Very frequently I get users asking if we can remove Address/City/State/Postal/Country columns from the default search results table. Often they want to show some of our custom fields instead. Or to just remove clutter.

I know this is a common question, and I am aware of hook_civicrm_searchColumns and how to use profiles with advanced search.

But I am asking here to get verification that there is not a better way to simply remove some columns from the results of civicrm/contact/search

CiviCRM default search results page

1 Answer 1


There is a non-code fix for this:

You could make a profile with the fields you want to display.

And then you search using Advanced Search, and you could select that profile in the "display result as".

Edit: As pointed out by Philipp Michael in the comments below, you could also choose a certain profile as the default one, in the admin settings ( at /civicrm/admin/setting/search?reset=1.)

  • @Link Swanson Sorry, I saw now that you already had discovered this feature. May I ask why this way of doing it is insufficient for your need?
    – Flying
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 15:31
  • Using profiles in advanced search is fine, but I wanted to know how to change it globally, for all contact searches. I'm just verifying that there is not some alternative. I have used hook_civicrm_searchColumns but it is not ideal in terms of long term maintenance and gets complicated with custom fields.
    – LunkRat
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 15:47
  • 4
    @LinkSwanson You can set this custom search profile with the reduced columns as a default for all contact search results (besides participants) in /civicrm/admin/setting/search?reset=1. So your users don't have to select it by themselves. Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 17:03
  • 2
    @PhilippMichael - Brilliant! That is exactly what I wanted to know. I didn't know about this setting, so I assumed that profiles could only be used as Search Views in Advanced Search. I just tried it and it gave me exactly what I was looking for. I'm off to do this on the other half-dozen CiviCRM instances that I support ...
    – LunkRat
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 17:55

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