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Any time you try to change a field type or delete a field in which the field contains existing data in the project, you will receive this error message.

Error message deleting field with existing data.

In order to prevent the error, you need to clear the data from the field you want to change, but only after preserving your original data.

  1. In Forum, perform an Excel export of all records in the project by going to the Options menu and selecting Export All Records. Be sure to save this in a safe place because this will be your preserved data. Please note that Excel has a limit of 65,536 rows.
  2. Create a copy of your exported Excel data and save it as a separate file from your preserved data.
  3. In the spreadsheet copy, enter CLEAR (case-sensitive) as the value in the row of each record under the field column that you want to clear.
  4. Return to your project and in the Options menu select Import Records to import the copied spreadsheet that contains CLEAR in the field column. Upon import, the system will recognize the command and clear the values from that particular field.

You are now able to change the field type or delete the field in the Forum Admin.

  1. Navigate to the Fields tab, select your field from the field list.
  2. Select Edit Field to change the desired field type by selecting the option in the dropdown list and Save. Your new field type is now active in your project, but remember to make additional edits if using a List or Linked field type.
  3. OR select the trash can icon to delete the field from the project.
  4. Finally, return to Forum and re-import the Excel file containing the preserved data.