Delete a user

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

Deleting a user's account does the following:

  • 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.
  • 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.
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 mail, calendar, and other core services. Instead, see how to resolve a conflicting account.
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 and bought your business email and domain name via a promotion in your personal Gmail account, 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 five days.
  • Calendar. The user's primary calendar is deleted after five 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 will be deleted, or you can choose to transfer the pages to another user.
  • Sites pages. Site pages created by the user are not deleted. However as administrator, you can remove the sites.
  • Non-core services. Content in the user's non-core services (such as YouTube and Picasa Web Albums) is deleted.
How to delete a user
  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. Click Users.
  3. To delete a single user, click Settings in the user list for the user you want to change and choose Delete.

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

  4. To delete multiple users, click the images next to the users' names you want to delete.
  5. Click Settings in the top corner and choose Delete users.
  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 user(s).
    2. Drive: You can choose to transfer all files owned by the user(s), 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.
      • If you restore a deleted user whose content was transferred, the user is restored as a suspended user.
      • If a deleted user is restored, they can only edit the content they used to own.  The restored user does not automatically reacquire ownership of old content that was transferred to someone else.
  7. When prompted, 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.

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

Was this article helpful?
Sign in to your account

Get account-specific help by signing in with your Apps for Work account email address, or learn how to get started with Apps for Work.