I am new to civicrm, just got a job with an organisation where this is the pre-existing database. I think the data in there is in a mess and I would like to export all data to excel / csv if possible so I can check through it. Is there any way of doing this quickly? Thanks

1 Answer 1


The short answer is "Yes" but it's not as useful as you might think.

First - consider a contact with 10 donations, 5 events attended, 3 memberships, etc. If you exported this all in one table, it would be hundreds of columns, with data flattened to the point of uselessness. On the other hand, if you export contacts in one table, donations in another, etc., it's quite hard to make good sense of what you're looking at since it lacks context.

My recommendation is to search for all contacts (going to Search menu >> Find Contacts and press Search without specifying any criteria). Then from search results, select the All Contacts radio button, and Export Contacts from the Search Actions drop-down. Export All Primary Fields.

This is a) still information overload, b) doesn't contain quite a lot of database information, but will serve as a helpful starting place to familiarize yourself.

  • Hi, thanks for your answer. The data we have is pretty thin, so it would still be useful, thanks. You say the short answer is 'yes'. Could you possibly elaborate on that, please? Jun 15, 2019 at 16:15
  • You could use mysqldump to dump in SQL format. If you want to open it in a spreadsheet, using a tool like MySQL Workbench or PhpMyAdmin will allow this. Howver, it's no longer a CiviCRM question but a MySQL question, and those options are very well documented if you know the search terms I just provided :) Jun 22, 2019 at 18:08
  • Ok, thanks for taking the time to answer. Your reply looks like something which is beyond my knowledge or skillset. But thanks all the same. Jun 24, 2019 at 9:39

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