Removing licensing from users. If I don't have anyone to transfer licenses to, what happens?

We are limiting the number of licenses that we can make available for requestors because we have more requests then we have available.

What I've been doing is seeing which licensed user hasn't logged into smartsheet in a long time, say six months and remove their license.

My question is, if I were to remove their license from a user and not transfer any of the items they previously owned to anyone, what happens to those smartsheet items?

Are they auto deleted? If the previous owner decided they needed to get back into those items would they be able to if I were to give them back a license?


  • Genevieve P.
    Genevieve P. Employee Admin
    edited 02/02/24

    Hi @mbsamuel6

    When a license is removed from a user, they are no longer able to Own any sheets or items. The items they previously owned are moved into the Deleted folder for 30 days before being fully removed.

    This means that if you grant the license back in less than 30 days, they can recover deleted items (see: Recover a deleted sheet). However if it has been more than 30 days, those items are no longer able to be retrieved.

    This said, we are coming out with a new release very soon that should help with exactly this scenario, depending on what plan type you are on. We should have a release THIS MONTH that enables a plan level ownership of assets, versus individual ownership, meaning those items would stay with the plan. Here's more information:

    I would suggest subscribing to our Release Notes page to ensure you get a notification when this update has been released for your plan.