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How to Convert Attachments to Files in 9 Easy Steps!


Harshala Shewale

November 14, 2017

It was Halloween and I was working on a customer’s environment who extensively uses Lightning Experience to search for an important attachment and to my surprise, it was not showing up in search. That was a scary thing, particularly on a Halloween night! I was mighty worried as it was an IMPORTANT file.

To verify, I had navigated to the particular record and saw that the file was present in the “Notes and Attachment” section. My sigh of relief could be heard miles away!


However, I was curious about what could cause it to not appear under search and to my surprise, I found out that this was an expected behavior, due to Attachments being superseded and replaced in favor of the more robust Files feature. Lightning Experience users can still view legacy attachments on records, however, they will not be returned in search results when performing a search from within the Lightning Experience. Strange, but true!

Additionally, in the Spring 17 release, Salesforce had announced that after Winter 18 release, the “Notes & Attachments” related list will no longer have an upload or attach button. Customers will be required to migrate to and adopt Salesforce Files. That rang the bell and made me research quite a bit on files.

What I found out…

I found out that Salesforce Files provide greater capabilities around sharing the file (or enhanced note) with other users, groups, or records, supporting file previews and revisions. So without wasting time, I searched for easy ways to migrate Classic Notes and Attachments to Lightning Files and Enhanced Notes. I browsed through salesforce release notes and blogs and finally Salesforce Lab came to my rescue. 🙂

There is an awesome app developed by Salesforce Lab – Magic Mover for Notes And Attachments to Lightning Experience.
  1. Perform Pre-installation steps to enable “Set Audit Fields upon Record Creation” and “Update Records with Inactive Owners”

  2. Install the App Magic Mover for Notes And Attachments to Lightning Experience from AppExchange.
  3. Perform Post Installation Steps for Admin and Individual Users to convert Private Attachment
    1. Assign the Attachments and Notes Migrator Permission Set to Admins
    2. Provide Modify All Data and Set Audit Fields upon Record Creation permission to Admin profile
    3. For private attachments, assign the Attachments to Files Permission Set to those Users
  4. Switch to “Attachment to Files” App and click on “Attachment to Files Tab”.
    1. In case Tab is not available, add it to related App and Profiles.

  5. Decide which Attachments need to be converted to Files

  6. Start the conversion

  7. After completion of process, you will see details updated in “Converted Attachments”. Voila! You’re done!

  8. Now when I search the document in Lightning Experience, I get the document in search results.

  9. Admin can decide whether to keep Attachments in the org or to free up the storage. To delete the attachment, admin can click on the delete icon.

Before I installed the app, I read through extensive documentation, which enabled me to bear a few things in my mind:

  • Perform Test load operation in sandbox before doing it directly in production
  • Communicate to your users about the bulk conversion process you’ll be undertaking with notes and attachments
  • If any of your users have private attachments, provide conversion instructions to them. Private attachments can be converted only by their respective owner.
  • It is recommended to turn off feed tracking for notes
  • Turn off the ability to create new attachments in the old Notes & Attachments related list within Salesforce Classic
  • Certain triggers may impact migration, so review any triggers in your org related to attachments or notes
Note: Orgs have a limit of documents and versions that can be modified in a 24-hour period. For most orgs, this is 200,000. The limit for “Content: maximum number of documents and versions in a 24–hour period” is listed in the Salesforce Developer Limits Quick Reference.

Turns out, Halloween wasn’t that scary after all!

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