Your HubSpot CRM Import Time Machine

(aka: Go Back! Undo! Help me get that data out of there!)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has noticed that in HubSpot CRM, there is no native feature to undo an import. There are a ton of articles and community posts about how easy it is to use their “Lists” and other features to manually delete records, but this is only true for Marketing users. Those using just HubSpot CRM have to come up with our own steps to revert an import.

I’m here to provide you with a guide for steps that I find the most effective for undoing imports, as well as some tips and explanations on the limitations for doing so.

Sidenote: Why, you may ask, do you need to undo an import? You may have unintentionally imported records you didn’t mean to, or you may have had one of those oh-no-this-has-gone-terribly-wrong moments and need to start over. To avoid the latter, I also have a helpful article on effective prepping for an import — check that out here.

First up:

If you’ve only done one import that day, this is a piece of cake.

  1. Create a filter by using the “Original Source Drilldown 1” and “Created Date” fields. This will ensure you are only looking at those with “Import” as your source (vs. those you create manually, or those that come from integrations, etc.) and those that were added today.
  2. Use the checkbox to select all (you’ll want to make sure you are selecting all pages if they run onto multiple!) and press delete. HubSpot will then ask you to confirm the delete and you are good to go!

Next up:

If you’ve done multiple imports in a day, you’ll want a more specific way to filter these records to be sure you don’t delete anything you don’t want to. To revert one specific import, we recommend these steps…

  1. Setup a custom field to “tag” your imports with a unique value so they are easy to identify individually
    Helpful explanation: HubSpot does have a native field that shows the name of your CSV file — “Original Source Drilldown 2” — which you would ideally want to use as your unique identifier (thus not needing a custom field). However, as HubSpot support notes in this thread, this field is actually only displaying the name to you and the actual value in that field is an internal ID that you can’t see. The result? You can’t filter on this field for imported records.

  2. Each import you do should include a step for adding a value to this field (you can use the same steps above to create the filter by “Original Source Drilldown 1” and “Created Date” to bulk-edit these records to add the field value if you like)

  3. Now you can use the combination of “Original Source Drilldown 1” and this custom field to create your list of records that will be specific to each individual import. You can then proceed with the same steps described above to bulk-delete.
    Helpful tip: If you did the import previously and have a value in this field, use the “contains” filter, same as you do for the “Original Source Drilldown 1” field. If you just did the import and need to revert it and you haven’t yet set a value for the custom field, all you have to do is base the filter on your custom field being “unknown”.
    Voila! There are your two easy ways to jump in your time machine and undo an import you made into HubSpot CRM.

If you are looking for a simpler way to import your Contacts, you may want to check out Import2 Wizard. This is the easiest way to consolidate your Contact data from a wide range of sources (other CRMs, CSV files, etc.) with the added benefit of automated field mappings and deduplication. Not to mention you can revert any import with the press of a button!