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This page refers to CiviCRM 3.4 and 4.0, current STABLE version.

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Activity Types Overview

Activities are 'interactions with contacts' which you want to record and track. By looking at the Activities recorded for a particular contact or constituent, staff members can get a complete picture of past and upcoming interactions and transactions.

CiviCRM has several reserved (e.g. 'built-in') activity types (meetings, phone calls, emails sent). See Using Activities to learn about recording, assigning and viewing activities. You can also create additional 'activity types' as needed to record other types of activities. For example, you might want to include 'New Client Intake', or 'Site Audit', etc. types of trackable activites.

All activity types include fields for the activity's subject, location, date/time, duration and description. You can add any number of custom fields to track additional information about an activity. These custom fields can be configured for ALL activities, or for a specific type of activity. See Creating Custom Field Sets & Custom Fields.

Built-in Activity Types

The type of activity and its description are defined in Activity Types. CiviCRM comes with a number of 'built-in' activity types.

Activity Type



Email Sent


Schedule a Meeting

Phone Call

Schedule a Phone Call

Some types of activities are recorded by CiviCRM components. For example, a "Contribution" activity is recorded whenever a contact makes a contribution. 3rd party applications may also record activities for CiviCRM contacts using our APIs.

Configure Activity Types

Go to Administer CiviCRM. In the Configure section, choose Activity Types.

You will see a list of existing activity types (Standard options are Meeting, Phone Call, Email and SMS).
You can create a NEW activity type or Edit, Disable or Delete EXISTING NON-STANDARD activity types using the links to the right of each activity type. Standard activity types cannot be changed.


To enter a New Activity Type, click on the >>New Activity Type link at the bottom of the list of activity types.

Type in the Label, Description and Weight. You can enable/disable the activity type by checking or unchecking the box labeled Enabled?

Click Save to save the activity type.

If successful, you will see the message:

The Activity Type "Volunteer Orientation" has been saved.


For EXISTING NON-STANDARD activity types you can Edit, Disable or Delete each option using the links to the right of each non-standard activity type.


Selecting Edit will bring you to the Edit Activity Type Options page where you can change the Label, Description and Weight for the activity type. Here you can also enable/disable the activity type by checking or unchecking the box labeled Enabled?

Click Save to save the activity type.

If successful, you will see the message:

The Activity Type "Event" has been saved.


Select Disable to temporarily disable an existing activity type. You will see the warning:

"Are you sure you want to disable this Activity Type? Users will not be able to select this value when adding or editing Activity Type"

Click OK to continue or Cancel to cancel disabling the activity type.

To re-enable the activity type, simply click on Enable.


Select Delete to delete the activity type. You will be given this warning:

WARNING: Deleting this option will result in the loss of all Activity Type related records which use the option. This may mean the loss of a substantial amount of data, and the action cannot be undone. Do you want to continue?

Click Delete to continue or Cancel to cancel the deletion.

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