I cannot figure out why some activity types display in the dropdown when adding a new activity, and others do not. For example, on the demo site, I can see that there are many (16 in the screnshot) activity types linked to the "Contact" component:

list of activity types

But when I go to add an activity to a contact on the demo site, I only see 7 options:

activity type dropdown options

What if I wanted to add an activity of a type that is not included in this list of 7? How did those 7 get to this dropdown list?

I'm desperate to figure this out.

Thank you! Kristin

  • by default if you create a new Activity Type associated with contact that will be listed in the dropdown box - Anything which you see in the list are default list - If you are still not clear let me know will give you a explanation Nov 12, 2019 at 10:30
  • I am having the same issue. In my Action Drop Down list 'Send to Email' is missing and I have been unable to find out how to configure the list to add back the Send to Email option. It is driving me buts that I have been unable to see where/how this is done. Nov 21, 2019 at 5:26

2 Answers 2


Only activity type that has component = Contact gets listed on the dropdown displayed on the contact summary page -> activities tab.

Bulk Email also has component = contact, then why it is not shown listed on the dropdown?

Some activity types are reserved for system usage which has filter value set to 1 in civicrm_option_value table. These activity types are filtered from the dropdown list.

Email/SMS activity type will only be shown in the dropdown if the contact has a valid email/phone value stored in it.

  • I have plenty of contacts with valid emails but the 'Send to Email' action is not displayed. It used to be displayed and somehow I disabled it (temporarily!) but I have been unable to see where it can be set up again. Nov 21, 2019 at 5:31

Some of those are "system" types that get added by other actions. For example Bulk Email is related to mass mailings of newsletters and such.

To add a custom type, you can define that by going in the menu to Administer - Customize Data and Screens - Activity Types. (EDIT: Oops obviously you found that screen - haha. If there's a specific one you're interested in and want to know how it gets used, then you can update and ask that.)

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