Working on a system that has a TON of data - and trying to optimize it since so much data comes out of it. There are a lot of filters in this system and all data was returned, bad I know. In any event, I recommended to the team to have a new filter called "Requires My Action" and default it to checked so that when the user logs in they only see their records.

This worked out pretty good and has drastically reduced the amount of data... However, on the form the original developers have a button to "Clear All Filters" and upon clicking that is now clearing this new defaulted filter.

I recommended to the team that this button clear everything except this field otherwise there was no reason why we defaulted it from the beginning. For instance, a user logs in and this filter "Requires My Action" is set giving them 5k records say. He / She then filters on additional fields like a site or plant name and they get 2500 records. Imagine if this same user thought ok wait I didn't want to filter by site/plant I wanted to filter by status so they click "Clear All Filters" and suddenly now they are seeing 50k records instead of 5k records since the "Requires My Action" is cleared as well.

To me users are not going to go to each filter (for instance we have multi selection checkboxes) and uncheck or unfilter each field - its too much work. Most users are going to simply click a button that "Clears All Filters", but I truly think that the checkbox "Requires My Action" should not be cleared as it clearly changes the amount of data. It happened to me several times and I am a power user.

Your thoughts? Should this button clear ALL filters including this new filter?

enter image description here

In the image above when a user logs in we default the requires my action (or use their session values to set this checkbox). If they start picking on other filters and then want to clear these filters - should this important filter be cleared - my experience and my thought is NO it should not clear, but wanted to get your feedback.

please note i am not asking whether the button name should be changed i can easily do that. I am asking does it make sense that clear or filter reset keep my important checkbox checked??

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    Rename the checkbox to something like "Include items that don't require my action" and have it clear by default? Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 8:43
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    It’s time for someone to say this clearly: the quesion is invalid. We cannot possibly tell you whether it makes sense for the button to clear all filters, keep the default filter, or launch the computer into space, without knowing the button’s caption and other relevant properties. The OP does say in a comment on an answer that they intend to change the caption. This information needs to be in the question. Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 11:34
  • You have more problems: The placeholders are the same as the labels and the checkbox isn't grouped with the other filters. Indeed, it occpupies the last place in this dialog (in a left-to-right top-to-bottom language such as English.), which should be reserved for the primary button. Note that your primary button is also to the left of the other buttons (why?) Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 0:56
  • @BrianDrake OP included a screenshot of the current UI. Are you unable to see it? And by "caption" do you mean the button's label text? Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 13:29
  • @maxathousand The question, as written, is valid and has a very clear answer: yes, clear the filter! But common sense dictates that the question, as written, is not the question the OP was trying to ask. Indeed, as I mentioned in my first comment, the OP has acknowledged this. … Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 13:36

2 Answers 2


There are certainly other solutions, but probably the simplest would be to change the button text from "Clear All" to "Reset Filters".

Now, instead of "emptying all filters", the button indicates that it's "resetting all filters to the default value" and the checkbox can remain checked.

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    I'd recommend "Reset to Default". Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 21:16
  • @Acccumulation Sure Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 21:17
  • @maxathousand i understand that that isnt my question. My question is would you clear the important filter based on what i said or not? Im not worried about the text of the button i can change that. But as a user is it strange when u click the clear filter button to leave the important checkbox checked??? That is my question.
    – JonH
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 22:32
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    @JonH “But as a user is it strange when u click the clear filter button...” My recommendation is changing the meaning of the button from a “clear filters” button to a “reset filters” button. The wording changes the conceptual model associated with that button and shifts it such that it’s no longer strange when the user clicks the button and the important checkbox remains checked (as it seems valuable to do). “Clear filters” means delete values; my suggested “reset filters” means restore them to their initial state. Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 23:02
  • Right i was planning to change the button to Reset but i wanted feedback on whether or not you guys thought what i had mentioned in my question would be ok or normal?
    – JonH
    Commented Nov 13, 2020 at 23:35

If you have a button that says it will clear all filters it should do that.

Without knowing the full set of use cases I can only guess if a button doing that is useful or not. I would imagine it would be very useful for someone looking at the data for a different purpose than the one you are focused on. Perhaps a person who wants to see all activities for all actors for a time period.

You need to collect a good set of use cases and provide a response to each of them.

Strangers on the internet can’t guess at what the use cases are, only User Research can tell you that.

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