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Remove corporate 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 remotely wipe only G Suite data or all data from the device.

Before you begin

  • If the user’s G Suite account is suspended, you need to restore it. For details, see Restore a suspended user
  • Does the user know their G Suite email address and password? If not, you need to reset the password. Do this before you wipe the device. If you don't, the user might need to wait 24 hours before they can sign back in to the device.
  • If you have access to the device, sign out and remove the G Suite account first.
  • If factory reset protection is on and you’re wiping all data from the device, make sure administrators with access to the device have active accounts. Also make sure that the accounts haven’t been deleted or suspended.

Options to remove corporate data

You can remotely wipe the user’s G Suite account, their work profile, or all data from the device. You can also allow users to remotely wipe their own device. Whichever method you choose, G Suite data will still be available for users who sign in with their computer, a web browser, or other authorized mobile device.

Wipe a G Suite account or work profile from a personal Android or iOS device

Tip: Use this option if an employee using a personal device at work leaves your organization.

You use this option to remotely remove a user's G Suite account from their device. Removing the account removes all data associated with the account, such as emails, calendars, contacts, and managed apps. Personal data and apps remain on the device. To remove a G Suite account from a company-owned device, see Wipe a work profile

If the device has a work profile (Android only), the entire work profile is removed. If the user 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. To wipe the account from both places, follow the steps for both entries.

Wipe a G Suite account or work profile

  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 Account.
  5. Click Wipe Account to confirm.
  6. If the user added the same account to their personal space, repeat the steps to remove data from both entries from the devices list.

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.

Wipe a work profile (Android) or all data from a device

Tip: Use this option for company-owned devices. You can also use it if a personal device that’s used for work is lost or stolen.

This option is only available for devices that are managed with advanced mobile management. The managed device must have the Google Apps Device Policy app (Android), a device policy profile (Apple® iOS®), or Google Sync configured.

The data that’s removed depends on the device type.

Android 

  • If the device is company owned, or has a work profile set up, only the work profile is removed. This includes all corporate data and apps. The user’s personal data stays on the device.
  • If the device doesn’t have work profile, it’s reset to its factory settings. All corporate and personal data is removed, including emails, calendars, contacts, photos, music, and apps. The device settings are reset to their defaults.
  • If the user added the same G Suite account to their work profile and personal space, there are 2 entries in the mobile devices list for the device. To wipe data from the work profile and personal space, follow the steps below for both entries.
  • If the device has an SD card, data is removed from that, too, with these exceptions:
    • The removal is a Quick Erase and not a Secure Erase of the SD card.
    • The card is not wiped on some devices, such as Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy S4 devices or devices with Android 2.2 Froyo and earlier.
    • Only mounted primary SD cards are wiped.
    • Read-only cards aren't wiped.

iOS and Windows Phone devices and devices that use Google Sync

All corporate and personal data is removed from the device, including emails, calendars, contacts, photos, music, and apps. The device settings are reset to their defaults.

Wipe a work profile or all data 

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

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

  2. Click Mobile devices.
  3. Hover over the Device ID of the device you want to wipe and select Wipe Device.
  4. Click Wipe Device to confirm.

It usually takes a few minutes for the data to be removed, but it might take up to 3 hours for some devices. On the next sync, data is deleted and, if applicable, the device is reset.

In your Admin console, when the wipe is complete, the device status is Wiped. For information about the factory reset process, see the device's documentation.

Allow users to wipe their own work profile (Android) or data

If you allow a user to wipe their own device, the same data is removed as when an administrator does it. For details, see Wipe a work profile (Android) or all data from a device

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

Allow users to remotely wipe their own 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 Android Device Manager 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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