OneDrive for Business (p1): What to do when an employee leaves your organisation

What to do when an employee leaves your organisation?

When an employee leaves your organisation it is important that they don’t take any of your important and private company files with them.

OneDrive for Business is a bundle that comes with Office 365 used for storing and organising your work documents. All of the files that you store on OneDrive for Business are private until you share them, so when employee leaves your organisation, you should check to see if there are any documents on it before deleting the leaver’s account.

There are 2 ways to access it; you can either reset the password on Office 365 and access it directly, or add yourself (or the line manager) to ‘Site Collection Administrators’ on the leaver’s site collection.


To grant access to the leaver’s OneDrive:


1.Login to the Office 365 sign-in page with administrator permission.

2. Click on ‘Users’ and then ‘Active Users’ on the left pane.


Admin 2


3. In the ‘SharePoint Admin Centre’, click on user profiles.

4. Under ‘People’, click on ‘Manage User Profiles’.

5. Enter the leaver’s name and click on ‘Find’. The leaver’s name will appear in the search results below.

6. Move your mouse cursor on top of the leaver’s name and click on the drop down menu to the right of the name.

7. Click on ‘Manage Site Collection Owners’.

8. Enter your name or another username in the ‘Site Collection Administrators’

9. Scroll down and click ‘Ok’.

10. Move your mouse cursor on top of the leaver’s name and click on the drop down menu to the right of the name.

11. Click on ‘Manage Personal Site’. This will display the leaver’s name on the left pane.

12. Click ‘Documents’. This will bring you to the leaver’s OneDrive.


Once completed, you can check web URL on your web browser’s address box. It will display something like:


You can copy this link or bookmark it to access it directly in the future.

Talk to the leaver’s line manager or company liaison about what to do with their mailboxes and documents;

  • Do they want to keep all of the leaver’s emails, SharePoint or OneDrive documents etc.?
  • Who will need to have the same access permissions?
  • Will there be a replacement staff member?


If there is a replacement, please refer to OneDrive for Business (p2): What to do in case of replacement staff.

Grant yourself full access to the leaver’s account, otherwise you won’t be able to archive their mailbox and move their documents to another location.

Once the employee has left, remember to reset their Office 365 password.

By following these simple steps, OneDrive for Business makes it easy for employers to control and manage who has access to company documents.


Picture of Ben Love

When not looking at ways to use technology to create a competitive advantage for his clients and build better businesses, Ben is a husband, busy father of boys, avid gardener, and keen runner and cyclist.

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