How to re-assign Salesforce object ownership in bulk

Here is a question I see frequently in the Trailhead Community: How do you re-assign the ownership of objects in bulk? I’m sure there is an app to make this easier, and I suggest you look in the AppExchange if the policy for your org is to use apps first. And I know there are other solutions, this is just one that I find quick and easy because I don’t have to give it too much thought.

Accounts before Owner Change

First: Always try it in a sandbox first and test the results before doing it in production.

Second first, locate the user id of the person who’s object owners ship you want to change from. From their user page (or just copying the link), grab the object ID from the URL.

Find Object Owner

Copy Object ID
Copy Object ID

Now open Salesforce Workbench in another tab, login and navigate to Queries > SOQL queries. If you are adept at SOQL, create a query to pull all of the object you want to re-assign based on the user id. If you are not comfortable writing your own SOQL or just feeling lazy, use Workbench to help create the query:

Select Query in Workbench

The key values you want are the object ID and the owner ID, though adding a Name field to check the values can be helpful. Be sure to select View as Bulk CSV then run the query. Save the resulting file. I recommend naming it something that is meaningful to you rather than accepting the long string produced by default. Open in your favorite CSV editor to see the object and owner ids.

Next, get the user ID of the new owner(s) the same way you did for the current owner. In the CSV file, change the OwnerId value as desired.

For safety reasons, delete all columns from the csv file except Id and OwnerId, then save it with a different name as a CSV file.

Object and Owner IDs only

Back in Workbench, go to Data > Update. Select the object type and click the Choose File button and select the file you just created with the new OwnerId(s), then click Next.

On the mapping screen the values should already be mapped. Check that only the ID and OwnerId are mapped and click the Map Fields button. If there are many records, check the “Process records asynchronously via Bulk API” option on the resulting page then Confirm Update. Note that if rules were changed since the records were created you may have errors that will require fixing the records before they can be updated.

Could happen if rules changed since created

And in list view:

After Owner Change

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© Scott S. Nelson

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