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Delete a user

When users leave your organization, you might want to delete their Google Apps user accounts.

Trying to resolve a conflicting account? Don't delete someone's user account to address a conflicting account problem if that person actively uses Google Apps services for email, calendar, and other core services. Instead, see how to resolve a conflicting account.

When you delete a user

  • The user can no longer access your organization's Google Apps services, including Drive files or Google+ Pages they own. 
  • The user's Google Apps data is deleted (including their Gmail messages and calendar data).
  • All Google+ Pages they own are deleted. You can choose to transfer ownership to another user.
  • The user's Google+ profile, circles, communities, collections, and events, which they are the sole owner of, will be deleted.  Communities, collections, and events are not deleted if there are other members.
  • All of the user's Drive files are deleted (including all Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and all other file types). You can choose to transfer ownership to another user.

Delete the user

Important: Before you delete a user's account
  • Shared calendars. You must transfer ownership of shared calendars. If the user created a shared calendar that you'd like someone else to now manage, give the other user permission to "Make changes AND manage sharing" on the shared calendar.
  • Business email powered by Google Apps. If you signed up for the business email service that lets you manage your personal and business email via the same Google inbox, you’ve purchased business email powered by Google Apps for Work. Learn more
    Warning: Before you delete the user account of the person who signed up for business email powered by Google Apps for Work, review the following important considerations:
  • Vault and Google Apps Unlimited. All of the user's Vault data is deleted. This happens regardless of retention settings or any holds that might be in effect. Learn more

You might also consider other ways to extract data before deleting a user's account.

What happens to a deleted user's data?
  • Mail. All messages in the user's account are deleted after 5 days.
  • Calendar. The user's primary calendar is deleted after 5 days. Shared calendars created by the user aren't deleted, but for another user to continue managing the shared calendar, you need to give the other user permission to "Make changes AND manage sharing" on the shared calendar.
  • Drive files. Drive files the user owns are deleted after five days unless you transfer those files when you delete the user as described below.
  • Vault. Any retention rules and holds that apply to the user are removed. All data for that user is deleted from Vault within 30 days.
  • Google+ Pages. All Google+ Pages owned by the account are deleted, or you can choose to transfer the pages to another user.
  • Circles, communities, collections, and events. The user's Google+ profile, circles, communities, collections, and events, are not impacted if there are other members. If the deleted user is the sole owner, however, then the, communities, collections, and events are deleted.
  • Sites pages. Site pages created by the user are not deleted. However, as an administrator, you can remove the sites.
  • Non-core services. Content in the user's non-core services (such as YouTube and Blogger) is deleted.
How to delete a user
  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 Users.
  3. To delete a single user, in the user list, click More More for the user you want to change and choose Delete.

    Or from the user's account page, in the corner of the user's profile, click More More and choose Delete.

  4. To delete multiple users, click the images next to the users' names you want to delete.
  5. In the top corner, click More More and choose Delete.
  6. (Optional) Indicate if you want to transfer ownership of the users' content.
    1. Google+ Pages: You can choose to transfer all Google+ Pages owned by the users.
    2. Drive: You can choose to transfer all files owned by the users, or only the shared files they own.
    Note the following:
    • Content that is not transferred to another user is deleted by Google. Google Drive files are deleted within five days. Google+ Pages are deleted immediately.
    • Transferred content includes all files of all types, not just Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and so forth.
  7. Confirm that you want to delete the user.
  8. If necessary, delete the user from your Gmail contacts list.

When the deletion and transfer are complete, Google emails the primary and secondary domain contacts defined in Company Profile > Profile > Contact information.

Restore a deleted user

You can restore a recently deleted account for up to 5 days. After this period, deleted accounts can't be recovered.

If you restore a deleted user:

  • If their content was transferred, the user is restored as a suspended user.
  • Any Drive files that weren't transferred to another user are automatically restored to the user.
  • If their files were transferred to another user:
    • Ownership of those files remains with the user they were transferred to.
    • The restored user can only edit the files they previously owned.
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