Delete users capability removed from Admin Center - UPDATE March 7th

Lekshmi Unnithan
Lekshmi Unnithan Employee
edited 03/07/23 in Product Announcements

Hi Community, 

To ensure the ongoing security, stability, and performance of the Smartsheet application, Smartsheet recently removed the ability to delete users from the Admin Center. 

Please note that the delete capability will be removed from all interfaces – including API, Directory Integration, Legacy Admin Center, Bridge etc. With the delete action removed, customers should instead deactivate users that must have their Smartsheet access revoked. Beyond offering a secure means of removing users from your account, deactivate will improve your experience by helping mitigate issues associated with asset ownership transfers and also enables the ability to re-activate the user if needed. 

Learn more about managing users in the Admin Center and deactivating users in your account.

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Please feel free to reach out to your account team or submit a support ticket if you need further assistance.


The Smartsheet Product Team

Best Answer

  • Lekshmi Unnithan
    Lekshmi Unnithan Employee
    Answer ✓

    UPDATE AS OF MARCH 7, 2023:

    Based on common feedback from our customers, we are enabling the delete action between 10:30 AM PST - 6 AM PST daily via our public API and Legacy Admin Center UI. This should allow customers with critical needs to delete users while maintaining the stability of our application. 

    Please note that Enterprise customers can continue to deactivate users at any time, and we are working to provide access to deactivation for all plans. We are also evaluating additional strategies to support customer needs, and updates will be provided as we have them. Thank you.  



  • Sam Hale
    Sam Hale ✭✭
    edited 02/13/23

    So to verify, that I completely understand, if we terminate an employee from our company, and the best we can do is deactivate their account, there will always be some sort of information on this person in our system until the end of time, even though they haven't worked for us in say 5, 10, 15 years.

    Perhaps a better solution would be to have an option that once an account has been deactivated after XX days pass the account is either automatically deleted, or now flags/notifies the SmartSheet admin that the account can be deleted.

    @Nathan Panuco @Andrée Starå @ker9

    Sam Hale

  • Mike Wilday
    Mike Wilday ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 02/13/23

    Oh boy, @Sam Hale I agree. That is going to be a huge list of deactivated users. @Smartsheet do you at least hide the deactivated users from the main list? Can we have those accounts separated and stored in a new tab or location so we don't have to see them in our active user list? @Genevieve P. @Lekshmi Unnithan

  • If I deactivate a user, I want them gone from all interfaces - I don't want to see them in groups or user lists or anything. That's why I deleted them instead of deactivate them. I now have to do additional analysis to determine if I need to update my user list - I used to just have to figure out if they were missing or not, now I have to determine if they are missing and if they are not, are they enabled or not.

  • ker9
    ker9 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I can see the benefit of deactivating a seasonal user or someone on leave, but in general, we need to delete people who leave. We often hire short term associates who need access but are not expected to return after their assignment is completed. This really doesn't work for us and we need the option to delete returned.

  • @Sam Hale - Yes, terminated employees when deactivated will remain in the system and can be reactivated if the need arises. There is currently no option to "delete" the deactivated user from the system X days after deactivation. However, I will take this feedback to the Product and Engineering teams.

    @Mike Wilday - Thanks for the feedback. Right now, you can only differentiate between active and deactivated users based on their status. We will evaluate the request to filter/hide the deactivated users.

    @Nathan Panuco - Thanks for the feedback. We plan to declutter the user interface in a way that will allow you to easily administer users at the same time and reactivate the deactivated users if need be.

  • I am baffled by this update, to be honest. I'm in a similar boat as Nathan above--they don't work here anymore, I don't want them in my views/reports, I need to delete them. On the other side of that coin, we have over 200 users who have been "invited" to Smartsheet but never activated their account (interns, contractors, etc.). Deactivating users only works on previously active employees--it does not work on Pending/Invited users. Now, all I can do is remove those users from groups when we need them removed from the list of users entirely--they are no longer employed and we don't need that info in Smartsheet (we have other reports from other systems for this). Most of the people who leave aren't eligible for re-hire anyway so we would never "reactivate" those users.

  • MHalvey
    MHalvey ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree 100% with @annielowry89 comments. I built a process of decommissioning ex-users in my system, completing after 90 days with deletion. Having ex-user popup in views/reports for contact columns and not be able to remove them Account list, especially if the user doesn't or didn't own any assets upon deactivation is a poor experience and a potential chance for user error with miss-assigning roles and tasks. At the very least, the ability should be reinstated but let the Admins of their set the deletion date of 90, 180, 365 days for a user and give the Admin the control on deletion.

    "Strive for Progress, not perfection."

  • Joe Goetschel
    Joe Goetschel ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Another concern is how are connected users counted. In the past it was based on users added to the account. If I can not delete the users then the counts will continue to grow and will not drop off over time.

    With this change, is there a change in how connected users are counted??

    Joe Goetschel | Smartsheet Director

    [email protected]

    Save My Contact

  • V_brady
    V_brady ✭✭

    We (admins for a 5k+ employee company) were badly surprised by the removal of the option to delete users from our account, we had recently undergone a big cleanup effort to rid ourselves of terminated users, mostly unlicensed, and had established a process to do the clean up periodically. Learning this has been removed is frustrating, unfortunate and honestly seems illogical, we delete users that have been terminated from our company which means the probability of reactivation is practically non existent and so far we have not had any issues with asset ownership. While the issues may be had with users that have a license, why would we not be allowed to delete non licensed users who don't have the ability to own assets anyway?

  • Jeff Reisman
    Jeff Reisman ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    We have a low but fairly steady attrition rate, mostly unlicensed users from our warehouse teams and call center; many are temps who will not be back, some are terminated employees who will not return either.

    I don't see how deleting a user would be a problem, even if that user did happen to come back. Why wouldn't someone be able to create a Smartsheet account with the same email they used in the past, when that account was deleted from Smartsheet and now doesn't exist? Is it something with the auto-provisioning process, where it keeps some record of the deleted account and won't re-provision it? Couldn't we force it by adding the account back from within User Management?


    Jeff Reisman

    Link: Smartsheet Functions Help Pages Link: Smartsheet Formula Error Messages

    If my answer helped solve your issue, please mark it as accepted so that other users can find it later. Thanks!

  • ker9
    ker9 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Perhaps it would help all of us affected by this if we better understood Smartsheet's thought process. The explanation in the opening comment is too vague. Why? Why is this better for me?

    Admin Center and Plan Insights counts do not match.

    There is no option on the user list to show Deactivated users.

    There is still no method to find out who might own Pivots, DataMesh, WorkApps, etc.

  • @Lekshmi Unnithan There is no option to delete a pending account or "deactivate" it. It was great having both options but now I'm extremely limited in what I can do. Error in a user's name? Can't edit it because it's pending, but can't delete it out and re-issue it because there is no option for that. Can't find a list of deactivated users as there is no filter for it. This is extremely frustrating and no matter which way I look at it, I can't find the logic behind it.

  • Connor Hartford
    Connor Hartford ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree with @adegeus101536. We just had a user added with incorrect spelling. They can't edit them because they are a pending user, but they won't receive the setup email because the email doesn't exist. If I can't delete them, I would like to be able to at least edit pending user information to fix something like that.

    Now I will have a pending account that can't be fixed or deleted for the foreseeable future.

    @Lekshmi Unnithan could you help with some insight on this issue or add it to the enhancement list?

    Connor Hartford

  • Kyle Morgan
    Kyle Morgan ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 02/22/23

    This makes zero sense.

    When I want to remove someone from our account, I want them gone.

    I do not want to have to continue to look at former employees, members that will never return to our account.

    And when an invite is not accepted, I have to stare at a pending account forever?

    This "improvement" has left me somewhat dumbfounded.

    Looks like it's time to: ........" submit a Product enhancement Request" to give admins the ability to control their own accounts.

  • Agree with everyone else here.

    It is surprising, at least, to not be able to delete users.

    We now need to ensure we always do “Remove from Groups”, “Remove Sharing” and “Deactivate” to fully remove someone. It’s easy to miss one of those steps.

    And the user remains in Smartsheet, seemingly forever? Having people who've left the company appear in Sharing or Contact List items is confusing to users. I can almost guarantee that I’ll get an email asking “Have we really removed Bob, he’s still showing up in Smartsheet”

    And especially silly for Pending invites. There are users which effectively should never have been created, e.g. a typo in an email address. Are those now stuck forever?

    Understand why it makes sense to have Deactivate as the default. But completely removing Delete just doesn't seem like the way to go.