Field History Tracking

What is field history tracking?

Field history tracking allows you to capture when the values within specified fields change when a record is edited.

Why use field history tracking?

Use field history tracking to create an audit trail of modifications to your company’s critical data.  This can be particularly helpful in identifying instances where data was updated incorrectly and by whom.

How do you enable field history tracking?

Step 1.

Standard objects

Select “Set History Tracking” within its field configuration:

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Then select the fields to include for tracking:

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Custom Objects

Ensure the object properties have “Track Field History” enabled:

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Then click “Set History Tracking” and select fields from the object:

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Step 2.

Standard and Custom Objects

Add the field history related list to the page layout:

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Reporting on field history

Once field history tracking is enabled, you will be able to report on that object’s history.  This report is not intended to perform analysis (e.g. how many days on average does each lead stay in the “Uncontacted” status); consider analytic snapshots for that type of analysis.

Other considerations

  • Field history tracking will only track values for specified fields once enabled.  Enabling history tracking or adding additional fields will not yield any historical data.
  • Fields longer than 255 characters (such as long text, rich text, and multi-select picklist fields) do not track values when changed (only that a change has occurred).
  • You can track up to 20 fields per object by default.  The limit can be raised by contacting Salesforce support, but a) you may have to pay for the increase and b) it may increase record save time.

30 Responses to “Field History Tracking”

  1. May 14, 2017 at 10:57 pm #

    Is there a requirement to add field history related list to the page layout? Will it not work without doing this? can you report on field history without adding it?


  2. Snowden82 January 23, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    small typo:
    “you may have to pay to for the increase,” could be, “you may have to pay for the increase”

  3. January 7, 2017 at 9:45 am #

    Hey John , I followed all steps such as setting up field history tracking and then adding the layout, however i still dont see why history did not show up?

    • JohnCoppedge January 9, 2017 at 9:40 pm #

      Field tracking has to be enabled before you make an edit – try making a change after you’ve enabled it and added the list view

  4. nk005347 October 5, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

    Activity seems to be special object that can’t be customized. I see Event Fields and Task fields but no where there is provision to add new fields. Also I am not clear with why Parent child relationship is not allowed from standard object.


  5. Chillikaps September 23, 2016 at 1:29 am #

    Enabling more than 20 tracked fields in SF now requires a purchase of some kind. They don’t raise the limits anymore just by opening a case.

  6. sneha06 August 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    Hi John,

    Could you please clarify below queries :

    1. We cannot have field history tracking option for Activity object right?
    2. Can we able to track history for workflow action like : email alert, task and field update.


    • JohnCoppedge August 23, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

      1. Not currently, vote here:
      2. Yes, a field update will trigger a field history event

      • sneha06 August 24, 2016 at 3:10 am #

        For query 2. In my opinion we cannot track history for Email alert right, but we can track history event for task.

        Please correct me if I am wrong.

        Thanks for your help.

        • JohnCoppedge August 24, 2016 at 7:50 am #

          A workflow action to create a task will create a task, but that typically doesn’t change anything on the parent record in terms of field tracking (although it would update the last activity date) – to record a workflow email, create a task in the completed status in the workflow as well

  7. shaunaanderson October 13, 2015 at 12:47 am #

    Hi John, I cant seem to get this working…I have Field History Tracking enabled, I selected the fields I want to track on the Account object but when I go to add a “Field History” related list to the page layout, I dont have that option, I only see “Account History” What am I missing here? Thanks!

    • suokonkwo October 13, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

      You’re doing it correctly. The related list for the fields in the object you want to track will show up as “Object Name” History on the object’s page layout. Check out the last screenshot on this page with “Lead History” related list, that is the field tracking related list on the Lead object. Make some field changes on the Account object and you will see the field tracking history on the “Account History” related list.

  8. Margo Schwartz-Newton July 2, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    Hi John,

    Thank you for this site. I’m learning so much!

    Your red arrow points to the button Set History Tracking. I see this nowhere, nor do I see a way to get into the settings for an object (maybe because you can’t change anything for a standard object?) and check this out. Where else can I look? Can you actually start tracking history for a standard object or a custom object already in place?

    Many thanks.

    • JohnCoppedge July 2, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

      Hi Margo,

      Make sure to ensure the object properties have “Track Field History” enabled (there is a screenshot above). Once that is turned on you should see it.

      • Margo Schwartz-Newton July 2, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

        Got it, as well as for standard objects like Contacts. (We use tracking at work, I just couldn’t find it here as I’ve never had to look for it.) Thank you!

  9. Luke Jenner October 20, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

    Hey John, Typo under the Reporting on field history section: “This report not intended to perform analysis…” This site offers a lot of useful information that I’ve not yet been exposed to elsewhere. Thanks!

    • JohnCoppedge October 23, 2014 at 12:59 am #

      Thanks Luke, updated

      • February 18, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

        Why can you not use this reports for analysis? Isn’t that the purpose of history tracking.

        • JohnCoppedge March 14, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

          You can but the data isn’t well structured – try running a report with multiple fields being tracked and you’ll get an idea of what I mean

    • JohnCoppedge October 23, 2014 at 12:59 am #

      Thanks Luke, updated

  10. lester dale October 15, 2014 at 5:19 am #

    Small typo… “enable” doubled up…
    “How do you enable enable field history tracking?”

  11. Stephen Noe August 13, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Can field tracking be enabled for all Objects (both standard and custom)? I noticed this option was present under the User Object.

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