I have a custom field set that is currently configured to be used for participants. When it was set up it was configured to be targeted to just a couple of events. We now want to make this field set available for any event.

When I go into the settings for the custom field set and click on "Any" in the field labelled "Used for Participants (Event name)" Civi throws up a big warning message:

"Warning: You have chosen to remove one or more subtypes. This will cause any custom data records associated with those subtypes to be removed as long as the contact does not have a contact subtype still selected."

In practice I don't think I am removing anything, and in any event I don't actually understand what this warning means, but I can see why the alert is there.

So my question is: "Can I select the 'Any' option in this field - and by so doing deselect those specific events that were previously selected - without deleting any records?

  • 1
    I don't think civi will delete any records but to be safe. Just take a back up of the custom table and apply the changes - then compare the table. you shouldn't find any record missing - If you find anything missing you can always load it from your backup table - I guess this helps !!! Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 10:43

3 Answers 3


Yes, you are safe to change the Custom field type to any. There won't be any data loss. To be on safer side please take backup of DB and try.


@graham - do you remember what came of this? I am getting the same scary warning when trying to add two new activity types in the settings for an old custom field set. I'm on Civi 5.65.2. warning snippet


I would try this on a development installation and see what happens. I would expect that you would keep all data but the message is a bit hazy.

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