Currently we are cleaning our Salesforce data and are going to purge all accounts and re-enter our main active accounts.

I would like to keep all contacts within Salesforce, and not have them delete along with the account they are assigned to. I have copied the account name over into a new field on the contact so we will be able to see which organization they were previously assigned to.

I am planning to create a single account called "Unassigned Contacts" to assign each contact to.

How can I mass update all contacts to assign them to this organization? Do I need to export all the contacts, update their account id assignment, and then re-import performing an update?

Is there anything wrong with the approach I'm taking?

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can mass-reassign Contacts:

  1. Export your Contacts (include Contact ID and Account ID fields).
  2. Update the values in the Account ID column to the ID of the "Unassigned Contacts" Account.
  3. Perform the update using a tool like Data Loader (see Insert, Update, or Delete Data Using Data Loader).

Before deleting your Account records, I recommend making a backup of your entire org. Please see Backup and restore your Salesforce data for more information on how to do this.


If you do not have access to Data Loader, you can perform the update using the Import Wizard. Make sure to select Update existing records and Match Contact/Account By Salesforce.com ID when given the options. Please see Update Accounts and Contacts in bulk with the Import Wizard for step-by-step instructions.

  • Unfortunately we are using professional edition and don't have access to the Data Loader, is there another way to update? Jan 27, 2017 at 17:41
  • 2
    @BelginFish please see my updated answer with details on how to use the Import Wizard to perform the update. Jan 27, 2017 at 17:56

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