Setting up contact groups to Bulk Delete data

Chris Horroll
Chris Horroll
  • Updated

An easy way to bulk delete personal information data is by creating contact groups specifically for those contact records that you wish to delete.

This article includes: 

Create a contact group

You should first create a contact group for the contact records you wish to delete.

  1. Click Contacts on the main toolbar
  2. Click Groups in the top left
  3. Click the + symbol alongside My Groups, to create a new match group
  4. The New Match Group window opens. In the Group section, enter a Name for the group
    1. Tick the required criteria across all the sections and tabs
  5. Click the Bulk Actions tab
  6. Tick Personal Information Deletion 
    1. Click View Results to create a temporary group, which will allow you to refine the list before saving
  7. Click Save
    1. You can edit the group once you've saved it. Click Edit below the group name on the side menu

You can use this when creating or updating a contact group that will be used solely to delete personal data in bulk.

Like the existing Bulk Archive function, validation rules will be employed when selecting records for deletion.

Validation rules

The information message outlines a number of validation rules that will be used to ensure that data you wish to keep is not deleted. These validation rules are described below:

  • Contacts included in a business transaction that need to be retained for Anti-money laundering

Whether this validation is used will be controlled by a setting in Tools.

  1. Click Tools on the main toolbar
  2. On the side menu, under System Tools, click System Administration
  3. Click Group Settings
  4. You can decide whether to tick Retain records for AML regulations? or not
  5. Click Save

When ticked, any client records that have been involved in a property sale or let within the last 5 years will be excluded from the bulk deletion so that you can retain these records for anti-money laundering legislation.


The validation does NOT check for AML notes present within Alto, just if a property has been sold/let

When not ticked, no validation of clients business will take place. Any client records that have been involved in a property sale or let within the last 5 years will be included for deletion. This means that you will no longer be able to access this data, if required for anti-money laundering purposes at a later date.
The information message will not include the text They have had a business transaction that needs to be retained for anti-money laundering.


This setting will be ticked by default and so it's important that you set your preference before you start creating contact groups for bulk deletion

  • The Contact has a current pending or accepted offer
  • The Contact has a current property for sale or rent
  • The Contact is a prospective or active tenant
  • The Contact is not a client record (e.g. supplier or solicitor)


All the above validations will be implemented automatically to ensure that contact records involved in your current day to day business operation aren’t removed. You don't have to set these options

In addition to the automatic validation rules above, you may have justification to retain certain other contact records. For example:

  • Contacts who have been introduced to a property (via a brochure or a viewing) which may not yet have been sold
  • Contacts with whom you have had a business contract in the last 6 years that you may wish to retain under the Ombudsman scheme

You can exclude these records using the existing filters in the contact group.

You can use any of the existing filters in the contact group to tailor the group to include contact records that you wish to delete.

When you Save the group with a tick in the Personal Information Deletion box, whomever has been selected in this group will appear in the Contact Groups tab ready for the next step, which is the final Bulk Delete action (see below).

For Property Management, the validation message will differ slightly as per the image below:

In the version above, the information message displayed includes this additional rule:

  • Ticking this box will limit the content of the Group to only those records that can be deleted. Contacts will not be included if they meet any of the following criteria:

    They have an accounting transaction that falls within the Accounting Retention Period value

The Accounting Retention Period is set in Tools.

  1. Click Tools on the main toolbar
  2. On the side menu, under System Tools, click System Administration
  3. Click Group Settings
  4. Scroll down to Accounting Retention Period (in years). If you set this value to 0:
    1. The message will not be presented within the contact group, on the Bulk Actions tab
    2. No validation will take place to prevent records with accounting transactions from being omitted
      (This setting controls BOTH the validation on an individual deletion AND in the bulk delete action)

Bulk Delete contact groups

Once you've set up the contact groups, you can then bulk delete them.
For more information on how to Bulk Delete contact groups, click here

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