well.

Similarly, as Excel sheets, each CSV file will have its own name that determines what is in that file. For example, you will find Products in the “Products.csv” file, when unzipping the exported file.

Excel file format is limited to 1 million rows, but this new format allows you to exceed well over 1 million rows in your exports and imports.

All the columns are the same as in our Excelify Excel template. It works exactly the same as with Excel. Also, after the import, you are able to download the Import Results file and see the result columns.

The exported result will look like this:

Shopify exported to CSV files

Schedule and Repeat Imports to Shopify

Shopify import schedule and repeat

You can schedule and repeat imports to your Shopify store.

After uploading the import file, you can click the “Options” button and set the scheduling and repeating parameters.

You can combine them as you like. You can set just to schedule the import to start at a certain date and time. And you can set the import to repeat at certain time intervals, for a given amount of times.

You can also set to import now and repeat at the same time at given time intervals.

To review or cancel the scheduled imports, go to the “History & Schedule”.Shopify schedule and repeat history and cancel

“Stopped to prevent damage of losing images, because images don’t exist.”

Product images loss prevention

When importing images to Shopify for Products or Collections, the app has a safeguard mechanism that prevents you from accidentally deleting images, if new image URLs don’t exist.

If you update an existing item, and it turns out that the image URL is not valid or image doesn’t exist there, then the import will stop with an error:

Stopped to prevent damage of losing images, because images don’t exist. If you still want to proceed, you can switch this safeguard off in Options before pressing Import button.

What to do when this happens?

That means that there is at least one image that Shopify was not able to download for some reason – either it’s not existing, or the URL is not valid, or it’s too big for Shopify to import.

Ideally, you would need to open the Import Results file and check the Import Comment column of the last lines to see, which images have problems. That will give you a clue of where the problem is, and you can solve that in the original import file, and repeat the import.

How to disable this safeguard?

If you are updating existing items, and you are sure that some images might not exist (e.g. when importing images by guessing their URLs), then you might want the import not to stop when an image is not imported. You can switch that off in the Options button, which appears after you upload the file, but before you press the Import button.

Shopify - Stop if images cannot be downloaded for updated itemsRemove the checkbox for “Stop if images cannot be downloaded for updated items” – then the import will not stop and will just continue even if images don’t exist.

When doesn’t it stop?

When importing new items, then the app will not stop in this case, because there is no potential harm you can do if no images exist. But still, if images will not be found, it will either have Failed status, or it will be OK, with a Warning in the Import Comment column that tells, which images was not possible to import.

Bulk import images to Shopify from your computer

Shopify bulk images - too many images

When you bulk import images to Shopify for Products or Collections, you need to provide image URL in the “Image Src” column.

But what if you have those images only on your computer? Then they don’t have URL because URL is only for images that are hosted online.

Your goal is to host your images online so that you get the URL for each image.

Manual option: upload to Shopify Files section

The default way of getting images uploaded to Shopify is through the Shopify Admin: “Settings -> Files” section. And then copy-paste each URL to your import file.

While this may work for 100 images, it’s not too easy when you have a lot more, even thousands of images.

Images in Shopify Admin

Bulk upload images to image server

The bulk way of uploading images to Shopify is provided by image server. That will allow you to upload unlimited volumes of images directly from your computer, and instantly get them as URL to use in your bulk imports.

When you request the image server, you will get the instructions that will look like this.

Assuming that <your-store-folder> is “test”.


  1. Install the CrossFTP application, free version, to your desktop:
  2. Open CrossFTP
  3. Open “Site Manager” under File -> Connect
    • Protocol: S3/HTTPS
    • Label: <Whatever name you want to give for this connection>
    • Host:
    • Port: 443
    • Access Key: ***************
    • Secret: ***************
    • Remote Path: /excelify-images/test
  4. Press “Apply” and “Connect”
  5. You will see all your images here.
  6. You can create subfolders there as you like.

Your files will appear on this URL:<your-store-folder>/<subfolder>/<file>

When you connect the first time, you should see there one test file: airplane.png

The URL for this file is respectively:

Instructions in details

1. Install the CrossFTP application, free version, to your desktop:

Shopify images bulk upload from desktop - CrossFTP downloadYou have a few options how to download the CrossFTP app.

The default way is to download the version that matches your operating system – Windows, MacOS, or Linux.

If you are having the computer that doesn’t allow installing new apps from the internet, you can use the Web Start to launch the CrossFTP directly from the web browser. Or you can download the Portable version to still have it on your computer, but it will not require installing.

2. Open CrossFTP

When opened for the first time, CrossFTP will look like this:

Shopify images - opened CrossFTP first time

3. Open “Site Manager” under File -> Connect

To open the Site Manager, click File, and then Connect.

The Site Manager will open with a new clean form to enter the connection details. Fill those fields one by one, with details provided in the instructions, so that you end up with filled form like this:

Shopify bulk images - connect to image server with CrossFTP

After you will enter and Apply to save your connection details, those will be saved and you will not have to enter them again.

4. Press “Apply” and “Connect”

You will now be connected to your image server. It will look like this:Shopify bulk upload images - connected to image file server

On the left side, you see files and directories on your computer.

On the right side, you see the files and directories on the image server.

There should be already one image on the server with name airplane.png. That is a test image, so you know that you are connected.

Now you can drag & drop files and folders from your computer (left side) to the image server (right side), and it will start uploading them. The upload should be very fast – it can upload at about 5’000 typical images per hour.

When uploading images, you will see the upload queue in the left bottom section of the app – like this:

Shopify bulk upload images - upload in progressWhile image uploading is in progress, you can press the Refresh icon on the top to see what has already been uploaded. In the status bar at the middle of the window, you can see the count of images that are already uploaded. That way you can get a clue of how far the overall upload is progressed.

How to get URLs for uploaded files?

Ideally, before uploading, you want to name your image files in such a way that you can calculate the image names from the product data you have.

One way is to give image names to match the SKU number. For example, if your Variant SKU for a product is ABC-123, then you want your image file to be named like ABC-123.jpg.

Another way is to give image names to match the Handle of the Product or Collection. For example, if your Handle is tshirt-red-slim-fit, then your file name should be tshirt-red-shim-fit.jpg.

That way you will be able to guess the image URLs by knowing your SKU or Handles. Then you can use the Excel formula to concatenate the pieces to make up your URL.

Guess the image URL from SKU

If you have SKU in the Excel column A, then the formula to calculate the image link for Product “Image Src” column is:


Notice the <your-store-folder> part of the formula – you need to replace that with your store folder, which is the folder name that comes after the /excelify-images folder.

Many images per SKU or Product

Sometimes you need to have more than one image per SKU or per product.

You can then name your images by adding numbers to the end.

For example, if your SKU is ABC-123, then you can create images with names ABC-123-1.jpgABC-123-2.jpgABC-123-3.jpg, and so on.

Then your formula for the Product “Image Src” column will be like this:

="<your-store-folder>/"&A2&"-1.jpg ; "&
"<your-store-folder>/"&A2&"-2.jpg ; "&

Again, you need to replace the <your-store-folder> with your store folder.

Notice that now in the Image Src cell you will have three images, separated by ; (semicolon). That import will work because the app allows you to import several images from the same row. For more details about that feature, read the tutorial how to import several images from the same row.

Different products might have a different count of images. You don’t have to worry about that because if the image will be missing from the URL, it can still skip it and continue importing only images that really exist. To enable that feature, read the “Stopped to prevent damage of losing images. In Options you can switch this safeguard off.” tutorial.

How to get the list of all uploaded image files into Excel?

If you just want to get the list of uploaded images to the Excel table, so that you can then put the links where you need them, you can copy-paste them from CrossFTP app to Excel.

To do it, select all uploaded images on the server, and press Ctrl+C on the keyboard (Cmd+C on MacOS). That will have all your image file list copied. Then go to Excel and paste the list of images.

The pasted list of images in Excel will look like this:

Shopify bulk import images - paste image links to ExcelNow, to make the full image URL of those images, you can use the formula like that:


Potential issues with uploading images and how to solve them

If you find yourself on the empty server

Shopify bulk image upload - empty serverNotice in the address bar at the top – where you are located. If you see you are at the /excelify-images folder, then most likely you have entered the [..] folder (which takes you one level up), or you have pressed the backspace on the keyboard (which also takes you one level up). There, one level up, is an empty void of nothingness, because it’s outside of your image folder. Now you need to go back to your store image folder. The easiest way to do it is to connect again.

Press File, and Connect to bring up the Site Manager. Find your saved connection there, and click Connect. It should connect you again to the image server, and you should see your images again.

If that still doesn’t help, then please check the Remote Location field in the Site Manager. It should be /excelify-images/<your-store-folder>.

If that doesn’t help either, please, contact Support.

If your internet got disconnected or CrossFTP closed while upload was not finished

The CrossFTP app is robust enough to be able to continue uploading images from where it left off, in case you lost the internet connection or had to close the app.

When you will open the app again, it will offer you to continue uploading, like this:

Shopify bulk image upload - continue uploading after disconnectThere you need to press the Restore button. It will restore the “queue” of files that still need to be uploaded.

After pressing Restore, you will again see the queue of files in the left bottom section. Click on that queue and press Ctrl+A (or Cmd+A on MacOS) to select all items. Then right-click with the mouse there and select Start Transfer. That will continue uploading images from where you left off.Shopify bulk upload images - image upload queue


How to gain access image server?

  1. Install the “Bulk Import Export Update with Excel” app to your Shopify Store.
  2. Activate the Enterprise Plan (you need this plan to use image server).
  3. Request your image server by contacting Support.

How to add Products to Shopify Custom Collections (also known as Manual Collections)

Added products into Custom Collection Admin

Shopify Custom Collections are most frequently used (also known as Manual Collections), although there are also Smart Collections (also known as Automatic Collections).

It is a better practice to use Smart Collections for grouping Products, as it is more dynamic and you don’t need to attach each product manually. But if defining rules for Smart Collection seem too complicated, or you need to have more than 5000 collections, then Custom Collections are a way to go. Shopify has a limit of 5000 Smart Collections, but no limit on Custom Collections.

In a Custom Collection, products are added manually by Product ID or Product Handle. Typically there are be two cases – 1: you want to create new Custom Collection and add products; or 2: when you want to add products to existing Custom Collection.

1. Create new Custom Collection and add Products to it

To create new Custom Collections with products, you need to know Product IDs or Product Handles for those products you want to add. Let’s get this data by exporting products with app. You might even not need to export any additional details about those products:

Export Products

When Products are exported, open the exported Excel file:

Exported ProductsNow I will create new Excel document. There will be only one Sheet, called “Custom Collections”.

As a bare minimum, you need only 4 columns in my Excel:

  • Title (Custom Collection Title)
  • Body HTML (Short description of the Collection. This column can be skipped if you don’t need a description)
  • Image Src (Image for the collection. Also can be skipped, but I want it to look nicer on the store page)
  • Product: Handle (Handles of the products I want to add to this collection).

You will have as many rows, as many Products you want to include into this Collection. And it is important to provide Title on each row, as this will tell the app that the Product will be included in this Collection. Take “Product: Handle” column values from the exported Product file.

Remember to call this Excel Sheet: “Custom Collections”.
New Custom CollectionNow I am importing this Excel file with the app:

Imported new Custom Collection

My Manual Collection is imported and I can check that in the Admin:

New Custom Collection in the Admin


2. Add Products to Existing Custom Collection

Here is the second case, when you already have Custom Collection and want to add additional products to it.

First of all, I will export my Products and Custom Collections with Linked Products with the app. It is good to export those both, because then you will have them both in the same file, and in Custom Collections you will see also “Product: Handle” values for existing products, not just the “Product: ID” values.

Export Products and Custom Collections

Download exported Excel file and open it.

Exported Products and Custom CollectionsThere are 2 products in the Collection “Our favourites”. I would like to add 3 more products to it. I will find their handles in the Products sheet and add 3 more lines for collection with the same ID and Handle values, so that app knows that those lines belong to the same Shopify manual collection.

Existing Custom Collection with New Products

To make it easier, you can just copy the previous row – to mark the spot for additional product in that manual collection.

Now I will delete Products sheet from this file because I don’t want to import products now – I want to import just Custom Collections. Save the file and import it into your Shopify Store with the app.

Imported products into Custom Collection

Let’s check in the Admin. There are 5 products now in the Custom Collection Our Favourites.


Good to know:

Bulk Delete Collections from Shopify

Bulk Delete Collections from Shopify Tutorial

So you would like to bulk delete Collections from your Shopify store.

You can do it with app like that:

1. Export all your existing Collections

Because there are two kinds of collections in Shopify: Smart and Custom, you can delete Collections of just one kind or both.

In the Export section, click the Smart Collections/Custom Collections or both checkboxes to Export needed Collections.

Export Collections from Shopify

2. Leave in Excel file only the collections you want to delete

Make sure to remove all those Collections rows from that Excel file, which you want to still keep in your store. So that your file contains only Collections you want to delete.

And then set the “Command” column to “DELETE” for all of them.

Like this:

Delete Shopify Smart Collections

If you need to delete Collections of both kinds, pay attention, that there are two sheets in the Excel and add set the “Command” column to “DELETE” on both sheets.

Delete Shopify Custom Collections

3. Import that file with the app to delete collections

Bulk Delete Collections from Shopify with import

That’s it – those collections will be deleted now.

Good to know

  • You can bulk delete any other Shopify items the same way, like Products, Discounts, Pages, Orders, etc.
  • Before you delete Shopify Collections, you might want to do the full export of all Collections with the app. You can keep that Excel file for reference, or even restore deleted collections later to your Shopify store if you need to.
  • You can combine commands for the same import – delete some collections, but update other collections, and even create new collections, all at the same time.

“Command” column: NEW, UPDATE, REPLACE, DELETE

In each sheet, you can use the “Command” column, by which you can tell, what to do with the row that is being imported:

The possible commands are:

  • NEW: will try to create a new item with the provided details. If such item will already exist (with the same ID or same Handle), then the result will be Failed.
  • UPDATE: will try to find existing item by ID or by Handle, and update it with data from the row. If such item will not be found, then it will create new.
  • REPLACE: at first, if such item with provided ID or Handle exists, then the app will delete it. After that, it will create a new one. If an existing item will not be found, then still the app will create a new one. The difference from UPDATE is that it will not keep any of columns, which were not included in the import file since the item will be deleted and re-created.
  • DELETE: the app will delete the existing item, which is found by ID or Handle. If such item will not be found, then the result will be Failed. This DELETE command is very handy for deleting items in bulk.

If no Command is specified, then the app will assume the UPDATE command.

Option to remove images from Body HTML descriptions when importing

You can remove images (<img> tags) from your Body HTML description by selecting a checkbox option “Remove images from Body HTML” when importing.

Also you can update your existing products, collections and pages the same way.

Here is the tutorial: How to remove images from Shopify Body HTML descriptions?

Option to remove images from Shopify Body HTML