How To Use IMPORTDATA in Google Sheets

Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the IMPORTDATA function in Google Sheets.

How To Use IMPORTDATA in Google Sheets

Google Sheets comes with a few functions that can help you work with external data. One of these functions is IMPORTDATA, which can be used to import data from a URL.

If you have access to a CSV file through a URL, using IMPORTDATA is a great way to quickly add the data to your spreadsheet. This function can also be used to access data from public sources like government or organizational websites.

In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step explanation of how to use IMPORTDATA in Google Sheets.

How To Import a CSV Into Google Sheets Using IMPORTDATA

Here’s how to import a CSV into Google Sheets using the IMPORTDATA function.

Step 1

First, select an empty cell to place the IMPORTDATA function.

In this example, we will place the function in cell A1.

Step 2

In the empty cell, type the string “=IMPORTDATA(“ to start the function.

Step 3

Paste the URL that links directly to the CSV data. Ensure that the URL is enclosed with quotation marks.

In this example, we will try to extract hurricane data from a publicly accessible URL.

Step 4

The data should now automatically fill up with the data from the provided URL. Any changes made to the accessed link should reflect automatically in the Google Sheets document.

There are a few situations where the IMPORTDATA function may not function. If the data you are trying to import comes from a website that is not publicly accessible, Google Sheets will not be able to import the data. Additionally, the IMPORTDATA function will not work if the data in the provided URL is not a .CSV or .TSV file.


This guide should be everything you need to use the IMPORTDATA function in Google Sheets.

You may make a copy of this example spreadsheet to test it out on your own.