User termination process regarding mails and data

Iron Contributor

Im not sure where to ask, but I think it is related to admin's process.


When employee leaves, as a admin, I have to delete their account. But before I have to backup their mails and data in onedrive first.

I found it way more complicated than Google works product.

AFAIK, when emplyee leaves I have to follow these steps; please correct me if I am wrong.


  1. Block login;
  2. Go to sharepoint admin site, grant access to someone who will be handed terminated employee's data
  3. Go to terminated employee's onedrive
  4. Manual backup
  5. Go to exchange admin site, change terminated emplyee's mailbox to sharedmailbox or grant access permission to someone
  6. Manual backup using PST file.
  7. Delete user account


Well, if I may compare to Google works, it is way more complicated. In Google works, if I delete account,


  1. they give me options to download(check out) all datas and emails in zip file.


Just one step. And it's done.



Please correct me if Im wrong, cause i am not an IT guy even I manage my tenant. Only reason I am doing this admin job is just becasue I know how to turn on/off computer.



It is only way to back up terminated account's mail and data? Or is there any simpler way?

10 Replies

Juhyun Kim If the user is terminated, we will just remove the license in the tenant. Remove the terminated user from office 365 groups. We don't advise to delete the OD4B, because all the data will share to team for various purpose. 



Thanks. But what if datas that not stored in o365 groups? Who and how can access to terminated user's OD4B?

And what about mail? Do I hv any options to get archive?
The email backup process (PST) you mention is the only way to do this in o365 at the moment. Be cautious removing a license from a user as this will usually de-provision the mailbox of that user. Better to block the user when they leave then migrate the data off etc. With ODfB you can add a administration user to the users ODfB account, a simple user guide here -
best response confirmed by 주현 김 (Iron Contributor)

Yes. You have option to seach the content inside the terminated user mailbox. Find the below link for detailed information.


For OD4B.

Thanks Rob.


That was the proceedure I took.


But still, I think it should be much simpler than this.

No problem, and yes there is always room for improvement.

Vadivelu, thanks for the references.


Rob, yes and I really think it should be automated sequence, since I am working in entertainment industry, and in this field, we have many project based employees.


Many employees come and work around 3~6month and leave, leaving many emails and data.


If I have to do this everytime they leave.. wow.



I'd script as much of this as you can with PowerShell, it will make having to click around various GUIs a lot easier. Of course you're stuck when it comes to exporting PST and PowerShell as I don't believe MS have enabled this feature yet, although it is available in on-premise Exchange.

We're in the same situation. Strange that MS hasn't any good solution to user termination. The "Solution" suggested in this tread is no solution it's a workaround.


We would like to take away the user from global address book and block email to his account. And later, say days or weeks,  backup the mail file and terminate the account. Sometimes the account is terminated in error and has to be restored quickly so a grace period is needed before complete delete.

I wrote about the process that you might care to follow some time ago at You might find the information presented there valuable. We also cover the topic in more depth in the Office 365 for IT Pros ebook ( because there is much more to think about than Exchange mailbox data such as the user's OneDrive for Business site, any other SharePoint Onine sites that they own/administer, even things like Sways they have authored and the blog they might have written through Delve. Basically, this is a complicated area that will differ from company to company depending on how you use Office 365. You have to figure out where users generate data, how that data is managed, and how it can be captured/preserved when users leave (for one reason or another).



1 best response

Accepted Solutions
best response confirmed by 주현 김 (Iron Contributor)

Yes. You have option to seach the content inside the terminated user mailbox. Find the below link for detailed information.


For OD4B.

View solution in original post