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I needed to add 100 fields in a sandbox. I saw that VS Code showed the fields as xml under

\force-app\main\default\objects\This_Object__c\fields\field1__c.field-meta.xml

Thinking myself clever, I copied that file several times, changed the fullName and label in the xml, and deployed to the org.

All seemed fine. I did go back and edit some of these xml files to fix their labels. So the same file might have been edited and deployed 1-2 times.

However, when checking the custom object's limits in Setup, the object is now showing as exceeding the allowed number of custom fields.

I think the limits screen might be double-counting any of the files that were saved twice? Or perhaps all fields on the object deployed multiple times?

If I re-download the metadata via VS Code, I don't see the number of field-meta.xml files exceeding the total allowed. I've also tried deleting one of the field-meta.xml files, but the custom fields used count remains unchanged.

Any advice on how to clean this up, aside from refreshing the sandbox? Is there some other xml file that shows a representation of all the fields that are counting towards this object's limit?

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It turns out that the issue was related to platform encryption. If the new fields are Encrypted with Case Insensitive Deterministic encryption, Salesforce stores a lowercase duplicate of the field behind the scenes.

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