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?
  • How to delete a MDF picklist?
  • How to delete a MDF picklist value or 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 removed from Picklist Center. Now, the button is designed to only deactivate, and not delete.

new deactivate button.png

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 if they are 100% sure that there are no references to such picklists.

NOTE: You are not advised to use Full Purge in CSV format as it might leads to data loss. For example, if a picklist is referenced by an object, then after the full purge the reference goes off and SAP is not able to restore it.

If you need to delete some picklist, we advise that you be extremely cautious to analyze if there will be no data lost. You can refer to this Guide for Deletion: Deleting Picklists, Picklist versions or Picklist values

See Also


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


SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite all versions