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  • Hanna Korotka

Staying Secure When Team Members Leave: Offboarding Steps for Microsoft 365

Offboarding employees can be a delicate process, especially when it comes to protecting your company's data and ensuring a smooth transition for your remaining team members. With the use of Microsoft 365, you can streamline this process while maintaining data security and access control. In this blog post, we will guide you through the essential steps to take when offboarding team members from your Microsoft 365 environment.

Step 1: Remove Access to Business Information

It's crucial to revoke access to business data when an employee leaves. Follow these steps to secure your data:

Reset User Password:

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, go to the Users > Active users page.

  2. On the Active users page, select the user and then select Reset password.

  3. Follow the instructions on the Reset password page to auto-generate a new password for the user or create one for them, and then select Reset.

  4. Enter your email address to get the new password.

On the Active users page, select the user's name and on the properties pane, under the Account tab, select Sign out of all sessions.

Block Access to Microsoft 365 Services:

  1. In the Microsoft 365 admin center, go to the Users > Active users page.

  2. Select the name of the employee that you want to block, and under the user's name, select the symbol for Block this user.

  3. Select Block sign-in, and then select Save.

Please note that blocking access may take up to 60 minutes to take effect.

Step 2: Convert Former Employee's Mailbox to a Shared Mailbox

To retain email and calendar data and allow multiple users to access it, you can convert the former employee's mailbox to a shared mailbox:

  1. Go to the Exchange admin center.

  2. Select Recipients > Mailboxes

  3. Choose the user mailbox and select Convert to shared mailbox

Step 3: Review and Backup OneDrive Content

To preserve a former user's OneDrive files, first give yourself access to their OneDrive, and then move the files you want to keep.

  1. In the admin center, go to the Users > Active users page.

  2. Select a user.

  3. On the user properties page, select OneDrive. Under Get access to files, select Create link to files.

  4. Select the link to open the file location. Download the files to your computer, or select Move to or Copy to to move or copy them to your own OneDrive or to a shared library.

Step 4: Unassign Phone Number or Redirect

If the former employee had a phone number, you should unassign it in the Teams admin center:

  1. Go to the Teams admin center.

  2. Locate the user, click on "Account," and note the phone number.

  3. In the "Voice > Phone numbers" section, select the phone number and remove the user assignment.

  4. Save the changes.

Additionally, ensure the user is removed from any call queue groups they were part of.

Step 5: Perform Autopilot Reset for the Corporate Device

To prepare the device for a new user, initiate an Autopilot reset or wipe:

Autopilot Reset:

  1. Navigate to the Devices tab in the Intune admin center.

  2. Select the targeted reset devices.

  3. Choose Autopilot Reset to start the reset task.


  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Intune admin center.

  2. Go to Devices > All devices

  3. Select the device you want to wipe and choose Wipe

After these actions, the device will be ready for a new user.

Step 6: Retire Enrolled Mobile Devices

Retire any enrolled mobile devices to remove app data, settings, and email profiles:

  1. Sign in to the Microsoft Intune admin center.

  2. In the Devices pane, select All devices

  3. Choose the device you want to retire and click Retire. Confirm by selecting Yes.

The retire action may take up to 15 minutes to propagate.

Step 7: Remove the License Added to the Tenant

Ensure you remove any licenses associated with the former employee from your Microsoft 365 tenant to avoid unnecessary costs.

By following these steps, you can seamlessly offboard team members from Microsoft 365 while safeguarding your business data and maintaining operational efficiency. Data security should always be a top priority when managing personnel changes in your organization.

To help you to have peace of mind knowing your business is secure, click here to schedule a Microsoft 365 Secure Score review with our experts today. We'll evaluate your current cybersecurity measures, identify potential vulnerabilities, and help you implement a strategic security plan to keep your company safe.

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