If I add a custom field to an object that is a Lookup() in the Fields & Relationships section of an object, the Object Limits page for the object shows an immediate increase counting against the limit for the Custom Relationship Fields.

However, if I delete a custom field from that same object that is a Lookup(), the Custom Relationship Field Usage on the Object Limits page does not decrease to reflect the field's deletion.

This becomes an issue once you bump up against the limit and wish to delete no-longer-needed fields to make room for new fields. Is there an additional step needed to make Salesforce recognize that the Usage is reduced?

1 Answer 1


When you first go to delete a field, it becomes "soft-deleted." This means it still exists, but is no longer visible on the main list of custom fields. It will remain in this state until restored, or deleted permanently manually or after 15 days. As far as I can tell, you can't see the field in Lightning Setup, you need to use Classic to permanently delete the field.

Once in Classic, if this field is on a standard object, go to Setup > Customize > Object Name > Fields > View Deleted Fields > Erase. If the field on a custom object, go to Setup > Create > Objects > Object Name > View Deleted Fields > Erase. As soon as permanent erasure occurs, the "current" value will decrease appropriately.

  • 1
    I should have known to look at Classic when I couldn't find something like this in Lightning. Thanks. Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 15:34
  • @user2270837 Yeah, a lot of the "view deleted" features are still not in Lightning, like the Recycle Bin. Here's hoping we'll get something soon.
    – sfdcfox
    Commented Dec 23, 2018 at 15:37
  • 1
    just a note for future readers that this now is available in Lightning (since WInter '21 if I'm not mistaken): Setup > Object Manager > Object Name > Deleted Fields button (in the upper right corner)
    – Bloke
    Commented May 8, 2023 at 13:04

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