Collection Configs

Payload Collections are defined through configs of their own, and you can define as many as your application needs. Each Collection will scaffold a new collection automatically in your database of choice, based on fields that you define.

It's often best practice to write your Collections in separate files and then import them into the main Payload config.


slug *Unique, URL-friendly string that will act as an identifier for this Collection.
fields *Array of field types that will determine the structure and functionality of the data stored within this Collection. Click here for a full list of field types as well as how to configure them.
labelsSingular and plural labels for use in identifying this Collection throughout Payload. Auto-generated from slug if not defined.
adminAdmin-specific configuration. See below for more detail.
hooksEntry points to "tie in" to Collection actions at specific points. More
accessProvide access control functions to define exactly who should be able to do what with Documents in this Collection. More
authSpecify options if you would like this Collection to feature authentication. For more, consult the Authentication documentation.
uploadSpecify options if you would like this Collection to support file uploads. For more, consult the Uploads documentation.
timestampsSet to false to disable documents' automatically generated createdAt and updatedAt timestamps.
versionsSet to true to enable default options, or configure with object properties. More
endpointsAdd custom routes to the REST API. Set to false to disable routes. More
graphQLAn object with singularName and pluralName strings used in schema generation. Auto-generated from slug if not defined. Set to false to disable GraphQL.
typescriptAn object with property interface as the text used in schema generation. Auto-generated from slug if not defined.
defaultSortPass a top-level field to sort by default in the collection List view. Prefix the name of the field with a minus symbol ("-") to sort in descending order.
customExtension point for adding custom data (e.g. for plugins)

* An asterisk denotes that a property is required.

Simple collection example

import { CollectionConfig } from 'payload/types'
export const Orders: CollectionConfig = {
slug: 'orders',
fields: [
name: 'total',
type: 'number',
required: true,
name: 'placedBy',
type: 'relationship',
relationTo: 'customers',
required: true,

More collection config examples

You can find an assortment of example collection configs in the Public Demo source code on GitHub.

Admin options

You can customize the way that the Admin panel behaves on a collection-by-collection basis by defining the admin property on a collection's config.

groupText used as a label for grouping collection and global links together in the navigation.
hiddenSet to true or a function, called with the current user, returning true to exclude this collection from navigation and admin routing.
hooksAdmin-specific hooks for this collection. More
useAsTitleSpecify a top-level field to use for a document title throughout the Admin panel. If no field is defined, the ID of the document is used as the title.
descriptionText or React component to display below the Collection label in the List view to give editors more information.
defaultColumnsArray of field names that correspond to which columns to show by default in this collection's List view.
disableDuplicate Disables the "Duplicate" button while editing documents within this collection.
hideAPIURLHides the "API URL" meta field while editing documents within this collection.
enableRichTextLinkThe Rich Text field features a Link element which allows for users to automatically reference related documents within their rich text. Set to true by default.
enableRichTextRelationshipThe Rich Text field features a Relationship element which allows for users to automatically reference related documents within their rich text. Set to true by default.
previewFunction to generate preview URLS within the Admin panel that can point to your app. More.
livePreviewEnable real-time editing for instant visual feedback of your front-end application. More.
componentsSwap in your own React components to be used within this collection. More
listSearchableFieldsSpecify which fields should be searched in the List search view. More
paginationSet pagination-specific options for this collection. More


Collection admin options can accept a preview function that will be used to generate a link pointing to the frontend of your app to preview data.

If the function is specified, a Preview button will automatically appear in the corresponding collection's Edit view. Clicking the Preview button will link to the URL that is generated by the function.

The preview function accepts two arguments:

  1. The document being edited
  2. An options object, containing locale and token properties. The token is the currently logged-in user's JWT.

Example collection with preview function:

import { CollectionConfig } from 'payload/types'
export const Posts: CollectionConfig = {
slug: 'posts',
fields: [
name: 'slug',
type: 'text',
required: true,
admin: {
preview: (doc, { locale }) => {
if (doc?.slug) {
return `${doc.slug}?locale=${locale}`
return null

Here are a few options that you can specify options for pagination on a collection-by-collection basis:

defaultLimitInteger that specifies the default per-page limit that should be used. Defaults to 10.
limitsProvide an array of integers to use as per-page options for admins to choose from in the List view.

Access control

You can specify extremely granular access control (what users can do with documents in a collection) on a collection by collection basis. To learn more, go to the Access Control docs.


Hooks are a powerful way to extend collection functionality and execute your own logic, and can be defined on a collection by collection basis. To learn more, go to the Hooks documentation.

Field types

Collections support all field types that Payload has to offer—including simple fields like text and checkboxes all the way to more complicated layout-building field groups like Blocks. Click here to learn more about field types.

List Searchable Fields

In the List view, there is a "search" box that allows you to quickly find a document with a search. By default, it searches on the ID field. If you have admin.useAsTitle defined, the list search will use that field. However, you can define more than one field to search to make it easier on your admin editors to find the data they need.

For example, let's say you have a Posts collection with title, metaDescription, and tags fields - and you want all three of those fields to be searchable in the List view. You can simply add admin.listSearchableFields: ['title', 'metaDescription', 'tags'] - and the admin UI will automatically search on those three fields plus the ID field.

Admin Hooks

In addition to collection hooks themselves, Payload provides for admin UI-specific hooks that you can leverage.


The beforeDuplicate hook is an async function that accepts an object containing the data to duplicate, as well as the locale of the doc to duplicate. Within this hook, you can modify the data to be duplicated, which is useful in cases where you have unique fields that need to be incremented or similar, as well as if you want to automatically modify a document's title.


import { BeforeDuplicate, CollectionConfig } from 'payload/types'
// Your auto-generated Page type
import { Page } from '../payload-types.ts'
const beforeDuplicate: BeforeDuplicate<Page> = ({ data }) => {
return {,
title: `${data.title} Copy`,
uniqueField: data.uniqueField ? `${data.uniqueField}-copy` : '',
export const Page: CollectionConfig = {
slug: 'pages',
admin: {
hooks: {
fields: [
name: 'title',
type: 'text',
name: 'uniqueField',
type: 'text',
unique: true,


You can import collection types as follows:

import { CollectionConfig } from 'payload/types'
// This is the type used for incoming collection configs.
// Only the bare minimum properties are marked as required.
import { SanitizedCollectionConfig } from 'payload/types'
// This is the type used after an incoming collection config is fully sanitized.
// Generally, this is only used internally by Payload.

Global Configs