My company has recently exceeded our data storage cap (at 102% right now.. :/ ). A large portion of the data that pushed us over our limit was due to an import of records. The weird thing about this is that the records only had a couple of fields populated each out of the 200 total fields on the object.

What this tells me is that SalesForce holds the space for each field (since it knows the max-length of each field) rather than populating space only when the field is not null. Does anyone know if this is the case?

To reiterate, and perhaps present this question more clearly:

If a field has a max character count of 1,000 and only 250 of those characters are actually being used, does SalesForce count the total data storage consumed by that field as 250 or 1,000?


Salesforce uses a simplistic method for calculating storage usage. Most records use 2KB of space despite how many fields are actually used. There are a few exceptions to this rule.

See "What are the various record sizes?" on Salesforce for which objects take more or less space.

  • Person Accounts - 4KB
  • Campaigns - 8KB
  • Campaign Members – 1KB
  • Articles - 4KB
  • Email Message - This is dependent upon the content of the messages, a 100kb email message takes 100kb of data storage space. Text only emails will take less than HTML due to only being the body text and not the html code and text version as well.

NOTE ABOUT PERSON ACCOUNTS Person Accounts consume a record in both the Account and Contact objects. Each record allocates 2KB, so each Person Account record will require 4KB of storage space. As an example, 500,000 person accounts will require 2GB (500,000 * 4KB) of storage. Images from Rich Text Fields are stored in file storage area.

Update: Pricebooks, Pricebook Entries, Opportunity Line Items and Quote Line Items all appear to not count against storage. There may be a few other objects that fall into this category.

  • This totally adds up and makes sense as to why such a little amount of data took up so much space. Thanks for the link! – VictorKilo Jul 17 '13 at 21:15
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    Conversely, even if you have really big objects, they still only count for 2kb. When you think about a typical account with addresses, phone numbers, a description, and so on, the savings are incredible. – sfdcfox Jul 17 '13 at 21:40
  • @sfdcfox I wish I had asked this question earlier, because I went through one of our more massive objects and truncated a bunch of fields to save space... lol – VictorKilo Jul 17 '13 at 21:54
  • Is 2KB the minimum size that is allocated? What if there is a large text area field with 10KB of data, will that record still be calculated as 2KB? – manubkk Jul 18 '13 at 3:43
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    Still 2KB! "Each object can contain a total of 1.6 million characters across long text area and rich text area fields." – Daniel Hoechst Jul 18 '13 at 13:29

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