Wipe a mobile device in Office 365

Last updated 19 April, 2019

You can use built-in mobile device management for Office 365 to remove only organizational information, or a factory reset to delete all information from a mobile device and restore it to its factory settings.

What to know before you begin

  • Mobile devices can store sensitive organizational information and provide access to your organization's Office 365 resources. To help protect your organization's information, you can do Factory reset or Remove company data:

    • Factory reset: Deletes all data on a user's mobile device, including installed applications, photos, and personal information. When the wipe is complete, the device is restored to its factory settings.

    • Remove company data: Removes only organization data and leaves installed applications, photos, and personal information on a user's mobile device.

  • When a device is wiped (Factory Reset or Remove Company Data), the device is removed from the list of managed devices.

  • You can set up a mobile device management policy that automatically factory resets a device after the user unsuccessfully tries to enter the device’s password a specific number of times. To do this, follow the steps in Create and deploy device security policies.

  • If you want to know what a user will experience when you wipe their device, see What's the user and device impact?.

Wipe a mobile device

  1. In your browser type: https://protection.office.com.

  2. In the left navigation pane, go to Data loss prevention > Device management > View the list of managed devices.

  3. Select the device you want to wipe.

  4. Click on Manage.

  5. Select the type of remote wipe you want to do.

    • To do a full wipe and restore the device to its factory settings, select Factory reset.

    • To do a selective wipe and delete only Office 365 organization information, select Remove company data.

    • To remove the device from your organization, select Remove device.

  6. Select Yes to confirm.

How do I know it worked?

You'll no longer see the mobile device in the list of managed devices.

Why would you want to wipe a device?

There are several reasons for wiping devices:

  • Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are becoming more full-featured all the time. This means it’s easier for your users to store sensitive corporate information such as personal identification or confidential communications and access it on the go. If one of these mobile devices is lost or stolen, wiping the device can help prevent your organization’s information from ending up in the wrong hands.

  • When a user leaves the organization with a personal device that is enrolled in MDM for Office 365, you can help prevent organizational information from going with that user by doing a factory reset.

  • If your organization provides mobile devices to users, you might need to reassign devices from time to time. Doing a Factory Reset on a device before assigning it to a new user helps ensures that any sensitive information from the previous owner is deleted.

What's the user and device impact?

The wipe is sent immediately to the mobile device and the device is marked as not compliant in Azure active directory. While all data is removed when a device is reset to factory defaults, the following table describes what content is removed for each device type when a device when you remove company data.

Content impact

Windows Phone 8.1

iOS 10.0+

Android 4.4+

Office 365 app data will get wiped if the device is protected by Intune App Protection policies . The apps aren't removed. For devices not protected by Mobile Application Management (MAM) policies, Outlook and OneDrive won't remove cached data.

Note: For applying Intune App protection policies you need to have an Intune license.

Policy settings that were applied by MDM for Office 365 to devices are no longer enforced on the device and users can change the settings.

Email profiles created by MDM for Office 365 are removed and cached email on the device is deleted.

N/A

N/A

Note: * Company Portal app is available at the App Store for iOS and the Play Store for Android devices. 

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Manage mobile devices in Office 365

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