SAP Knowledge Base Article - Public

2537488 - Best Practice to delete/inactivate a Picklist, Picklist versions or Picklist Values


What to do when you want to remove/delete/deactivate one Picklist/Picklist Value/Picklist Version?

Image/data in this KBA is from SAP internal systems, sample data, or demo systems. Any resemblance to real data is purely coincidental.


  • SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite
  • Metadata framework (MDF)


Picklists are widely used in the system. Even if one picklist is marked as deleted, there still might be some places having references to this picklist. If we remove the picklist physically from database, those references might be broken. This way, our recommendation is to avoid deleting/purging picklists from the system.

Considering this, from 2005 on version, the option to delete picklists, picklist versions and picklist values was renamed in Picklist Center. Now, the button is designed to only deactivate, and not delete.

new deactivate button.png

NOTE: You aren’t allowed to use Full Purge in CSV format as it leads to data loss. For example, if a picklist is referenced by an object, then after the full purge the reference goes off.

NOTE: SAP recommends not to delete picklists, picklist versions, or picklist values. Also, note that SAP does not support recovering of deleted picklists, so customers should attempt deletion only and only if they are 100% sure that there are no references to such picklists.

Guide for Deletion: Deleting Picklists, Picklist versions or Picklist values

See Also

  • 2811676 - Picklist Center | Picklists aren't being consumed by effective-date
  • 2853514 - Inactivating a MDF Picklist


mdf picklist, purge picklist, delete picklist, delete picklist value, inactive, deactivate, delete, modify , KBA , LOD-SF-MDF-PKL , Picklists , LOD-SF-EC-ADM , Admin Tools (EC Core only) , Problem


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