I'd like to disable some custom field fields, because we no longer want users to enter that data. But then I can no longer see the field in report filters. Is there another way I can get that data out without re-enabling the field?

I would also like to disable some field options. Is the data preserved? Assuming so (maybe I shouldn't) how can I report or export it after it's disabled?

Thanks everyone

Thanks for the suggestions - however, I'm new to CiviCRM, what is CSS? I think being able to change the visibility in the field when inputting would help, but you'd still have to have it visible for reporting. (Other systems I have used just have a 'selectable' option tick box for each entry in the pick list - but this only controls new choices in a pick list, as all options are available for reporting.)

  • is there any pointing asking where/how people are entering this data? if they are custom fields, but not in profiles, then are you giving users access to civicrm directly? asking in case this is more an issue of restricting what data users should/could update
    – petednz - fuzion
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 23:30

2 Answers 2


You might consider using css to hide the fields not in used, in this case you can still have them available for reporting,


Unfortunately, "disabled" controls both availability for entering data as well as for visibility on reports.

If you disable field options, the data IS preserved - but will only be available for reporting/export if you (temporarily) re-enable the options.

If this is completely unworkable in your scenario, you can try more advanced solutions for disabling items, such as Kboy's suggestion to hide unused fields with CSS, or running a SQL query directly against the database to pick up disabled options.

  • Thanks everyone, I have my answer. What I don't know is how to stop following an item. Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 15:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.