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I've just finished doing a metadata import of reports to replace references to an old, poorly-designed field with a newer version. However I've read in various places that reports which are in private folders are inaccessible, even to administrators, and it looks like the contents of my own "personal custom reports" don't show up in metadata exports either (using the Force.com CLI, if it makes any difference, but it's the same metadata as Eclipse etc generates).

If so, is there absolutely no way to administer them across the org whatsoever? And do non-public folders work the same as personal reports folders?

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[edited based on @Derek F's comments]

Reports are located in three places that control visibility:

  1. Public: the report's ownerId is the Organization; anyone can view
  2. Shared (my label): the report's ownerId is a shareable Folder
  3. Private: the report's ownerId is the user's Id; only the user can view

Public and Shared reports are accessible with the Metadata API.

As far as I can tell, other users' Reports that are in their Private Folders are NOT accessible with the Metadata API.

However, you can get some basic info on users' Private reports by using "USING SCOPE allPrivate" in a Report SOQL query. As an admin, because you can get the Report Id via SOQL allPrivate, you can delete user's private reports. But, again, you can't view them.

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    I think that your first and last sentences kinda clash a bit. I don't think they contradict one another, but it took me a few reads to be sure of that. This point might be more clear if you took these two sentences and combine them (or remove the two sentences and re-word it)
    – Derek F
    Aug 8 '19 at 19:37
  • Thanks for the clarification and the info about that "USING SCOPE" query. It sounds like there's no option for administrators to seamlessly manage tricky field changes (like in my example above), except to email everybody saying "if you were using this field to filter a private report, sorry but we broke your reports, we don't know which ones and we can't fix them for you". I'd hate to be the admin responsible when some sales manager realises their team's private KPI reporting for last month was messed up. "Salesforce doesn't let me" is unlikely to satisfy as an excuse... Aug 10 '19 at 9:46

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