Import contacts, with existing HubSpot details as the master

I have many contacts already in my HubSpot database, but also have lots of contacts in a legacy CRM system. I want to export from the legacy system and import into HubSpot, but as the import is coming from an old system I want any data already in HubSpot to be considered the master (so not overwritten by the import).


Perhaps on each field in the import you could say whether it should overwrite existing data in HubSpot. 


This would allow me to easily migrate all my contacts from my legacy CRM without worrying about old data overwriting my more up to date HubSpot data.


I would also like to be able to import contacts, but choose that any that already exist in HubSpot be excluded from the import.

12 Replies
Occasional Contributor

I would like to be able to import contacts, but choose that any that already exist in HubSpot be excluded from the import.

Esteemed Contributor

We are building a third-party tool to do exactly this. We’d be happy to talk through your particular import details and have you try out our tool to make sure it meets your needs - please feel free to direct message me if you’re interested!

Esteemed Contributor

We are building a third-party tool to do exactly this. It will check for existing contacts you have, and allow you to choose if you want to update specific fields on those records or just ignore and simply import only new contacts. If you’re interested in trying this out, feel free to direct message me and I’d be happy to walk through your specific needs to make sure it’s a good fit!

Community Manager
Community Manager
updated to: Idea Submitted

Hi @kevin, I've actually merged your previous idea ("Import contacts, ignoring any already in HubSpot") because the two are intrinsically related, and if a solution for one of these were to be implemented, it would likely also address the other. Combining these two ideas will increase the chance of other users finding and upvoting the same one, which will increase its visibility. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Regular Contributor

This has my vote too! The ability to skip existing contacts during import would have saved many headaches and hours spent working with your support team.

New Contributor

This is a great idea. I'm just trying to combine data bases into a single Hubspot CRM, and I've already installed my most current data. (It's a shame I didn't do oldest to newest - that would have been a good tip.) @ashley_milne: is your tool ready to test? I'd be happy to give it a go if so, as I'm not too far along in my configuration of Hubspot. 

Esteemed Contributor

@PWK Yes, our tool is up and running if you'd like to give it a go. Feel free to email direct so we can walk you through how to set it up with your specific requirements:

JoeDavies Top Contributor | Gold Partner
Top Contributor | Gold Partner

While still requiring a manual task pre-import, this should only take about 10/15mins. I personally would export all of my current database, strip the email field out and use that to highlight all my existing HubSpot contacts in the old CRM file via the following formula:

=IF(ISNA(VLOOKUP(A2,D : D,1,0)),"No","Yes")

(edit: remove spacing on D : D, the community portal is converting the formula into emoji's!)

With A2 being the email address of a contact in the CRM file, and D : D being the column with all the email addresses already in HubSpot. Copy paste this formula for the entire row of CRM emails, be careful to leave your computer to work through this if the list is particularly large as clicking anything etc can affect excel as it processes and give incorrect results - always worth spot checking a few results to make sure it has worked correctly.

With the email address being HubSpot's key contact identifier, you can then filter on the 'Yes' results and delete them all (use Find & Select, go to **bleep**...,  visible cells only) - leaving you with a file of the net new records only for import.

Be wary of data quality if the file is particularly old as you will get a lot of bounces, may be worth running through an email verification tool first if large portions of the data have been untouched in 3-6+ months.

Hope that helps!

Occasional Contributor

 This is a significant need for us, as a higher education institution, as we regularly receive inquiry cards from students on site visits/college fairs. Due to our relatively small team, it may take us months to transcribe the thousands of inquiry cards we receive. During which time, that same student may have inquired through the website with more current information.


We do not want the more recent data from the website to be overwritten by this weeks or months-old content. Excluding existing contacts on import will save our team from more manual data filtering.