Delete multiple fields at once?

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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

If I select multiple fields (columns) and cmd-click one of them, it narrows the selection to that one field. If I select multiple fields and go to the dropdown for one, it narrows the selection to that one field. How do I delete multiple fields at once rather than having to go through them one by one? This seems like incredibly basic spreadsheet functionality and I’m puzzled that I can’t find it.

15 Replies 15

I think you can’t. Maybe you could ask for it in the Feature Request category.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Surely this is available? Like Rose says it’s basic spreadsheet functionality!!

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

I tried doing this with adjacent columns in chrome on Windows using Shift+click, and it actually froze my browser for 30 seconds consistently… Also when it came unfrozen, it didn’t actually multi-select.

There are lots of basic spreadsheet functions not available in Airtable because it’s not a spreadsheet. It’s a database. The two share some similar features, and look extremely similar in a grid view, but there are important core differences between them in how data is stored, managed, looked up, etc. Yes, it would be nice to be able to delete multiple fields at once, but I wouldn’t consider it a must-have feature.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I just imported a spreadsheet which apparently had 500 empty columns, so they all imported as well. I cannot delete them one by one. I guess the only way to get rid of them is to delete them in the original spreadsheet and reimport?

Another option is to arrange the columns that you want to keep so that they are together, and then copy just those columns to a new table. Then you can delete the original table.

Can’t you import the file again without the empty columns?

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

The main issue here is that you need a different program to get the job done.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

This really still isn’t a feature? It is really needed.

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Need this feature! it’s been 3 yrs! @Airtable

I generally agree with Michael’s comments, except that in this case, it becomes a must have due to the limitations of the import feature. Importing Excel files can results in hundreds of unnecessary columns which make the data unmanageable due to the absence of this feature.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Would love this feature.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

I absolutely understand that deleting fields is scary and usually not good- data loss is a BFD. I had a million trillion lookup fields that I didn’t need due to the way my base was originally set up. Deleting a million trillion fields individually is a huge pain, and since they’re lookup fields, no data loss is happening. Hiding them isn’t good hygiene.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hey all,

I had the same problem and found a workaround:

  • create a new table let’s name it table2
  • delete the 3 fields automatically created (notes, attachment, status)
  • change your primary field records to match the table1 field type
  • go to table1
  • click Hide Fields
  • select hide all
  • select the fields you want to KEEP
  • in the upper left corner, left of your primary field name check the box to select all records and non-hidden fields
  • control / command + C
  • go to table2
  • select the upper left check box
  • control / command V

Your table should have only the fields you wanted to keep.
Not as easy as it could be in Excel or Sheet, but still, you can delete hundreds of fields quickly.

I tried with a small table, I don’t know if this works well if you have thousands of records and hundreds of fields.

Tell me if it works for you!

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Until Airtable or another entity develops a feature or plugin that can take care of this task, here is what I just did and would suggest, which may prove to be the simplest and quickest way:

  1. Move all of the columns you want in the new table to the far left, all next to each other.
  2. Leave all empty columns to the right.
  3. Starting with the first cell of the first column, highlight all of the cells from the desired columns, top to bottom.
  4. Copy all cells.
  5. Create a new, empty table.
  6. Paste the cells and make sure the option to expand the table according to all copied cells is selected.
  7. Rename all columns and reassign them to your desired field type.