Agents and administrators can delete users. Administrators can also permanently delete users, which goes a step further in terms of removing a user from the system. You might sometimes need to permanently delete users because of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is an EU regulation. For more information, see Complying with the GDPR in the cross-product Help Center.
Understanding soft delete vs. permanent delete
This articles describes two types of user deletion, and both types can be performed from the Support interface. Neither type of deletion can be undone. Here are some basic defintions to help you understand the difference:
delete (soft delete): deletes the user from the account, but does not permanently delete the user from the Zendesk database.
permanent delete: permanently deletes the user from the Zendesk database.
Since you cannot undo user deletion, be very careful when performing any type of user deletion and make sure you select the correct user. Zendesk cannot recover deleted users for you. This article describes deletion (or soft deletion) in the next section, and then permanent deletion in the last section.
Deleting users to remove them from your account
Deleting users from your account soft deletes them, and that means that the users are still in the Zendesk database and accessible on a limited basis only to Zendesk employees with certain database privileges.
Both agents and administrators can soft delete end users or agents in the agent interface in Zendesk Support. Agents can delete end users, if they have permission, while administrators can delete all users except the account owner. Zendesk retains information about the account owner to continue providing its services. When the account is terminated, Zendesk follows its Data Deletion Policy to purge remaining profile data.
Agents must have permission to delete users. On Team and Professional, permission is provided by default based on the Agent role. Also, agents cannot delete users unless they have Access > All tickets set in their agent profile. On Enterprise, edit a custom agent role, scroll to What access does this agent have to end-user profiles, then select Add, edit, and delete all.
You can't delete an end user or agent who's a requester on a ticket that hasn't been closed yet. See What is the difference between a Solved ticket and a Closed ticket? First, the ticket must be solved before it can be closed. Second, the solved ticket must be closed by a trigger or an automation. The ticket can't be closed directly in the agent interface. To close the ticket immediately, you can create a trigger for the specific purpose of closing the ticket. For details, see the tech note How can I manually close a ticket?.
If the deleted user was the requester or assignee on a closed ticket, you can still find the closed ticket by searching the ID. If you try to access the deleted user's profile from the ticket, you will receive an error.
- Open the user's profile by doing one of the following:
- Click the Admin > Manage > People, and search for the user.
- Click the user's profile from a ticket submitted by that user.
- In the user's profile, click the User options arrow in the upper right, then select Delete.
- When prompted, click OK to confirm the deletion. If you want to cancel the deletion, click Cancel instead.
If your organization must adhere to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the user wants to be forgotten, permanently delete the user as described in the next section.
Permanently deleting users
If your organization must adhere to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the user wants to be forgotten, after you delete personal data from all resources in Zendesk products, you must also permanently delete the end user or agent from Zendesk Support. Permanently deleting the user in Support also permanently deletes the user in Guide, Chat (for agents), Message, Talk, and Explore. The user is also permanently deleted from all product reports.
You should permanently delete a user only as the last step in the process of deleting all the user's personal data to comply with GDPR. The order of the tasks is important because you need the user's profile data to find their personal data in tickets and in other resources. If you permanently delete the user first, finding their personal data will be more difficult. For details, see Forgetting a user in Zendesk in the cross-product Help Center.
Deleting a user permanently is a two-step procedure:
- Soft delete the user (as described in Deleting users to remove them from your account).
- Permanently delete the user (as described below).
You can't permanently delete the user unless you soft delete them first.
Only administrators can permanently delete an end user or agent.
It may take some time for the system to permanently delete users depending on the amount of data currently queued for deletion.
To permanently delete an end user or agent
- Delete a user as described in the previous section.
- Click the Admin icon (), select Manage > People, then click
Deleted users in the sidebar on the right side.
A list of deleted users appears.
- Select the user you want to permanently delete from the list.
A screen appears with the user's name and their associated tickets.
- Click Delete User.