Overview: Remove a former employee and secure data
A question we often get is, "What should I do to secure data and protect access when an employee leaves my organization?" This article explains how to block access to Microsoft 365 so these users can't sign in to Microsoft 365, the steps you should take to secure organization data, and how to allow other employees to access email and OneDrive data.
Before you begin
You need to be a global administrator to complete the steps in this solution.
To complete the steps in this series, you use these Microsoft 365 capabilities and features.
Product or component Capability or feature
Microsoft 365 admin center Convert mailbox, forward email, revoke access, remove user
Exchange admin center Block user, block access to email, wipe device
OneDrive and SharePoint Give access to other users
Outlook Import pst files, add mailbox
Active Directory Remove users in hybrid environments
Step 1 - Prevent a former employee from logging in and block access to Microsoft 365 services
Step 2 - Save the contents of a former employee's mailbox
Step 5 - Give another employee access to OneDrive and Outlook data-note If you only remove a user's license but don't delete the account, the content in the user's OneDrive will remain accessible to you even after 30 days.
Before you delete the account, you should give access of their OneDrive and Outlook to another user. After you delete an employee's account, the content in their OneDrive and Outlook is retained for 30 days. During that 30 days, however, you can restore the user's account, and gain access to their content. If you restore the user's account, the OneDrive and Outlook content will remain accessible to you even after 30 days.
Step 6 - Remove and delete the Microsoft 365 license from a former employee
-note When you remove a license, you can assign it to someone else. Or, you can delete the license so you don't pay for it until you hire another person.
When you remove or delete a license, the user's old email, contacts, and calendar are retained for 30 days, then permanently deleted. If you remove or delete a license but don't delete the account, the content in the user's OneDrive will remain accessible to you even after 30 days.
Step 7 - Delete a former employee's user account