What You Need To Know About The Salesforce Setup Menu

Salesforce is a powerful platform with many configuration features and setup tools. In order to get the most out of Salesforce, it’s important to understand the options available to you. In this video tutorial, I will walk you through the three main Setup categories and explain what each one is for. Let’s go!

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Salesforce is a powerful platform with many configuration features and setup tools. In order to get the most out of Salesforce, it’s important to understand the options available to you. The Setup menu contains every single tool you need to configure a Salesforce instance to meet specific business needs.

Where Salesforce Admins Spend Their Day

The Setup is pretty much the engine room to enable the Salesforce user interface settings for optimal performance and usability. Whatever Salesforce Users see in the front end is managed through the backend, the Setup of the platform. It’s the Salesforce Admins go-to place to customize, configure and support a Salesforce instance and its Users.

Become Confident Using the Salesforce Setup Menu

In this video tutorial, I will walk you through the different options in the Setup menu and explain what each one does. You can follow-along from your own Trailhead Playground or Developer Org. Simply click the gear icon ⚙️ in the upper right corner.


  1. Go to the gear icon on the top right
  2. You will see the main Setup item
  3. You may see more options such as the Service Setup. This depends on the Salesforce products you have acquired 
  4. When you hover over the main Setup item you’ll notice a little expand icon. This will open the Setup menu in a new browser window. So let’s click on it. It will be handy for you to keep the Setup page open separately.
  5. On the Setup Home page you will find some handy quick links at the top
  6. Click arrow to the right
  7. And below you will find recent pages you have been working on once you get started
  8. On the left is your main Setup menu which comprises of three main categories
  9. The ADMINISTRATION category
  10. This is where you manage your User [USERS >] and their data access [PROFILES]
  11. From here you will do things like adding new users [USERS]
  12. Viewing user details [user “WeLearnSalesforce”], changing passwords and monitor login history
  13. Under Data [DATA>] you will do data exports or set up duplicate management 
  14. Under Email you will be creating email templates and a lot more
  15. Under PLATFORM TOOLS this is where most of your customization will happen
  16. You can modify the user interface [OBJECTS & FIELDS] and 
  17. Deploy new features [ENVIRONMENTS/DEPLOY]
  18. You can manage your entire data model and create new apps 
  19. And if something needs to be coded with programmatic tools [CUSTOM CODE], this is done here too
  20. The third category is the SETTINGS where you will manage your company settings [COMPANY SETTINGS>] such as business hours and fiscal year 
  21. You can also view your org’s history [SECURITY>/Setup Audit Trail] and manage your entire security model
  22. You’ll notice that there are a lot of menu and sub-menu items and it might be a bit tricky to quickly find a specific section. That’s where the Quick Find box at the top will come in handy
  23. To the right of the Home tab, you will find the Object Manager tab. You will use the Object Manager to manage page layouts, add fields, create new Custom Objects and so on
  24. The Object Manager [Platform Tools/Objects and Fields/Object Manager] is also available from the main menu. However, since this is a very prominent section, Salesforce has made it easier for you to access it by adding its own tab

Key Setup Pages To Get More Familiar With

Once you start configuring a Salesforce org you will get more and more familiar and confident using the various setup items. There are a few Setup pages you will find yourself going back to regularly:

Company Information: This page gives you an overview of your Salesforce Org and includes the unique org ID, list of licenses, data and file storage.

Users: This is where you will find all User accounts and their details. Popular action items for Salesforce Admins include password resets, creating new Users as well as freezing and deactivating User accounts.

Login History: You will find this section on each User record. It will help you troubleshoot login issues such as incorrect passwords, login IP address, login date, time and more.

Profiles and Permission Sets: These pages are highly relevant to data security and what Users can see and do in a Salesforce org.

Setup Audit Trail: Troubleshooting Setup issues will also become a key element of Salesforce Administration. The Setup Audit Trail provides information about changes in the Setup, including what type, when and by whom the changes were done.

I hope you feel more comfortable with the Setup menu now. Don’t worry you will get a lot of practice throughout our Salesforce Certification course. 

Is there any particular Setup area you would like to learn more about? Let me know in the comments!


This video tutorial is part of our Complete Salesforce Certification Courses. They cover everything from Salesforce Basics to advanced Salesforce features and functionalities every Salesforce professional should know about.

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Why You Should Set up a Regular Salesforce Data Backup

Did you know that Salesforce does not automatically create a backup of your Salesforce data? At least not in a way that would allow easy recovery. Any data loss or data corruption in a live Salesforce Org can have a devastating impact if you do not set up a comprehensive data backup and restore mechanism. In this article, we’ll discuss your options of manual and automated solutions.

Author: Peggy Schael | Salesforce Trainer | WeLearnSalesforce

Let me start by asking you this: Do you take photos of your family, friends, hobbies, travel or else? Would you be sad if you lost any of them? For my part, I’d be devastated. Therefore, I regularly create backups of any of my photos, whether I’m taking them with my phone or camera.

What does this have to do with Salesforce? A lot! Because the data stored in a live Salesforce Production Org is critical for customer relationship management, business success, legal compliance and so much more.

This means, if any sensitive or business-critical data is lost and not recoverable, it can have a devastating impact. This is particularly relevant when large amounts of data are impacted.

Data can get lost in many different ways. The most common reasons are:

  • Salesforce Users overwrite data
  • Salesforce Users delete records
  • Salesforce Administrator changes field types
  • Salesforce Administrator runs data imports

Any of the above can happen by accident or can be deliberate. As the Salesforce Administrator, you have many tools at hand to protect data access, data edits as well as data deletion. However, data loss or data corruption can still happen. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can manage data backups to recover and restore data when required.

Salesforce Data Backup Solutions

Did you know that Salesforce does not automatically create a backup of your Salesforce data? At least not in a way that would allow easy recovery. If you want Salesforce’s help with this process, you will need to install something first, and that’s Salesforce’s Backup and Restore service. It requires quite a few setup steps before it will backup your data and provides a recovery service. Plus, it comes at an additional fee.

Alternatively, you can find backup solutions on AppExchange with a range of highly respected Salesforce Partner Apps that work a charm. Yes, they do come at a cost too. Depending on your Salesforce org’s data capacity, restore process and of course budget, it’s worth checking out these apps. Just search for “backup”:

Source: appexchange.salesforce.com

Meanwhile, what can YOU do already?

While the automated solutions are great, you can already start with the more manual backup solutions Salesforce does provide you with out of the box, included at no additional cost. You can always extend with apps at a later point in time.

These out-of-the-box backup solutions include Report Exports, the Data Export service, and the Data Loader App/Dataloader.io. Let’s go through each to see how and when to use them.

Export Salesforce Data with Reports

Salesforce data is stored on records that belong to various Standard and Custom Objects, such as Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, and so on. One of the easiest ways is to create reports for each of these Salesforce Objects and export them into a save place on your company’s server.

PROs: Simple way to create ad-hoc reports relevant for data clean-up processes, before data imports, whenever there’s a limited amount of records involved. Exports to .csv and .xlsx. Can be scheduled for export.

CONs: This is a manual process. You won’t be able to export the entire database. Cannot be used to restore, unless you do a manual re-import under specific considerations.

Export with Data Loader App / Dataloader.io

The Data Loader works similarly to reports in the way that you need to select specific types of records you want to export.

PROs: Automatically stores the export file in a pre-defined location. The export process can be automated using the command line. Exports to .csv, .xlsx and other.

CONs: Requires installation of Data Loader App locally as well as Java Runtime Environment (alternatively use Dataloader.io web service). You need to be familiar with all the above-mentioned tools and processes.

Salesforce Data Export Service

This one is managed right from within your Salesforce Setup menu, no need to install anything. You can choose between weekly or monthly exports (depends on Salesforce Edition). It’s the most comprehensive of the export tools:

PROs: Automatically exports either selected or all data. Can include images, documents, files etc. (Beware file size!)

CONs: Data is only prepared for export. Once the export data is ready, the system will send an email to the Administrator with a link to a .zip file. The zip file is stored within the Salesforce Setup from where it needs to be manually downloaded. And, the .zip file delete’s itself after 48 hours.

The Data Export is really easy to set up and if you can ensure that an Administrator will be around to take care of the .zip file within the 48-hour time frame, then this is certainly a great tool to use.

Final Thoughts

The out-of-the-box backup solutions do not provide out-of-the-box recovery methods. The recovery process is a rather manual process, including tools like the Recycle Bin and Data (Re)Imports. Depending on the volume of data/records involved, remember to take a look at Salesforce’s Backup and Restore service or solutions on the AppExchange.

All of the above is about Salesforce Data, not Metadata. Metadata are the containers that define the type and location of the data, not the data itself. This includes Field Types, Page Layouts, Reports, Validation Rules, and so on. Therefore, if you need a backup, or better a copy, of the Metadata, that’s what Sandboxes are for.

Salesforce Data Backup is part of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. Application Management including Sandboxes is covered in our Salesforce Platform App Builder and Salesforce Advanced Administrator Certification Courses.

Let me know in the comments how you manage data backups and which tool you prefer to use.


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Restriction Rules – Yet Another Data Security Management Tool?

Hell YESSS! Nothing is more important than protecting your customer’s sensitive data you are storing in your Salesforce Org. You can land in prison if you don’t. Ok, I’m being overdramatic, but nevertheless, data protection is a serious topic. So how about we break down the entire model and see how the Restriction Rules fit in? Let’s go!

Hell YESSS! Nothing is more important than protecting your customer’s sensitive data you are storing in your Salesforce Org. You can land in prison if you don’t. Ok, I’m being overdramatic, but nevertheless, data protection is a serious topic. And your data security toolset just got a new addition. 🤯

Whether you are a new Admin, experienced Admin, App Builder, Product Owner or otherwise involved with the Salesforce Setup, understanding how to protect sensitive data stored in Salesforce is probably one of the most important aspects of setting up and managing a Salesforce Org.

We all know that the Data Security Model is already rather complex and now you have been given yet another tool. So how about we break down the entire model and see how the Restriction Rules fit in? Let’s go!

Salesforce Data Security Model & Where Restriction Rules Fit In

Now, as I mentioned above, the Data Security Model is complex and consists of many layers. In general, we have four layers/levels:

Organization-level = This is where you manage the first entry point of a Salesforce User, their login to the system. This includes things like IP Ranges, Login Hours, Password Policy, and so on. Anything that authenticates the User BEFORE they get access to Salesforce.

Object-level = This is what the User will have access to AFTER they successfully logged in. All Salesforce data is stored on Salesforce records that belong to Salesforce Objects. Hence, you will typically use tools like User Profiles, Permission Sets, and Permission Set Groups to manage access to Salesforce Objects.

Record-level = This is where things really start to get interesting with managing access to records that contain all that sensitive or not-to-sensitive data. Therefore, you want to be very careful which records Users should have access to. The baseline tools you’ll have available, are Organization-Wide Defaults (OWD), Role Hierarchy, Sharing Rules, Team Sharing, and Manual Sharing. PLUS, you guessed it, Restriction Rules.

Record-level sharing is the most complex of all our four layers, so here is how they are built up:

Field-level = Is all about managing access to the individual data types (= fields) stored on Salesforce records. You can choose between No access, Read access or Read/Write access.

Now that you know WHERE Restriction Rules fit in, we’ll discuss HOW they work.

HOW Do Salesforce Restriction Rules Work

While your baseline Record-level Sharing Model pretty much opens up access to records, Restriction Rules take away access. In other words, they limit the User’s record access to a sub-set of records they used to have access to. It’s like setting a permanent filter to display only pre-defined records. Why would you need to do that? Good question! We’ll look at some examples shortly.

Now, Restriction Rules can also be used for Objects that do not support any or some of the Record-level Sharing tools.

Let’s look at some examples for both scenarios:

An example where Restriction Rules limit access:

Let’s say you have a Recruiting Team, of which the Recruiting Assistants have access to Positions of the status “Open”. They have hired a Junior Recruiting Assistant, to support with open Positions which need to be filled by the end of the month.

We’re assuming the OWDs for Position is set to “Private”, a Role Hierarchy has been set up including the Role “Recruiting Assistant”, and a Sharing Rule is in place which shares all open Positions with the Recruiting Assistant Role. This Role is also assigned to the Junior Recruiting Assistant. What now?

Well, the Junior Recruiting Assistant has been assigned the Title “Junior Recruiting Assistant” on the corresponding User Record. And this is where we bring in the Restriction Rule. You will use the Restriction Rule to only display open Positions with a Close Date of the current end of the month, to Users with the Title “Junior Recruiting Assistant”.

This may look like this:

The result is this: The Junior Recruiting Assistant already had access to all open Positions because of the Sharing Rule. Of these open Positions, the Restriction Rule limits access to open Positions that contain the date of the current end of month.

Why could you not solve this with a Sharing Rule? Because Sharing Rules don’t support sharing based on User Criteria which are not Role-related. You could use a workaround though, like adding another Role “Junior Recruiting Assistant” to the Role Hierarchy and using this to create a secondary Sharing Rule. However, this makes the Role Hierarchy more complex and will have additional implications on other Sharing Rules, Reports, etc.

As a Salesforce Administrator, you always want to find the least complex but most effective solution. 🤓 Now, you have one, and that is Restriction Rules.

An example where Restriction Rules are the only option:

We’ll use the “Activity” Object which does not support Sharing Rules.

First up, the Object “Activity” relates to “Tasks” and “Events”, and supports OWDs such as “Private” and “Controlled by Parent”. If we chose “Controlled by Parent”, Users who have access to the associated Parent record (what you select in the “Related To” field), maybe “Account”, can see ALL tasks and events of the Accounts they have access to. You can’t restrict access to certain Tasks or Events of those Accounts, even if you selected the OWD “Private”. The latter would limit access to Tasks/Events a User owns.  You wouldn’t be able to open up access to specific Tasks/Events Users do not own, because Sharing Rules are not supported.

How do we fix this? Exactly, with Restriction Rules. Let’s look at a more specific example:

Let’s say you wanted Users of the Marketing Department to only have access to Tasks which have been marked as “Marketing Follow-up”. Again, we’ll use the OWD “Controlled by Parent” as the baseline setting.

Next, we’ll go to the Object Manager and select “Task” and then select “Restriction Rules”. From here, you’ll determine a meaningful Rule Name, specify the User Criteria (like the Department field on the User Record) and then specify the Record Criteria (like the checkbox field “Marketing Follow-up”).

This may look like this:

The result will be: The Marketing Users used to have access to all Tasks of their Accounts because of the OWD “Controlled by Parent” on the Activity Object, but now get a limited view to Tasks marked as “Marketing Follow-up” because of the Restriction Rule.

What Else You Need To Know About Salesforce Restriction Rules

Restriction Rules have only been made GA (Generally Available) in Salesforce’s Winter’22 Release. They still have a number of limitations around where and how you can use them. As always, keep an eye on the Release Notes for updates around the capabilities of Restriction Rules.

Here are some of the key items you currently need to consider before you set up Restriction Rules:

  • Only support Custom Objects and the following Standard Objects: Contracts, Events, Tasks, Time Sheets and Time Sheet Entries
  • Enterprise and Developer Editions only support up to 2 Restriction Rules per Object, Performance and Unlimited Editions up to 5
  • One Restriction Rule per Object per User
  • User Criteria and Record Criteria are limited to a small number of data types (e.g. boolean, date, string)
  • You can’t add more than one User criteria or more than one Record Criteria
  • The Operator is limited to “Equals”
  • Recently Viewed List Views still show records a User may have previously had access to, however when a User attempts to open the record, they will get an error

Make sure to familiarize yourself with the full list of considerations: https://help.salesforce.com/s/articleView?id=sf.security_restriction_rule_considerations.htm&type=5

While the capabilities of Restriction Rules are still rather limited, they already open up great opportunities for System Administrators. They have been put in place for a reason. 🤓

Let me know in the comments if you have been using Restriction Rules and how they have been working for you.

If you want to learn more about Salesforce’s Data Security Model, it’s part of our Salesforce Administrator Certification Course. You can sign up for a Free Preview first to get to know our Video Tutorials, Study Workbooks, and Practice Exams.