Skip to main content


Transitioning from Notes and Attachments to Files in Salesforce

The rumors are true. Post Winter ’18, Notes and Attachments are a thing of the past. In 2019 and beyond, it’s all about Files.

Salesforce Files Are Taking Over

Salesforce Files allow you to “put documents, videos, or presentations at the center of sales, service, and marketing. Accessible from anywhere, files are always current to increase productivity and the reuse of valuable assets.” (Salesforce Files Overview)

Files came onto the scene when they were first introduced in the Winter ’16 release, intending to be part of the evolution of content management for Salesforce users.

With Files, there’s now the ability to relate files to multiple records, track multiple versions, and view file previews. There’s also no more of the “all attachment” access issue; you can now share a single File with users, groups, or records (even multiple users or records!) without giving everything away, providing more control over what is shared. Additionally, it offers version control, collaborates with Chatter, and is optimized for Lightning. What’s not to love?

Here’s How to Transition from Notes and Attachments to Files in Salesforce

Step 1: The Easy Change Moving Forward

Salesforce has a setting that once it’s enabled, it automatically enforces the use of Files — even when dropping them into notes and attachments.  For clients not quite ready to make the change to their page layouts and make the true crossover to Salesforce Lightning Experience (LEX), this would be a good first step in that direction.

There is a specific setting that once enabled, makes sure all attachments added through the Notes and Attachments related list are uploaded as Files instead.

Steps to Enable:

  1. Go to Setup
  2. Go to Salesforce Files (quick find: type “Salesforce Files”)
  3. Click General setting
  4. Click Edit
  5. Check “Files uploaded to the Attachments related list on records are uploaded as Salesforce Files, not as attachments”
  6. Click Save

If you’re wondering about existing files in the Notes and Attachments list, don’t worry;  they will remain intact. You can’t move them, but if they’re Salesforce Files (not attachments) you can add them to the Files related list on the same record.


Step 2: Convert Legacy Attachments to Files 

You’re not done yet! What about all the legacy attachments you’ve accumulated? Salesforce has provided a tool for converting legacy attachments to the new Files system. When this done in concert with the changes listed above, your org becomes one step closer to becoming LEX Ready — and we all know Classic won’t remain around much longer, so now is the time to start the process of migrating to Salesforce Lightning if you haven’t already.

Meet the Magic Mover for Notes and Attachments to Lightning Experience on AppExchange! Install this app to do bulk conversions of attachments to Salesforce Files and classic notes to enhanced notes. Before you install this package, please check out their user guide, as it contains important installation instructions.

  • Admins use the Attachments to Files tool to do bulk conversion of all the non-private attachments in an org
  • Admins use the Notes Conversion tool to do bulk conversion of all the public notes in an org
  • Admins use the Update Page Layouts tools to update layouts to use the new related lists exclusively
  • Users who have private attachments use the My Private Attachments tool to convert their private attachments to files.

Conversion of attachments and notes is supported for custom objects and the following standard objects: Account, Asset, Campaign, Case, Contact, Contract, Lead, Opportunity, Product, Quote, and Solution.

Learn more in this Knowledge article about how to Migrate notes and attachments to Lightning.


Still Need More Help Transitioning from Notes and Attachments to Files?

As you know, Perficient’s Salesforce experts are available to help you with this transition, but there’s also a lot you can investigate on your own. Here are some resources we recommend checking out to learn everything you need to know about Salesforce Files and transitioning from Notes and Attachments.

Have you made the switch over to Lightning? If you’re thinking about it, also check out our Salesforce Lightning Migrations Made Easy Guide.  Let us know what you think about Files in the comments below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Anthony Herman

More from this Author

Follow Us