Civi 5.15.1, Wordpress 5.2.3

I'm trying to get a list of all contacts who are not in any group (Smart or otherwise). I've done this two ways, with the same result: the first is by filtering the Constituent Summary report, and the second is using the Search Builder.

In either case, when I set the Group(s) filter to 'Is Empty', I get this message: "Sorry, due to an error, we are unable to fulfill your request at the moment. You may want to contact your administrator or service provider with more details about what action you were performing when this occurred."

And when I set the Group(s) filter to 'Is Null' (available via Search Builder only, not the report), the resulting list includes contacts who are in Smart Groups, whom I want to exclude.

I'd prefer not to use the Import Contacts workaround provided by Nicholai here: How to find contacts with no group?

And @Xavier's extension based on it does not seem to be available anymore (https://civicrm.org/extensions/lonesome-find-contacts-without-group).

Does anyone have any other ideas? Thanks!


1 Answer 1


If this is a one off exercise, you can use the advanced search to select all the contacts are in any group (just keep adding all your groups to the group selection box) and create a new group "in any group". Then use the include/exclude custom search to exclude all the contacts on the "in any group" group. Then you can add them to a "not in any group" group.

Actually you could probably do it straight from include/exclude custom search.

  • 1
    Did you mean "include/exclude custom search"?
    – Demerit
    Sep 16, 2019 at 21:15
  • Yes - corrected
    – Mick Kahn
    Sep 16, 2019 at 21:29
  • Going straight to a custom Include/Exclude Search did the trick—thanks, Mick. Now, should I report as a bug the error message I get when I set the Group(s) filter to 'Is Empty' in the Constituent Summary and Search Builder pages?
    – John Mark
    Sep 17, 2019 at 15:48
  • Glad that worked. I'm not sure its really a bug. From what I can see the operator list is the same for all fields and only some of those make sense and some don't for different types of field. I think it would be a major development to clean this up to be foolproof, not a simple bugfix.
    – Mick Kahn
    Sep 17, 2019 at 16:00

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