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Airtable Export – The Ultimate Tutorial for Beginners and Experts

You can easily import data to your Airtable database from CSV and Excel files, as well as Google Sheets. Getting data out of Airtable as a CSV is also easy and can be done with just a few clicks. However, if you want to export data to spreadsheet apps and automate the process, you will need to resort to third-party tools. So, we decided to share the best practices for how you can export Airtable data to different destinations.

Why export data from Airtable

The main reason why you may need to export Airtable base is to access the data while offline. In Airtable, it’s not possible to do so yet. However, if you have your Airtable data in, let’s say, Excel Workbook, you will have offline access to it.

Another reason is to back up your base. Airtable automatically takes snapshots, but it does so irregularly and won’t keep them for long on the lowest plans. We’ve covered this issue in detail in our Airtable Backup guide. 

Other reasons to export data from Airtable may relate to data visualization and manipulation needs. Spreadsheet apps, such as Excel and Google Sheets, have much to offer you in this regard. Moreover, you can easily connect them to data visualization tools, such as Google Data Studio or Power BI. 

Whichever reason you have, you need to know how the Airtable export can be done. Let’s start with the native option of downloading your data as a CSV file.

Export a table from Airtable as a CSV

You can’t download a table as a CSV from Airtable, but you can fetch any view. For this, click on the view name and select Download CSV.

Your view will be downloaded as a CSV file to your device. You can open it in Excel or upload it to Google Sheets. 

If your base consists of multiple tables, you’ll have to download each view as a CSV. This is very inconvenient especially when you export data from Airtable as a backup. In this case, you’ll need to manually repeat the flow every time you want to update the backup copy. So, the following solution will be much more efficient.

How to export data from Airtable automatically

To automate Airtable export, you can use one of the Airtable importers provided by Coupler.io.

Coupler.io is a solution for importing data from multiple sources into Google Sheets, Excel, or BigQuery on a schedule. This means that you can select a frequency for the automatic data refresh and avoid manually copying and pasting data from Airtable.

Let’s see how it works in the example below.

Export contact info from Airtable to Google Sheets

Note: Coupler.io allows you to export views from Airtable to your destination.

We’re going to export a view containing the contact information of customers using the Airtable to Google Sheets integration. You can watch our video tutorial on how to do this.

Sign up to Coupler.io with your Google account, click the “Add new importer” button, name your importer, and complete the three steps.

Note: Alternatively, you can use the Coupler.io add-on for Google Sheets to make the setup right from your spreadsheet. Install the add-on from the Google Workspace Marketplace.

Source

  • Select Airtable as the source application. Click Continue.
  • Get a shared view link for your Airtable view and insert it into the Shared URL field. If your Airtable view is password-protected, then click Continue and enter your password. Otherwise, click Jump to Destination Settings.

Destination

  • Select Google Sheets as the destination application. Click Continue.
  • Connect to your Google account. Click Continue.
  • On your Google Drive, select a spreadsheet and a sheet where the exported Airtable data will be transferred. Click Continue.

Tip: You can create a new sheet by typing in a new name.

In the optional fields, you can select the first cell address where your Airtable data will be imported, select the import mode, and enable the last update column. For more on this, read about the Google Sheets destination setup.

Schedule

Toggle on the Automatic data refresh and configure the schedule for your automatic exports:

  • Interval (from 15 minutes to once per month)
  • Days of the week
  • Time preferences
  • Time zone

Click Save and Run once you’re ready. After the successful import, you can check out your spreadsheet with the exported Airtable data by clicking the View Results button.

Here is what we got:

Export Airtable database to Excel

Coupler.io provides a dedicated Airtable to Excel integration for this need. However, one importer allows you to export one view. So, you’ll need to make as many importers for as many views as your database contains. You can copy importers, so you won’t have to make each one from scratch.

The setup flow is mostly the same, but you’ll need to slightly amend the destination step as follows:

  • Select Microsoft Excel as the destination application. Click Continue.
  • Connect to your Microsoft account. Click Continue.
  • On your OneDrive, select a workbook and a worksheet where the exported Airtable data will be transferred. Click Continue.

The rest is the same. Once you’re ready, click Save and Run.

Export a large base from Airtable to BigQuery

It’s not always feasible to export a large base from Airtable to a spreadsheet app. In this case, Coupler.io provides BigQuery as a destination and a dedicated Airtable to BigQuery integration. Again, make sure that you create importers for each view of your database. You can copy the first one and edit it for each Airtable view.

Here is what the destination step looks like:

  • Select BigQuery as a destination application.
  • Connect your BigQuery account. To do this, you’ll need to generate and upload a Google Cloud JSON key from your device. Click Continue.

Read how to generate a Google Cloud JSON key.

  • Enter the name of your BigQuery dataset and a table where the exported Airtable data will be transferred.

The rest is the same as for Excel or Google Sheets – set up a schedule and click Save and Run

Airtable data export best practices

Above we’ve explained the most obvious options for exporting data from Airtable. At the same time, Airtable users may have other advanced cases and questions in this regard. Let’s check out some of them.

Airtable full base export – is it possible?

There is no button or view link that will allow you to export the entire base from Airtable. With Coupler.io, you can’t export the entire base, but you can do it easily with views. Pick a view that has the information you need and set up an importer. If you need to fetch data from multiple views, duplicating importers is very simple. For this, click the three dots and select Copy.

Export Airtable pivot

Airtable users on a Pro or Enterprise plan have already enjoyed pivot table app blocks as they are very useful for reporting. Unfortunately, you can’t share individual blocks with anyone outside of Airtable and you can’t export the pivot table as a CSV. You can share a view link with anyone, even outside of Airtable, but the charts from the dashboard won’t be loaded.

The solution here is to reverse the actions:

  • First – export data to Google Sheets.
  • Second – create a pivot table of the exported data.

Here is an example of a pivot table with the contact information we exported from Airtable:

This way, not only Pro/Enterprise Plan subscribers will be able to enjoy pivot tables, but every Airtable user. Read our tutorial if you need any assistance with creating pivot tables in Google Sheets

Note: If your pivot table is coded with Vega-Lite, then you can export it as a PNG or SVG. Click the three dots in the top right corner and select the option you want.

Airtable export attachments – how it works

When you export Airtable data as a CSV or with Coupler.io, you only get links to your attachments like this:

If this does not work for you or you want to bulk download all of your PDFs, images, or other attachments, you have two options:

  • Use the Bulk Download Attachments app (available on the Pro/Enterprise Plan).
  • Set up an integration using Zapier or a similar tool. 

However, think twice about whether you need to make copies of the attachments rather than just having them referenced.

Airtable export list of emails

When we loaded contact information from Airtable to Google Sheets, we had emails, names, companies, and other data in one batch. If you only need a list of emails, you can create a separate view of your table with the names and emails to be exported.

However, if you need a view with only one field, such as emails, then you can do the following:

  • Duplicate the primary field – this will create a field named ‘Customer Name copy’.
  • Change the primary field type to ‘Email’ and copy and paste emails there instead of names.
  • Delete the initial ‘Email’ and rename ‘Customer Name copy‘ to ‘Customer Name‘.

Now you can create a new view and hide all of the fields excep ‘Email’ before exporting it with Coupler.io.

However, from our point of view, the best option is to simply extract or reference the list of emails from the view exported either to Google Sheets or Excel. For example, like this:

Read how to link sheets in Google Sheets for more details.

Any other options to export Airtable?

Coupler.io is definitely not the only tool available for exporting Airtable data. You can check out some other alternatives, but it’s unlikely that you’ll want to switch. Why? Coupler.io allows you to export your table from Airtable in just a few clicks. Additionally, it only takes a couple of minutes to set up an integration and load your data. You’ll get your job done fast and without much effort. Moreover, automatically exporting views up to 1,000 rows will cost you nothing. Good luck with your data!

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