Retain field values in entries even after field deleted from form

A client would like to edit form fields and, if they delete a field, retain the values entered into that field in existing entries in the DB. Ideally the field values would show in the entries UI, and the export functionality.

Is this possible?

In this type of situation, you don’t want to delete the field, you want to change it’s visibility to ‘Administrative’ under Advanced Settings, Visibility.

That retains the original field values without keeping the field in the current form.

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