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Feedback: Delete user option removed


Recently I became aware that Smartsheet is removing the ability to delete user accounts from the user list. This is incredibly troubling to me and the organizational policies that I follow.

I was advised by the support representative that the reason for removing the ability to delete user accounts is:

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, deactivation 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.

At my company, we delete users from the system after a period of time. When someone leaves and comes back to the company, we don't reactivate their account. They get an entirely NEW network account. Thus, making your reasons for removing the ability to delete users, a moot point for my company.

I also don't understand how this improves your stability at all. I would think keeping user accounts within the system would not improve stability, but actually have a negative affect since unused accounts are essentially being stored within the system..

Not to mention, leaving unused accounts in the system does actually cause security concerns, regardless of whether they are deactivated or not. Lessening the abilities of the sys admin to properly administrate the system is confusing to me.

Lastly, this change is removing the ability to properly administer our account. I feel like, as consumers, we should be able to dictate and administer our accounts as we see fit. Which, by you removing the delete function from multiple screens, is taking away our ability to effectively do our jobs. I receive numerous complaints when people that are no longer with our company appear in user lists. Or appear as someone available in the user list when sharing.

I feel this is a terrible change and one that does not make a lot of sense. I'd really love some deeper insight to help me understand why this change was necessary, given everything I know regarding security and stability is opposite of what you all are providing.

17 votes

On Radar · Last Updated

Based on feedback, 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. Thank you.



  • porte01
    porte01 ✭✭

    Agreed, this causes significant issues as described above. Thanks for raising.

  • RebSchr
    RebSchr ✭✭✭✭✭

    We have a policy to fully remove employees after 6 months from the systems in my previous role. If we didn't, the list of users were be painfully long and could potentially cause confusion. Like you mentioned Liz, if an employee would return, they would be setup with a new account, including a new email and new employee ID.

    I am also confused on how this improves stability. By removing users that are no longer valid would clean up the system. I know in Microsoft accounts, if a user is removed, it is removed - not deactivated.

  • For my organization, deactivating a user account means nothing. It is still on the account list and causes administrative problems.

    Deleting an account works much better.

  • Sandra
    Sandra ✭✭
    edited 03/02/23

    I was having the same problem cleaning up our account after they removed the ability to delete users from the User Management screen.

    But I have just figured out how to delete users, so wanted to share.

    Go to the Admin Center, then in the top left Menu, go to Plan and Billing Info, then User Management. There, you still have the ability to delete users from the account by using the dropdown on the left of the user name.

  • Liz Beall
    Liz Beall ✭✭✭
    edited 03/02/23

    Yes, it is still there for the time being. However, the notification they sent regarding this change will include this screen in the future. That screen you are referring to is the "Legacy" screen. Eventually, per the notification they sent, the delete button will be removed for user management screens everywhere in the system.

  • Sandra
    Sandra ✭✭

    Thanks, Liz. Do you know how/if we will be able to delete users from our account after then?

  • Liz Beall
    Liz Beall ✭✭✭

    No idea. Here's a snippet of the e-mail I got. It doesn't cover when it will become completely official.

  • Agreed! - This doesn't work in our organization! We need, as admins, to be able to delete users on the platform that we are paying for. It should not be up to Smartsheet whom we have as a user or not!

  • Hi, we are obliged to delete user data after exit because of GDPR.

    I see now that between 10:30 AM PST and 6 AM PST it is possible to delete a user. So I will test again tomorrow.

    BR DvB

  • UK and EU law requires that we keep personal data no longer than necessary. When a user leaves our company we have a duty to transfer all ownership and tasks to another user then delete the account, failure to do so leaves a risk of non-compliance with UK and EU data protection laws, both of which carry hefty fines. First name, last name and company email address are all classed as personal data and therefore need to be managed accordingly.

    We have had to adapt our processes to delete users between 10:30 AM PST and 6 AM PST which is not ideal as this is the morning in the UK. We were able to delete the users, however how log will this "legacy" tool be available.

    There should be communication in advance of a change not just "here it is, get on with it", in this case it feels like poor coding or poor architecture that is being passed onto customers as a burden.

    Smartsheet please take note of the legal obligation to allow the deletion of users from a personal data perspective and ensure the "delete user" facility is maintained.

  • sgebbie
    sgebbie ✭✭

    This does not work for us either and especially not without the ability to at least disable the account. Any user who would remember their password would still be able to login to their account. Access to company items can be removed, but without ability to stop the user from logging into the account via their former company email address this seems non-compliant. Users still with the company that may not be 100% aware of someone leaving could re-share to them if they have sharing ability. Please fix this asap.

  • Elizabeth Aird
    Elizabeth Aird ✭✭✭✭

    I agree! I just noticed this today. I do NOT want users listed unless they are active. Our company has had a lot of turn over and it keeps my list "clean". I don't know how this would enhance anything. Please consider another option - perhaps moving that user to a "dead" list maybe?

  • It looks like "delete user" was recently enabled for admins and potentially users. Its current iteration is proving to be more problematic than helpful, as it still leaves traces of the account in the database.

    This is important to note for name changes, as if the user creates an account with their updated email, and then deletes it, it prevents us from re-using their new email. This is also the case if account admins delete the new user account instead of doing a merge.

    Please allow "delete user" to fully delete their account from Smartsheet databases entirely.