O365 – Create Managed Metadata Terms from a CSV file using CSOM in PowerShell

This is the first in a series of blog posts I am going to publish that walk through the process of performing configuration tasks against the Managed Metadata Term Store in O365 using CSOM in PowerShell. These posts will explain how to use a CSV file to provide the input values for the scripts however the logic within the scripts can be used to perform the same tasks without using a CSV file with minimal effort.

The example PowerShell script below can be used to take input values from a CSV file and create Managed Metadata Terms within a target Term Set in SharePoint Online. The script assumes that you will specify a path to a CSV file that contains the names of the Terms you wish to create and then loops through each line of the CSV file to create new terms within the Term Set. I have attached a sample CSV file to this blog post.

It requires five variables to be updated – $User which is the tenant admin, $TenantURL which is the URL for the SharePoint Admin Center, $Site which is a valid URL of any SharePoint Site Collection that exists within the tenant, $GroupName which is the name of the Term Group that contains the Term Set you wish to create the terms in and $TermSetName which is the name of the target Term Set that you want to create the terms in.

$User = "<Tenant Admin>"

$TenantURL = "<URL of SharePoint Admin Center>"

$Site = "<URL of Site Collection that exists in the tenant>"

$GroupName = "<Term Group Name that contains the target Term Set>"

$TermSetName = "<Target Term Set Name>"


#Add references to SharePoint client assemblies and authenticate to Office 365 site – required for CSOM

Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll"

Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll"

Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Taxonomy.dll"

$Password = Read-Host -Prompt "Please enter your password" -AsSecureString




#Bind to the Managed Metadata Service within the target instance of SPO

$Context = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($Site)

$Creds = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($User,$Password)

$Context.Credentials = $Creds

$MMS = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Taxonomy.TaxonomySession]::GetTaxonomySession($Context)




#Retrieve all of the Term Stores from the Managed Metadata Service

$TermStores = $MMS.TermStores




#Bind to the Term Store you want to perform configurations against

$TermStore = $TermStores[0]




#Bind to the Term Group you want to perform configurations against

$Group = $TermStore.Groups.GetByName($GroupName)




#Bind to Term Set you want to perform configurations against

$TermSet = $Group.TermSets.GetByName($TermSetName)




#Specify path to CSV input file that contains;

#The names of the Terms to create within the Term Set

$path = "<Path to the input CSV file>"


#Import and load the CSV input file into the PowerShell Session

$csv = import-csv -path $path


#Process entries in the CSV

foreach($line in $csv){


#Create Terms within the target Term Set using the values supplied in the "TermNames" column of the CSV file.

$newTerms = $termSet.CreateTerm($line.TermNames,1033, [guid]::NewGuid())








    write-host "Caught an exception:" -ForegroundColor Red

    write-host "Exception Type: $($_.Exception.GetType().FullName)" -ForegroundColor Red

    write-host "Exception Message: $($_.Exception.Message)" -ForegroundColor Red




    write-host ""

    write-host "New Terms have been successfully created within the Term Set!" -ForegroundColor Green


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