Work With Custom Fields

Custom fields help you to categorize, prioritize, or further diagnose conversations based on the support needs for your product or service. Set fields to required so that reporting data is always accurate month-to-month. Custom fields work alongside workflows, reports and the API right out of the box. 

Custom fields are available on the Plus and Pro plans.

In this article

How Custom Fields Work 

Each Inbox can have up to 10 Custom Fields. There are 5 supported field types: 

  • Dropdown: Your classic dropdown list with an option to select one choice. You can define your choices and drag-and-drop to order them below. There is a limit of 100 options. 
  • Single line: A traditional free-entry textfield.
  • Multi line: A larger text area for longer bits of free-entry text.
  • Number: This field type validates the entry to be sure it's a number (no letters allowed).
  • Date: This field type validates the entry to be sure it's a date. Date fields follow your company's timezone, which can be set by an administrator under Manage > Company

You can specify that a custom field is required. Users must fill in a required custom field when sending a reply or adding a note and closing the conversation. Custom fields appear in a few different places: 

  • At the top of a conversation before hitting reply, or at the bottom of the editor when composing a reply. 
  • On the new conversation page when sending a new email, or when logging a new phone conversation. 
  • In Beacon if you enable the option. See Manage Beacon Contact Settings for the details on using custom fields in Beacon.

Any single custom field belongs specifically to a single inbox. If you move a conversation from one inbox to another, the custom field data will not carry over even if you have custom fields in that inbox with the same name. 

A warning prompt will appear advising of data loss if you move it to another inbox, and you can then decide whether to keep the conversation in the same inbox or proceed with moving it.

Create and Edit Custom Fields

Create a new field

Custom Fields is an option in Inbox Settings for Plus and Pro plans. Only Administrators and Account Owners can add or edit custom fields by default. Check out User Roles and Permissions for how to change that default.  


Head to Manage > Inbox(es) > Choose Your Inbox > Custom Fields. Click New Custom Field.


Start building the field:

  • The Name will be visible to customers when using Custom Fields in Beacon. Note: The only special characters supported in the Name are exclamation points (!), dots (.), and commas (,).
  • Select a field type. Choose from a dropdown, single line, multi line, number, or date type.
  • Make the field required by flipping the Required toggle to the on position. Users must populate a required field before closing the conversation when adding a note or reply.

The example shown here is a dropdown field. You can add new options by clicking the + button, then re-order each option by dragging and dropping. Click the Save Field button to save the field.

Edit existing fields

Click on the field title bar to expand the field. You can change the field name, drop down options, or whether or not the field is required. 

You cannot change the field type. 

Delete Custom Fields 

Click the red Delete link and you'll be presented with a confirmation screen. Enter your Help Scout password to confirm deletion.

Note — deletion is permanent, and all data that was in that custom field on every conversation will be gone forever. There is no option to restore a deleted custom field or retrieve the data. 

Report on Custom Fields

Views make it easy to drill down on Custom Field values alongside other conversation values, such as tags and conversation types. See Use Views to Filter Reporting Data for more on Views in general.

Check out Report on Custom Fields for more details on specifically using them for custom field reporting.

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