Delete or restore users

When a user no longer needs an Office 365 user account, such as when they leave the organization, you should delete their user account. Deleting the user account frees the Office 365 licenses assigned to it and makes sure that unauthorized persons can’t continue to use the account. For more information about how to remove licenses from users, see Assign or remove a license.

To delete the account for one or more users

  1. Go to Admin > Office 365 > Users and groups.
  2. Choose the names of the users that you want to delete, and then click Delete Delete.
  3. In the confirmation box, click Yes.

When you delete a user account, the account becomes inactive. However, for approximately 30 days after you have deleted it, you can restore the account.

 Note    If your organization synchronizes user accounts to Office 365 from a local Active Directory environment, you must delete and restore those user accounts in your local Active Directory service. You can’t delete or restore them in Office 365. For more information about synchronizing user accounts to Active Directory, see Activate synced users.

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Restore one or more users

When you restore a user account within 30 days after deleting it, the user account and all associated data are restored. The user can sign in to Office 365 with the same user ID, their mailbox is fully restored, and they have access to all services they previously accessed.

Before you restore a user account, make sure there are Office 365 licenses available that you can assign to the account. Also, when you restore an account, you may encounter conflicts with user names or proxy addresses, which you can resolve.

To restore one or more users

  1. Go to Admin > Office 365 > Users and groups > Deleted users.
  2. On the Deleted users page, choose the names of the users that you want to restore, and then click Restore users.
  3. In the confirmation box, click Close.

For more information about deleted user accounts and how to restore them, see How to troubleshoot deleted user accounts in Office 365.

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Restore a user that has a user name conflict

A user name conflict occurs when an admin deletes a user account, creates a new user account with the same user name (either for the same user or another user with a similar name), and later tries to restore the deleted account.

To resolve a user name conflict, you can either replace the active user account with the one that you are restoring or assign a different user name to the account that you are restoring so that there aren’t two accounts with the same user name.

To restore a user that has a user name conflict

  1. Go to Go to Admin > Office 365 > Users and groups > Deleted users.
  2. On the Deleted users page, choose the names of the users that you want to restore, and then click Restore users.

 Note    If two or more users fail to be restored, an error message advises you that the restore operation failed for some users. View the log to see which users were not restored, and then restore the failed accounts one at a time.

  1. On the User name conflict page, do one of the following:
  • If you want to keep the restored account and the conflicting active account, click Change the user name of the user you want to restore, type a new user name, and then click the appropriate domain name.
  • If you want to remove the active account and replace it with the account that you are restoring, click Replace active user with this deleted user.
  1. Click Submit.
  2. Review the results, and then click Finish.

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Restore a user that has a proxy address conflict

A proxy address conflict occurs when an admin deletes a user account that contains a proxy address, assigns the same proxy address to another account, and then tries to restore the deleted account.

To restore a user that has a proxy address conflict

  1. Go to Admin > Office 365 > Users and groups > Deleted users.
  2. On the Deleted users page, check the names of the users that you want to restore, and then click Restore users.

 Note    If two or more users fail to be restored, an error message advises you that the restore operation failed for some users. View the log to see which users were not restored, and then restore the failed accounts one at a time.

  1. On the Resolve proxy address conflict page, if you want to restore the user account and delete the proxy addresses attached to that account, click Submit.

 Note    If a user account contains more than one error that prevents you from restoring it, the Resolve proxy address conflict page displays a Next button instead of a Submit button. Click Next to resolve the error on the next page.

  1. Review the results, and then click Finish.

 Note    If you need to find out how much time remains before a particular user account can no longer be restored, contact Office 365 Support.

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Applies to:
Office 365 Enterprise admin, Office 365 Midsize Business admin