Hi Experts,

Is there a way to get "unspecified" contacts in Marketing Cloud - e.g. orphaned contact from setContactKey in mobilePush - in order to mass delete them from Automation Studio?

I tried to get contacts by SQL Query from _PushAddress, but it returns active contacts only from mobilePush.

Thanks for your help! :)

edit : I tried to create List from mobilePush -> Manage button -> go to List tab -> create List , and shown like this:

enter image description here

  • This last screen shows you are configuring the filter incorrectly. You can't use the 'is equal to` option from the dropdown - the correct option is 'is null'. The difference is like a man having no name and a man named 'null' - you need the former. Null means there's absolutely no value associated with the column/field. Typing in 'null' as you do here would try to find customers that have that value as their DeviceID Feb 26, 2020 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


Please refer to this document:

Permanently remove Contacts or Subscribers and associated data from Contact Builder.

It includes a section about contacts "orphaned" by MobilePush:

  1. In MobileConnect or MobilePush, create a filtered mobile list that meets 4 conditions:

    Contact Key is not null AND Email Address is null AND Mobile Number is null AND Device ID is null ​AND Address ID is null

Update based on the comments below:

  • @EazyE is right with pointing out you're choosing the wrong option for the filtered list - it should not be Device ID equal (=) null, but Device ID is null (see the screen below).
  • I tried to recreate what you were doing and noticed that when you start to create a filtered list in Mobile Push, the Starting Population is not selected by default (it's in top left location just below the Create Filtered List title), so you need to click Edit and select All Contacts
  • I'm not sure on what business unit level you should be running this filtered list, but Mobile Push data should be business unit specific, so I would rather do the filtered list in the BU where you have the app. As always double checking is recommended before any deletion, so you could do this on the child BU and the master BU level to compare the results.

Creating Filtered Lists in Mobile Push: enter image description here

List configuration enter image description here

  • Hi Rafal, thank you for your reply! I have checked the link you provide before and tried to create a new List in mobilePush from "Manage" button, and when I save with filter: DeviceID is equal to null, showing List Count is 0.. When there're many orphaned records. Is it because I create the list from mobilePush, not mobileConnect?
    – Lyon Stark
    Feb 25, 2020 at 12:18
  • @LyonStark, have you selected "All Contacts" as the base of your filter? It shouldn't really matter if you do it MobilePush, I guess. Feb 25, 2020 at 12:47
  • 1
    Are you doing deviceid equal to null. Or deviceid is null? @LyonStark
    – EazyE
    Feb 25, 2020 at 12:48
  • Also, it is imperative that this query is run at the appropriate level within the organization or VALID contacts will be included in your delete.
    – Bill Mote
    Feb 25, 2020 at 14:07
  • @RafałWolsztyniak is there "All Contacts" selection? Because I only click on "Manage" button, go to List tab, and directly create the List with DeviceID - is equal to - null.. I chose "is equal to" in the Filters. It's only displaying active records so far..
    – Lyon Stark
    Feb 26, 2020 at 4:00

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