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Remove an employee

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When an employee leaves the company, you'll need to remove them from Office 365. Before doing so, you should block them from accessing company files, preserve the documents they created, and perform several other admin tasks associated with removing a user.

  1. From the Office 365 admin center, choose Edit a user.

  2. Select the user, and then choose Reset password.

  3. Choose Auto-generate password.

  4. Clear the Make this user change their password when they first sign in check box, and then choose Reset.

  5. Select Send password in email, enter your own email address, and then choose Send email and close.

  6. To forward the user's email to another employee, expand Mail Settings, choose Edit next to Email forwarding, turn on Forward all email sent to this mailbox, enter the new email address, and then choose Save.

  7. If you also want to copy their email, calendar, and contacts to your mailbox or someone else’s, open Outlook, choose Add account, add their email account, and choose Connect.

    You can also import their email, calendar, and contacts, if you want it included with yours. Learn more at aka.ms/CopyMail.

  8. To force the user to sign out the next time they use Office 365 in a web browser, go back the Edit a user pane, expand OneDrive Settings, and next to Sign-out, choose Initiate.

  9. To save the user's files, next to Access, choose Access files, click the link displayed, select all of the files, and then choose Download.

    You can saved the compressed file on OneDrive or a SharePoint site.

  10. To remove company data from the employee's mobile phone, do the following:

    1. From the Office 365 admin center, choose Admin centers, and then choose Exchange.

    2. Under Recipients, choose Mailboxes.

    3. Select the user's name, and then under Mobile devices, choose View details.

    4. Select Wipe Data and Block, and then choose Save.

  11. To remove the user and make the license available to another employee, do the following:

    1. Return to the admin center, and choose Edit a user.

    2. Select the former employee's name, and then next to Product licenses, choose Edit.

    3. Turn off the license assigned to the user, and then choose Save.

    If you don't need the extra license, you can remove it: Go to Billing, and in the subscription that was formerly being used, choose Add/Remove licenses, remove a license by changing the number next to Total users, and then choose Submit.

Every time an employee leaves the company, you should block them from accessing company files, preserve documents they created, and a number of other admin tasks in Office 365.

To get started, sign in to Office.com with your work email. Then choose Admin.

You’ll notice the option to Delete a user. You could do that now, but you won’t be able to preserve any of their email or files in case you need it later.

Instead, we recommend that you edit their account right away. Select the former employee’s name, then Reset password.

Choose Auto-generate password. And unlike normal circumstances, uncheck Make this user change their password. Then Reset.

Leave the Send password in email selected with just your email address as a recipient. Then Send email and close.

Next, forward their email messages to another person in the office who can take over their work.

Expand Mail Settings, and next to Email forwarding, choose Edit.

Turn on Forward all email sent to this mailbox. Then type your email address or the address of the employee who will be taking over their work. This way, you’ll receive email from any customers or partners they were working with and nothing is lost.

Leave Keep a copy of forwarded email selected. Then Save and Close.

Now if you also want to copy their email, calendar, and contacts to your mailbox or someone else’s, open Outlook, choose Add Account, and add their email alongside yours in case you need to review anything. You can also import their email if you want it included with yours. Learn more at aka.ms/CopyMail.

Switch back to the admin center with the edit user pane open and expand OneDrive Settings. Next to Sign-out, choose Initiate. This forces the former employee to sign out the next time they use Office 365.

Then, next to Access, choose Access files.

Follow the link to their work files on OneDrive.

Select all of the files and choose Download. Then save the compressed file.

Put this file on your OneDrive or one of your SharePoint sites.

If your former employee used their phone to access work files and email, remove that data too.

From the Office 365 admin center, choose Admin centers, then Exchange.

Under Recipients, choose Mailboxes. Select their name, then under Mobile devices, choose View details. Then Wipe Data and Block. Then Save.

As a final step, return to the Office 365 admin center.

Edit a user, select the former employee’s name, and next to Product licenses, choose Edit. Then turn off Business Premium so they’re no longer using that license. Then Save. And Close. And Close again.

You now have an extra Office 365 license that is available to another employee if needed.

If not, you can remove that extra license by going to Billing, then in the subscription they were using, choose Add/Remove licenses, and remove a license. Then Submit and Close.

You’ve successfully removed your former employee from Office 365.

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