Print this page

I have identified unwanted data in my system. How do I delete it?

Knowledge Article Number 000212815
Description Users sometimes notice unwanted data in their Salesforce Org. This could be confidential, duplicate or just junk data. This article talks about how you can delete the data and completely purge it from the org.

Resolution There are two steps in this process - deleting the data and purging the data completely from the org. Let's discuss the two steps in detail.

1. Deleting the data:
There are a few ways of deleting the unwanted data. Depending on the number of records involved, you can either delete them through the Salesforce user interface (UI) or the SOAP API.

If there are only a few records, it is simple to delete them through the UI. Through the UI, you can either click the "Delete" button on each record individually or use the Mass Delete tool. Please ensure that you have the appropriate delete permission for those records.

If you have a larger number of records to delete, you can use the Apex Data Loader (API). You would need to create a CSV file containing all the record IDs and use the delete/hard delete operation of Data Loader.

2. Purging the data completely from the org:
Just deleting the record will not completely remove the records from the system. The deleted records can be still queried by those who have access rights on the record.

If you want to completely remove the record, you have to empty the Recycle Bin and request that Salesforce support perform a physical delete. If records are directly Hard Deleted, then you will not see them in the recycle bin. If records are still in the recycle bin, administrators and users with the “Modify All Data” permission can click Empty your Recycle Bin or Empty your organization’s Recycle Bin.

The last step is to request Physical Delete. Physical Delete (PD) refers to a sweeper process in the Salesforce database that removes a record from the corresponding database table. Physical Delete is sometimes referred to as a “permanent” delete. 

Note: Once this process has removed a record, the record can no longer be accessed through the UI or the API.

In order to request Physical Delete to be run against your org, please Log a Case with Support.

promote demote