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Office 365 is a cloud-based system developed by Microsoft which offers a plethora of features to all kinds of organizations. It has been an instant favorite among professionals and businesses ever since its release as they configure Office 365 account in Outlook. Due to its phenomenal quality of all features, companies and Office 365 now go hand-in-hand. Individuals can sign into their user accounts and access their organization’s information and all these users can collaborate and engage together on work projects, documents, meetings, spreadsheets, and emails by forming a Group in Office 365 itself. The responsibility of properly managing all these users and groups is handled by the admins. However, some of these users and groups also have to be deleted in order to maintain the balance and relevance of all present data. But the question arises – how to carry forward this process? In this article, we shall dig deeper into the need, repercussions, and process to permanently delete Office 365 users and groups.

Need to delete users and groups-

  • Once an employee has taken an exit from the company, their user account must be deleted to carry forward the tasks with the remaining ones without any disturbance and confusion. Also, it is done to protect the company’s private data from anyone outside its management, staff, and clients.
  • When the group has successfully completed its main purpose, all its content including conversations, emails, team sites, events, and files can be deleted by the group owners. This decision is taken to free up the resources and to remove the group from getting displayed. Some companies often delete groups regularly to clean out the overall structure.
Delete the user account and group in Office 365

Things to keep in mind:

  • Only administrators and group owners have the right to delete a user account and ongoing group.
  • Run a thorough check to confirm the account and group which are being deleted. Ensure that they are no longer required.
  • Run a quick check for any necessary documents, projects, emails, notes, if found then immediately take a backup of all of them before deletion. Also, make sure to find old emails in Office 365 as some of them might be helpful in future projects.
  • Ensure email forwarding or sharing are disabled before deleting a user account.
The process to delete the user account:
  1. Open Office 365 admin center.
  2. In the admin center, click on ‘Users’ from the left panel to expand the menu. Select ‘Active users.’Select Active users
  3. From the list, select the employee whose account is to be deleted and click on the 3 dots which indicate ‘More actions.’select the employee whose account
  4. Now, click on ‘Delete user.’click on Delete user
  5. In the end, you can assign the license of this deleted user to some other one since it is already being paid.
Process to delete a group:
  1. Open Office 365 Admin center and log in.
  2. From the left panel, select ‘Teams & Groups.’ From the list, choose the active ones.choose the active ones
  3. Choose the group which needs to be deleted and click on the ‘More actions’ on the More actions sign
  4. Select ‘Delete team’ from the options.Delete team
  5. A confirmation message will be displayed. Tick mark the box which says, “I understand that all group content will be deleted”. Finally, click on ‘Delete’.
Restoration of deleted Office 365 user accounts and groups

A few times deletion of groups ad accounts can happen by mistake or may happen that some important data has also been deleted along with it. However, this mistake can be reversed only up to 30 days from the date of deletion. This is considered a “soft delete” because admins still do have time to restore it. Just make sure that the license is still with the user and then, the account and all its data can be restored with much ease. The same is the case with an Office 365 team group. After those 30 days have passed, there is not even a slight chance to recover all this content unless you or your company has taken a proper backup of it.

Take a backup of all Office 365 data

In critical situations of data loss, the only thing that comes to your rescue is the backup that you have taken. That is why all experts recommend taking backup of all important data from time to time including that of your Office 365 mailboxes.

This can be securely and accurately achieved using the Kernel Office 365 Backup which is a carefully curated utility to backup multiple Exchange Online mailboxes and later saves them in the PST file format. These are some of the key features of the software-

  • All the data in a mailbox including emails, contacts, attachments, calendar entries, events, meetings, and hierarchy, can be easily backed up.
  • All mailboxes- primary, public, archive, and shared can also be backed up.
  • Single and multiple mailbox back-ups can be achieved simultaneously.
  • It’s a minimum stepped process that can be carried out by even non-technical users.
  • The backup emails can be saved in various file formats including PST, DOCX, DOC, HTML, MSG, and PDF.
  • It keeps the structure and hierarchy of data just like the original one.
  • The presence of advanced filters like Folder, Item type, date, etc. helps in narrowing down the data before saving.
  • The software runs smoothly on all versions of the Windows operating systems.


When an employee takes an exit from the company his/her user account must be deleted. Also, once the purpose of the group is achieved, they also need to be removed. This can only be carried out by the admins and is an easy task. The details of the process have been mentioned above. Once this has been deleted, it can be restored only for 30 days or through the backup taken. One powerful utility which you can use to back up all the mailboxes is the Kernel Office 365 Backup software. It ensures a secure backup of all items.

Kernel Office 365 Backup