Can anyone retrieve managed package custom labels via the metadata API?

I have a few managed package custom labels that I can list metadata for

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However I have not been able to retrieve that metadata via the metadata API.

I have tried using the manifest below and various permutations, only to be unable to return the trailheadapp labels.


I also cannot find any documentation to confirm or deny if this is possible via the metadata API / Workbench.

  • I have not tried it with Custom Labels, but in general the managed package components have to be listed specifically in the package.xml, i.e., the wildcard character (*) does not include them. Try adding another members tag like <members>trailheadapp__Save_Button</members> in addition to the <members>*</members>
    – Aayush K
    Jul 19, 2019 at 14:24
  • Using <Package xmlns="soap.sforce.com/2006/04/metadata"> <types> <members>Oriol_test</members> <members>trailheadapp__Save_Button</members> <name>CustomLabel</name> </types> <version>45.0</version> </Package> gave me only the Oriol_test label and not the other one :(
    – Giramondo
    Jul 19, 2019 at 14:57

2 Answers 2


The Metadata API does not allow you to retrieve components you cannot modify. This is an intentional design choice so that, in the general sense, if you retrieve metadata from one org, it can be deployed to another with minimal fuss. It's not a perfect system, but it generally works well enough. If you want to get all custom labels, you'd want to use a describe call, instead. That's how the workbench lists metadata in that menu.

  • Hello Sir, I have unlocked managed pkg in my org and custom labels are all editable but still not coming through using the metadata api, any help. May 28, 2020 at 9:09

I am not sure why retrieving managed custom labels using package.xml is not possible, but it's indeed possible by making callouts using Metadata API from Apex. readMetadata operation can be used over the CustomLabel class to do so.

You can also use the Quick Update Translations AppExchange app, which enables not only Custom Label and their translation update but also supports translation updates for various entities like Custom Fields, Validation Rules, Custom Tabs, Custom Applications, and Custom Links/Buttons.

Disclaimer: I work at Satrang Technologies, the Quick Update Translations AppExchange App publisher.

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