99+ WooCommerce Import Errors And How to Fix Them
When you have a task to be solved with import, getting a WooCommerce import error is rather frustrating. It delays your work forcing you to look for a solution or workaround.
In this article, we’ve collected the most typical errors that occur upon using the default WooCommerce product importer. We hope this list will save your time, help you quickly find a working solution, and complete the import successfully.
“Sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons.”
Possible reason #1: An issue in the WordPress core that emerged after the security update in 2018. The fix was added in WordPress 5.0.3 in 2019.
The best solution would be to update to the latest WordPress version. If, for some reason, you don’t want to update to the latest stable version of WordPress, you can try the workarounds offered by a WordPress community:
- Install a plugin which disables MIME Check, for instance, this one - Disable Real Mime Check.
- Upload the file to the FTP and import it from FTP.
- Implement the filter to disable MIME Check by adding a snippet:
- Add the ALLOW_UNFILTERED_UPLOADS constant to the wp-config.php file
add_filter( 'woocommerce_product_csv_importer_check_import_file_path', '__return_false' );
(define( 'ALLOW_UNFILTERED_UPLOADS', true );
Possible reason #2 – permission error when importing HTML.
The error “Sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons” may also occur if the import file contains HTML tags. On some servers, this file type can be mis-detected by WordPress. A possible solution offered in the official WooCommerce Product CSV Importer and Exporter documentation is to add this line of code to your wp-config.php file:
define( 'ALLOW_UNFILTERED_UPLOADS', true );
For the security reasons this should be enabled temporarily to perform the import, and then removed from the configuration file.
We advise that you should edit the files / code only if you are sure in your actions. Otherwise, contact your developer. A mistake in the code may lead to the crush of your website.
It is also recommended to make WooCommerce store data backup before the import.
Possible reason #3 - the file type you try to import is not in the allowed list.
There are two ways to add a new permitted file type.
- Enable the ALLOW_UNFILTERED_UPLOADS option in the wp-config.php file:
- Install a WordPress plugin (for instance, WP Add Mime Types) to add needed file type to the allowed list.
“Specified file failed upload test”
This error message may appear because of several reasons: conflict between plugins, ini file settings, directory permissions, and others.
To find a solution try the following:
- Deactivate all plugins.
- Switch to the WordPress default theme.
- Deactivate all custom PHP/JS code snippets, and try importing the file again.
- Make sure your php.ini set file_uploads=ON (.ini in different location depending on stack and configuration)
- Make sure your directory permissions are set properly — to 750 or 770.
“Allowed memory size of xxx bytes exhausted”
Possible reason: Your server may not have enough memory to perform the import.
Solution: Try increasing the memory limit. If you are not able to do it yourself, there may be some restrictions on the server. In that case, you should contact your hosting provider, and ask them to increase the limit.
“Too Many Redirects”
Possible reason #1: Most often, this error is caused by incorrect configuration. WordPress itself uses a form of redirection when it assigns the URLs to your new posts and pages. If another tool is improperly configured or programmed, it can cause a looping effect.
For instance, one of the users on the WordPress support forum reported that he got the “Too Many Redirects” error because the new theme he had installed came with a demo plugin which caused the conflict.
- Disable plugins and try finding the one that causes a conflict.
- Switch to the default theme to perform the import.
Possible reason #2: Improperly assigned URLs.
Solution: Make sure WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) are the same (with or without www), all lower case, both as http or https.
Possible reason #3: WordPress Memory Limit.
Solution: Go to WooCommerce > Status and check memory limit and available memory.
Other possible reasons and solutions:
- Corrupted or outdated cookies and cache in your browser (try clearing them).
- Cache stored on WordPress (try clearing cache).
- Some variable in your .htaccess file causes the looping effect (try disabling .htaccess file).
“Invalid file type. The importer supports CSV and TXT file formats”
Possible reason: CSV file type is in the list of restricted MIME types for your website.
Solution: Look through the list of MIME types and file extensions allowed by WordPress. If CSV file type is not there you should add it to the list.
You can check the allowed and restricted MIME types on your site with these plugins:
If you need to add CSV to the allowed list you can install the WP Add Mime Types plugin.
“Importing post ID Conflicts with an Existing ID” or “Post is not a Product”
Possible reason #1: post ID already exists in the WooCommerce store to which the products are imported.
Solution: Select the “Update existing products” check box if you are updating existing product data.
Possible reason #2: The ID listed in the CSV is not a product ID at the website to which it is imported.
The thing is, WordPress creates unique IDs not just for products, but for orders, comments, categories, pages as well. These entities with their IDs are stored in the WordPress wp_posts table. So when a product with the existing ID is imported, it generates a conflict.
Solution: When you are importing new products leave the ID column unmapped. WordPress will generate unique IDs for the products that don’t have them.
"Invalid or Duplicate SKU"
Possible reason: product variations whose parent variable products no longer exist in the database still exist for unknown reasons (invisibly) in the database and cannot be seen or reached through the backend user interface.
- Run the “Delete orphaned variations” tool finding it by the following path: Dashboard > WooCommerce > Status > Tools.
- During import, disable the mapping for the “ID” field (By attempting to import and map the (post) ID of your products by default, WooCommerce assumes that the database you’re exporting from and the database you’re importing into were the same databases at some point — which is most probably not the case in your case (and in 99% of all cases).
- Check if all of your products have a SKU. The WooCommerce product import falls back to using the SKUs of the products to map variations to their parent variable products.
- Check if all of your SKUs are unique. SKUs of variations need to be different from their parent products.
“Failed to import products”
Possible reason #1: there is an unidentified character “�” in the CSV file.
Solution: Check if the CSV file is UTF-8 encoded.
Possible reason #2: product name is missing.
Solution: check whether post_title (product name) is mapped in the import mapping section.
Issues with a CSV file
Possible reason: a CSV file is missing some data or contains incompatible data.
- Study the WooCommerce CSV import template and Product CSV Import Schema.
- Check if there is no extra space after column names.
- Data for the column ID and post_id must be empty in the CSV because they are automatically assigned by WordPress.
- Try using lowercase in the main cells (taxable, visibility) as they can be case-sensitive.
Import timeout error
Possible reason: large import file.
Solution: break your CSV file into chunks for import. Or try increasing memory limit, including WP_MAX_MEMORY_LIMIT and MAX_EXECUTION_TIME.
If you don’t know how to modify these settings yourself, try contacting your web hosting company for assistance.
Let’s sum up what you can do if WooCommerce import not working
Most often, import issues occur because some plugins or themes turn out to be incompatible with the system. So a common recommendation would be to disable plugins to find out which one causes a conflict and temporarily switch to the WordPress default theme. Also, to avoid accidental unwanted changes it is advisable to backup your data before any CSV import.
Though we tried to assemble in this article as many possible WooCommerce import errors as we could, we acknowledge that the list is not exhaustive and there are other 89 possible reasons why WooCommerce import failed.
If you would face an issue that is not described above please share it in the comments. We will be happy to help you find a solution!
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