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I am wondering what happens when you have a Picklist field with 2 values Yes and No and you change Yes API name and label to Approved, what happens to existing records in the system with the Yes value.

  • Does the existing records with Yes change to Approved
  • Does the existing records with Yes stay as Yes?

I read that it is best practice to create a new picklist value to replace old value with and deactivate the old value. However, what would the difference between doing this and simply renaming the API name which will result in the same outcome?

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    Existing records will be updated by the new picklist value when you change the API name and label of an existing picklist value. Jul 20, 2021 at 11:26

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Creating a new value and then deprecating the old value preserves all of the original values in every record. Editing the label or API name of a value instead has the effect of updating every single record that had that value selected. In addition, this change will not be logged on individual records (if using Field History Tracking, for example), and will not fire triggers, workflow, and other automations.

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