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Remove G Suite data from a mobile device

Mobile devices store important information and can give access to a user’s G Suite account. If a device goes missing or an employee leaves your organization, you can still wipe corporate data from the device. You can wipe a user’s G Suite account, their work profile, or all data from the device. Whichever method you choose, the G Suite data is still available when users sign in with their computer, a web browser, or another authorized mobile device.

Important (Android): If you use factory reset protection, make sure you can access an associated admin account before you wipe a device and reset it. The account must be active (not restored) and can never have been deleted or suspended. G Suite support can’t unlock the device or restore it for you. If you have problems unlocking a reset device, contact the manufacturer for help. For details, see Factory Reset Protection Setting.

Before you begin

Decide what to wipe from the device

You can wipe all data from a device or just a G Suite account. In general, you should:

  • Wipe a device—If it’s a company-owned or personal device that’s lost or stolen.
  • Wipe a G Suite account—If it’s a personal device and the employee is leaving your organization.

The data that’s removed depends on the type of device you’re wiping. For details, see the table below.

Note: You can’t wipe all data from a device that’s managed with basic mobile management. The device must be managed with advanced mobile management and have the Google Apps Device Policy app (Android), a device policy profile (Apple® iOS®), or Google Sync configured. For details, see  Set up mobile device management.

Device type Wipe device Wipe G Suite account
Personal Android device with a work profile
  • The user’s work profile is removed, which includes the G Suite account and all data associated with it (emails, calendars, contacts, and managed apps).
  • Personal data and apps remain on the device.
  • The user’s work profile is removed, which includes the G Suite account and all data associated with it (emails, calendars, contacts, and managed apps).
  • Personal data and apps remain on the device.
Personal Android device without a work profile
  • All corporate and personal data is removed, which includes emails, calendars, contacts, photos, music, and apps.
  • The device is reset to its factory settings.
  • If the device has an SD card*, data is removed from that, too.

 

  • The G Suite account is removed, which includes all data associated with the account (emails, calendars, contacts, and managed apps).
  • Personal data and apps remain on the device.
Company-owned Android device
  • All corporate and personal data is removed, which includes emails, calendars, contacts, photos, music, and apps.
  • The device is reset to its factory settings.
  • This option isn’t available for company-owned devices.
iOS device using iOS Sync
  • All corporate and personal data is removed, which includes emails, calendars, contacts, photos, music, and apps.
  • The device is reset to its factory settings.
  • The G Suite account is removed, which includes all data associated with the account (emails, calendars, contacts, and managed apps).
  • Personal data and apps remain on the device.
Devices that use Google Sync (Windows Phone, iOS, BlackBerry)
  • All corporate and personal data is removed, which includes emails, calendars, contacts, photos, music, and apps.
  • The device is reset to its factory settings.
  • This option isn’t available for devices that sync data with Google Sync.

*The removal is a Quick Erase and not a Secure Erase of the SD card. Only mounted primary SD cards are wiped. Read-only cards aren't wiped.

If you have access to the device...

If the device isn’t lost or stolen, and you have access to it:

  • Make sure the user can access their G Suite account:
    • If they don’t know their password, you need to reset it. Do this before you wipe the device. If you don't, the user might need to wait at least 24 hours before they can sign back in to the device.
    • If the account is suspended, you need to restore it. For details, see Restore a suspended user.
  • Make sure any administrators who have access to Android devices with factory reset protection can sign in. The accounts must be active for the admin to access the device after it’s wiped.
  • Sign out and remove the G Suite account before you wipe the device or account.

Wipe a device or a G Suite account from a device

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Device management.

    To see Device management, you might have to click More controls at the bottom.

  3. Click Mobile devices.
  4. Hover over the Device ID of the device you want to wipe and select Wipe Device or Wipe Account.
    Note: If you’re not sure which option to choose, see Step 2: Decide what to wipe from the device.
  5. Click Wipe Device or Wipe Account to confirm.
  6. If the user added more than 1 account to the device. Or, if they added the same G Suite account to their work profile and personal space, there are 2 entries for the device in the mobile devices list. Repeat the steps to remove data from both entries in the devices list.

On the next sync, data is deleted and, if applicable, the device is reset. It usually takes a few minutes for the data to be removed from the device, but it might take up to 3 hours for some devices. In your Admin console, when the wipe is complete, the device status is Wiped or Account Wiped.

For information about the factory reset process, see the device's documentation.

Android 5.1 Lollipop and later devices—An account can’t be removed if it’s the only account on the device. When you wipe the account, new work data will stop syncing but existing data and the G Suite account will remain on the device. To remove the account and existing data, wipe all data from the device.

Allow Android users to wipe their own device

You can allow users to remotely wipe their own devices. When they wipe their device, the same data is removed as when an administrator chooses to wipe a device. For details, see Step 2: Decide what to wipe from the device.

Note: This option is supported for Android 2.2 Froyo and later devices.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Device management.

    To see Device management, you might have to click More controls at the bottom.

  3. Click Android Settings and then  General Settings.
  4. (Optional) On the left, select an organization to apply the setting to.
  5. Check the Allow user to remote wipe device from Find My Device box.
  6. Click Save.

To give your users details on how to remotely wipe their device, see: Manage my Android device.

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