[Model-Driven Apps] Error code deciphering: ways to get the error description in Data Import Failure and Unified Interface Error Message Popup

When you encounter an error in Dynamics 365, the error is usually presented by an error code followed by a short error description that describes what went wrong. However, that is not always the case, there are instances where you will only be presented with an error code and no description of the error at all, and that is not helpful in identifying what had gone wrong.

Below are 2 scenarios I have encountered where I was only presented with an error code, followed by a couple of options on what to do and where you can get the description of the error codes pertaining to the scenarios.

Scenario 1

When importing data using Dynamics 365 Data Import Wizard, you will sometimes encounter an error for some of the records being imported. When you check the Import record, the system opens up the Import Source File form in Unified Interface and the description column is empty for the Failure records for some reason as in the screenshot below. With just an error code, it is not easy to figure out what is wrong with those failed records.

Scenario 2

When certain contact records are selected as Attendees in the Appointment form in Unified Interface, the following error message shows up upon saving the record. I raised a ticket with Microsoft support and we finally found out that the issue was caused by an invalid email address of those Contacts. If the system shows a proper error message, we could have easily figured out the root cause of the issue without spending time troubleshooting with the support engineer.

Here's the solution if you encounter similar issues described above.

Option 1

One of the options to decipher those error messages is to refer to the Microsoft docs about the web service error codes.
For Scenario 1, the error code is -2,147,220,653 and the following error message can be found in that documentation.
The lookup reference could not be resolved

Option 2

Another option is to access the legacy web client version of the form to see the proper error message by appending "&forceClassic=1" at the end of the URL.
e.g. the URL of the Import Source File URL from Scenario 1 is
the URL for legacy web client will be
In the legacy web client, the proper error message can be found.


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