Group import and export API (FREE)

Use the group import and export API to export a group structure and import it to a new location. When you use the group import and export API with the project import and export API, you can preserve connections with group-level relationships, such as connections between project issues and group epics.

Group exports include the following:

  • Group milestones
  • Group boards
  • Group labels
  • Group badges
  • Group members
  • Subgroups. Each subgroup includes all data above
  • Group wikis (PREMIUM SELF)

To preserve group-level relationships from imported projects, you should run group import and export first. This way, you can import project exports into the desired group structure.

Imported groups have a private visibility level unless you import them into a parent group. If you import groups into a parent group, the subgroups inherit by default a similar level of visibility.

To preserve the member list and their respective permissions on imported groups, review the users in these groups. Make sure these users exist before importing the desired groups.


For information on prerequisites for group import and export API, see prerequisites for migrating groups by uploading an export file.

Schedule new export

Start a new group export.

POST /groups/:id/export
Attribute Type Required Description
id integer/string yes ID of the group owned by the authenticated user
curl --request POST --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: <your_access_token>" ""
  "message": "202 Accepted"

Export download

Download the finished export.

GET /groups/:id/export/download
Attribute Type Required Description
id integer/string yes ID of the group owned by the authenticated user
curl --request GET\
     --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: ${token}" \
     --output download_group_${group}.tar.gz \
ls *export.tar.gz

Time spent on exporting a group may vary depending on a size of the group. This endpoint returns either:

  • The exported archive (when available)
  • A 404 message

Import a file

POST /groups/import
Attribute Type Required Description
name string yes The name of the group to be imported
path string yes Name and path for new group
file string yes The file to be uploaded
parent_id integer no ID of a parent group to import the group into. Defaults to the current user's namespace if not provided.

To upload a file from your file system, use the --form argument. This causes cURL to post data using the header Content-Type: multipart/form-data. The file= parameter must point to a file on your file system and be preceded by @. For example:

curl --request POST --header "PRIVATE-TOKEN: <your_access_token>" \
     --form "name=imported-group" --form "path=imported-group" \
     --form "file=@/path/to/file" ""

NOTE: The maximum import file size can be set by the Administrator, default is 0 (unlimited). As an administrator, you can modify the maximum import file size. To do so, use the max_import_size option in the Application settings API or the Admin Area. Default modified from 50 MB to 0 in GitLab 13.8.