Salesforce Files vs Notes and Attachments

By Ines Garcia

Salesforce Files were first introduced in the Winter 16′ Release. When Spring ’17 was announced, it was suggested that Notes and Attachments would become obsolete. Instead, Files would be the sharing tool of the future.

Let’s take a look at the update in more detail, from the main benefits to the key differences between Files, Notes and Attachments.

What Are Salesforce Files?

Files were brought in as a powerful way to manage documents in Salesforce. Other options (such as attachments and documents) were not as flexible and needed to evolve with the times.

Salesforce Files allows users to “share and collaborate on files, store files privately, manage version updates, and follow files that are important” to them.

Salesforce Files - Owned by Me

What Are the Differences Between Files and Attachments in Salesforce?

Files are more versatile and provide better functionality than attachments. Most of the innovation and enhancements around content management are being applied to Files. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Sharing capabilities: share a file with users, groups, or records without giving ‘all attachments’ access
  • Size: up to 2GB (other options go from 20KB to 2GB depending on the API used)
  • Version Control
  • Optimized for Lightning
  • Share with multiple records and users
  • Collaboration via chatter feed
  • Preview and options

For reference, here are some key differences between Files, Salesforce CRM Content, Salesforce Knowledge, Documents, and Attachments.

How Do I View Files in Salesforce?

Whether you’re working in Salesforce Classic or Lightning Experience, the Files related list is the way forward for attaching files to records and groups. If you don’t see the Files related list on a record, just add it to the page layout for that record type. In Lightning Experience the Files related list will display attachments too.

We have previously covered some of the great apps available for free thanks to Salesforce Labs: a program that lets engineers, professional services staff, and other employees share AppExchange apps they’ve created, like the Agile Accelerator or the Trailhead Tracker.

So, within the concept of ‘Files are the future’, I just came across this awesome listing in the AppExchange freely available to aid your migration to Lightning: Magic Mover for Notes And Attachments to Lightning Experience.

By installing this app you can do bulk conversions of attachments to Files – it even allows you to convert your attachments to files in batches based upon the record type they are associated with. Thank you Salesforce Labs!


It’s well worth exploring Salesforce Files to see how it could streamline the way you share and collaborate on files. Don’t get stuck in the past; Files are the future, and the future is here.

The Author

Ines Garcia

Ines Garcia founder of , is an Agile Coach, Certified Scrum Professional (CSP®-SM) and a Salesforce MVP, together helps organisations to become more agile.

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