Agents and administrators can soft delete end users, which queues them for permanent deletion after 30 days. Administrators can also manually permanently delete end users before the 30-day timeframe.
Understanding soft delete vs. permanent delete
This article describes two types of user deletion. Both types can be performed from the Support interface and neither type of deletion can be undone. Here are some basic definitions to help you understand the difference:
- delete (soft delete): Deletes the user from the account, but the user is still in the Zendesk database for 30 days. After 30 days, an automated process permanently deletes any data associated with the soft-deleted user, but administrators can permanently delete the user before 30 days.
- permanent delete: Permanently deletes the user from the Zendesk database.
Since you can't undo user deletion, be very careful when performing any type of user deletion and make sure you select the correct user. Zendesk can't recover deleted users for you.
Deleting users to remove them from your account
Deleting users from your account soft deletes them, which means the users are still in the Zendesk database for 30 days and accessible on a limited basis only to Zendesk employees with certain database privileges. After 30 days, an automated process permanently deletes any data associated with the soft-deleted users.
While soft-deleted users and any data associated with them are permanently deleted after 30 days, their names and the date on which they were deleted still appear in the deleted users list in Admin center. Follow the steps for Permanently deleting users to remove them from the list.
Both agents and administrators can soft delete users in the agent interface in Zendesk Support. Agents with permission can delete end users, 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 the remaining profile data.
Agents must have permission to delete users and access to all tickets to delete users. On Team and Professional, permission to delete users is provided by default based on the Agent role, and access to all tickets is set in their agent profile. On Enterprise, permission to delete users and access all tickets is set in the custom role.
You can't delete an end user or team member 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 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.
Placholder users created during ticket sharing can't be deleted (see Understanding how ticket sharing works).
No Help Center content is lost when you delete a user.
- Open the user's profile by doing one of the following:
- In Support, click the Customers icon () in the sidebar. Then locate the user and click their name.
- Click the user's profile name or picture from a ticket.
- In the user's profile, click the user options arrow in the upper right, then select
- When prompted, click OK to confirm the deletion. If you want to cancel the deletion, click Cancel instead.
- In Admin Center, click the People icon () in the sidebar, then select Bulk actions > Delete end users.
- (Optional) On the Bulk Delete page, change the
sorting by clicking one of the column heads.
By default, users are sorted by their creation date, from most recent to oldest.
- Select the checkbox for each user you want to delete.
- Click Delete user(s).
- Click Delete again to confirm the user
The selected users are soft deleted. This might take a few minutes. Soft-deleted users remain in the Zendesk database for 30 days. After 30 days, any data associated with the soft-deleted users is permanently deleted.
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 user 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 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 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.
Permanently deleting a user 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), or take no additional action, and Zendesk deletes the user permanently after 30 days.
Only administrators can permanently delete an end user or agent.
Depending on the amount of data currently queued for deletion, it may take time for the system to delete users permanently.
To permanently delete an end user or agent
- Soft delete a user as described in Deleting users to remove them from your account.
- In Admin Center, click People in the sidebar, then select Deleted users > Deleted users.
- Click the user you want to delete permanently from the list. A screen appears with the user's name and their associated tickets.
- Click Delete User.
If I delete an end-user, would all its closed tickets still being accessible to its organisation?
Hi Nemo Zheng,
Yes all the closed tickets would be accessible by their org if you have ticket sharing ok for them. They would be able to see them in the portal under the tab for org tickets.
We followed the instructions to permanently delete a user, but the mentioned sidebar on the right-hand side is now offering bulk actions, rather than the expected "deleted users". Has something changed? Where can I action the permanent deletion now?
Thank you for flagging the article! we appreciate it. The option is now bulk delete users. To permanently delete a user, you can go to Bulk Delete>Choose the user that you would like to delete>Delete - you will receive a prompt that the user will be deleted permanently.
Why has the "Deleted users" section disappears from the People page? Using the "Bulk delete users" page is not practical for us (no search engine) and we need to roam among our 1999+ user DB to find the users we wish to remove permanently.
Hi Tania and Julien,
Good news! the settings to delete users have been moved to the Admin Center. Admin Center > People > Bulk actions. Separate pages for Import users, Import organizations, and Delete end users.
This feature is rolling out to accounts beginning on September 13, 2021 and should take about a week. During the adjustment period, you can see the settings in both Support and Admin Center. More information can be found here: About Support settings in Admin Center
1 - Is our storage limit affect when we "soft delete" users, or only when we premanently delete users?
2 - Is there a way to bulk permanantly delete users? It looks as if we have to click into each individual user?
Only when users are permanently deleted.
There's currently no way to do it in bulk within the admin center, but you can use this API endpoint instead: https://developer.zendesk.com/api-reference/ticketing/users/users/#permanently-delete-user
I don't understand why the API is needed to delete accounts permanently in People > Deleted users? Just like in the regular ticket views, add checkboxes to allow bulk deletion.
I have 6k of users that need to be deleted and Zendesk is offering to select an account one-by-one and to open it in a separate window to delete it? Really?
At this time, unfortunately there really is no way to permanently bulk delete users in the interface.
I've marked this conversation as product feedback for review, which means that your input will be aggregated as a part of our Voice of the Customer program that provides customer feedback to our product development teams.
In addition, I encourage you to create a new post in the Support Product Feedback topic in our community to engage with other users who have similar needs and discuss possible workarounds. Conversations with a high level of engagement ultimately get flagged for product managers to review when they go through roadmap planning.
We truly value customer feedback and your voice and votes in the forums help influence future Zendesk functionality.
Michael Froeming | Senior Customer Advocacy Specialist
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Looks like I couldn't able to see deleted user list in UI, NOT recoverable, Audit log also not there. Am I right?
Hi, if you are looking for rapid deletion of users' data, you can try the GDPR Compliance app for Zendesk. You can compile a target user or ticket list by setting up a specific condition and then select one of the bulk processes: delete or anonymize. Also, you can choose the type of data to process. Retrieving process is also available.
Are you able to find the deleted users tickets through a explore report ?
You won't be able to delete tickets through Explore. This would need to be handled through the Support UI by an admin on the account.
Let me know if you have any other questions!
Let me try to elaborate my question;
We would like to generate reports about a users tickets even after we have deleted the user.
i.e, the user is deleted, some time later we want to see the tickets to that user. Would we be able to create a query in Explore showing all tickets with filters "requester" is "Deleted user A" ?
The data related to soft-deleted users will remain in Explore reports. Only when you permanently delete the user from your Support instance will the data in Explore be removed. See Deleting users. If you haven't permanently deleted the users, then you should still see their names in your report filters, and you'll still be able to report on their tickets.
Hi, when we delete a user, this user is called "permantly deleted user" in the community, can we rename this?
I'm afraid it's not possible to modify the displayed text 'Permanently deleted user'.
a Permanently deleted user was rehired and now we have created a new account for the user.
Few of the contacts (recent) sent by these user shows as contact actioned by deleted user.
I haved checked the Zendesk ID, both users have a different ID, ( Deleted user shows old ID by same agent). Considering this cound be issue with browser cache, user had re-install the browser but no luck in getting this sorted.
Any idea what could be the issue here?
If the recent contact was via a closed ticket that had the same credentials of the deleted user, it may carry off the same message ID but it is highly unlikely that the deleted user will linked to a ticket that was sent from the new user profile.
Hello! Can you tell me where do find the Zendesk data retention policy for active customers please? Thanks
Hi Samantha! Just to confirm, you're looking for Zendesk's policies on data retention our end users/customers? If so, I'd start here.
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