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.