4 Dec 2019 by Mike Weaver
Inspire: Winning Hearts and Minds
Successful change management requires inspirational leadership. Here’s how to keep your team on track.
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So an employee is leaving your company. It happens all the time, no big deal. But what do we do about their Office 365 account? This guide aims to answer that question. We’ll go through the following steps:
Many of our Office 365 reports can be used to determine if the employee was a member of particular distribution groups or have a mobile device assigned to them.
When a user leaves, the first thing you want to do is reset the password on their account. Resetting their password means you can still access their mailbox but prevents them from accessing business information once they have left.
Follow this link for How to reset a Users Password in Office 365.
If the employee has been terminated under less favorable circumstances, you may need to remotely wipe the users mobile phone to prevent them from accessing corporate information.
This needs to be done before you delete their account:
Find out more information here about wiping a mobile device for an employee.
Before you can export the users mailbox, you need to give your account full access to the employee’s mailbox. This has to be done in Powershell.
Then, you need to run the following command. This example gives email@example.com full access to the mailbox of firstname.lastname@example.org. Obviously you need to replace these two login names with those of your own company.
Add-MailboxPermission -identity email@example.com -user firstname.lastname@example.org -AccessRights FullAccess
Many industries and companies are required to keep employee records for a period of many years. There is no easy way to do this in Office 365 and this frustrates many people. If you want to delete the user account eventually, you’ll need to export the mailbox to a PST file and store it somewhere safe.
If you use an Enterprise version of Office 365 you can now keep the mailbox on Office 365 indefinitely.
Otherwise, you need to export the mailbox to a PST file.
Remember: PST files are notoriously unstable. So once you have a working PST file, you should back it up immediately. If you need to work on a users PST file later, do so on a copy not the original file. If the PST copy becomes corrupt you can always make another one.
Then, export the mailbox to a PST file. Don’t forget to also export the Archive Mailbox if the user has one.
Alternatively, you can use a PST export tool.
Make sure you test the PST file works properly before you delete the source mailbox!
This is how you delete a user in Office 365:
Once you’ve deleted the employee’s user account, you can assign their email address to another person to make sure you don’t miss any important emails. This is relatively easy, and this TechNet blog describes it much better than I ever could.
This is an alternative to assigning the users email address to another person. You can create an Auto-Responder, or Out Of Office message, that replies to any emails sent to the departing employee’s email address with a custom message.
The way I do this is with a Shared Mailbox. You are not charged by Microsoft for Shared Mailboxes.
Firstly, Create a Shared Mailbox with the name “Ex Employees” or something similar and give yourself permission to it. This guide explains how.
Now you need to create an Out Of Office message for the Shared Mailbox:
The last thing to do is add the email address for the employee to this new autoresponder mailbox. This is an easy step, and is explained here.
If you make the auto responder email a generic message, you can use this same mailbox for all future employees that leave the company. Simply add their email address to this existing mailbox.
Note: As this is effectively an Out Of Office message, each person who email’s this mailbox will only receive the auto responder message once.
Once you’ve deleted a user, their licence becomes free for another user to user. You will still be charged for this licence until you remove it from your subscription. This is done in the Office 365 Administrator Portal.
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