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Importing People
Published: Sep 14, 2017   -   Updated: Jun 22, 2018




Importing People

You can import people into your org through provisioning (i.e., from an application) or by using a CSV file.

Importing People Using Provisioning

Not all applications support provisioning, but for those that do, you can schedule an import to add users when an application is added or schedule it for later. You also have control over how imported users are confirmed and, through mapping rules, how application fields are mapped to an Okta username.

Provisioning must be enabled to use the following features. To enable provisioning, do the following:

  1. From the Administrator Dashboard select Applications and click the application you want to configure.
  2. Click the Provisioning tab. If no Provisioning tab appears, the app is not provisioning enabled.
  3. From the left-side panel under Settings, chose To Okta. This screen contains settings for all information that flows from the app to Okta.
  4. Click the adjacent Edit buttons to make changes in the following sections.


Use this section to schedule imports and dictate a username format that Okta will use for imported users. You can also define a percentage of acceptable app assignments before the Import Safeguard feature is automatically triggered.

User Creation & Matching

Matching rules are used in the import of users from all apps and directories that allow importing. Establishing matching criteria allows you to specify how an imported user should be defined as a new user or mapped to an existing Okta user.

Imported user is an exact match to Okta user if: Select the match criteria that establishes whether an imported user exactly matches an existing Okta user. Choose any combination from the list of options to establish your criteria. For the new imported user to be considered an exact match, each option that you select must be true. Note that if you choose the third option, the first and second choices are disabled.

Allow partial matches: Partial matching occurs when the first and last name of an imported user matches that of an existing Okta user, but the user’s username or/and email address do not.

Confirm matched users: Select to automate the confirmation or activation of existing users. Unchecked, matches are confirmed manually.

Confirm new users: Select to automate the confirmation or activation of a newly imported user. If this option is selected, you can uncheck it during import confirmation. Note that this feature does not apply for users who already exist in Okta.

For information on deprovisioning, see Provisioning and Deprovisioning Overview.

Okta Attribute Mappings

Use this portion of the page to edit attributes and mappings. For more details on mappings, see the Profile Editor.

Import Safeguard

If an unusual number of app unassignments occurs during an import, Okta triggers an alert to warn against the unintended deprovisioning of a large number of apps from users within an org. The Import Safeguard feature stops the import and suspends subsequent imports.

Note: For the Import Safeguard feature to be triggered, an org must contain a minimum 100 app assignments.

When triggered, the following message appears on the Okta Dashboard.

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If the app unassignment was expected

If these app unassignements were intentional, you can simply resume the import by clicking the Resume All Imports button. You can also view the event in the system log and, if you feel the current setting caused the unnecessary alert, adjust the threshold of allowed app unassignments. For details, see Increase the App Threshold below.

If the app unassignment was not expected

If the number of unassignments was not intentional, clicking the Cancel the Affected Import and Resume Other Imports button allows you to arrest imports from the offending app and resume other imports. Okta recommends viewing the event in the system logs and, if the issue remains unexplained, call Okta customer support.

Increase the App Threshold

If you click the set app assignment removal limit link, the following modal appears. It allows you to define a percentage of acceptable app unassignments before Import Safeguard is automatically triggered.

Note: This rate can also be changed from the Provisioning tab during the app provisioning process.

importing people 4_366x251

Importing People From a CSV File

For apps that don't support provisioning, you can import people directly from a CSV file.

  1. From the Administrator Dashboard, select Applications and click the application you want to configure.
  2. Click the Import tab.

  3. Click the Import from CSV button.
  4. Click on the CSV template link to download the template and enter your user's information.

    Note: You can add up to 5,000 users to your CSV file.

  5. Browse to your saved file and click on the Upload CSV button.

    Import begins automatically and a summary of your upload results appears.

  6. Click the Import users button.
  7. Confirm your imports and click on the people tab to begin assigning them.

For more details about importing people from a .csv file, see Importing Users From a CSV File.