Guide and Best Practices for Google Apps Admins: Deprovision User Accounts

This post is the second in our Guide and Best Practices for Google Apps Admins series. Be sure to read Part I: Best Practices for Google Apps Admins: Managing Users.
Part II: Deprovisioning User Accounts
Businesses and organizations often strive for low employee turn-over, but this is unavoidable in every business and organization. As a Google Apps Admin, it’s important to understand best practices for deprovisioning Google Apps user accounts. Although you may be itching to hit that delete button, there are some actions you should take before getting trigger happy. Follow our checklist BEFORE you hit the delete button!

1. Change the user password:
By changing the password immediately, it ensures that your company's sensitive information remains internal. It also allows time for the Admin to get back into the account to transfer any necessary data.

2. Set Out-Of-Office notice:
Go into the user account (it’s easy because you have already changed the password) and set the out-of-office notice to notify others of personnel change. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be descriptive and can be something like this:

3. Determine valuable information: Make a quick list of the information that may need to be transferred. Some examples may include:
4. Add forwarding address OR delegate the email account:

Add Forwarding address: Use this option if you need a current team member to monitor the incoming emails of the old employee. In the old employee’s user account, go to the gear, then select ‘Settings’. Once in Settings, select the ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’ tab. 


Delegate the email account:
Use this option if you need a current team member to access both new and previous emails in the old employee’s account. This would allow the current team member to check the mailbox occasionally and have access to emails and labels. In Settings, go to ‘Accounts and Import’ and locate 'Grant access to your account'. Then select ‘Add another account’.

TIP: The delegate of the old employee’s account will NOT be able to:
  • Change account settings (which includes delegating your manager's email to another user)
  • Send and receive chat messages
  • Use Task lists
  • Use Gmail Labs (either your own or ones your manager has enabled)
  • Change Gmail Themes
  • Use Offline Gmail

5. Transfer Document Ownership: If you delete a user account WITHOUT transferring document ownership of the documents, they will be deleted from the domain. In the Control Panel, go to Settings → Drive and Docs → Tools and set up the document transfer.

6. Share important calendar or project calendars:
In the old employee’s calendar, be sure the share important caledars with other individuals so the calendar is not deleted. Grant the highest permission (Make Changes AND Manage Sharing) to an existing employee. Click on calendar name in left pane → ‘Share this calendar’

7. Transfer Google Groups: If the old employee is an Owner or Manager of a Google Group, you must reassign that Group to another individual. The group will disappear if the Owner is deleted before it is reassigned.

8. FINALLY delete the user!

In the ‘Organization & userstab, select the check-box next to the user you wish to delete. Then select More actions’ and choose Delete users’. This will delete the selected users. Be sure you have the correct user selected to be deleted.

9. Add the deleted user as a nickname to an existing user account:
Use this tip to ensure that when a customer or client emails the old employee, the email won’t go unnoticed. Organization & users 
→Select username → Select ‘add a nickname’.
Tip: You can recover a deleted user but you only have up to 5 days to recover the account.

Restoring Deleted Accounts
Sometimes we accidentally delete a user, or delete the wrong user, or an employee gets reinstated. If any of these scenarios happen to you in the future, it will be helpful to understand how to remedy the situation. So, next time you accidentally delete John A. Doe and not John B. Doe, you will know how to react.

To Restore a Deleted User

If you wish to restore a deleted user, this can be achieved in the Google Apps Control Panel. Go to 'Organization & users'  List  Select 'Recently deleted users'.

Understanding What Can Be Restored
With this comprehensive coverage of the deprovisioning of users you can feel confident that you have taken the necessary steps to ensure all vital data is securely transferred before you delete a user. Be sure to stay tuned for Part III: Managing the Organization, which will be posted on Monday. As always, if you have questions please chat with our experts during live Blog Chat every Thursday from 11-12 est.   

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