Restoring deleted users in Office 365

Office 365 user accounts can be manually deleted by using the:

  • Office 365 portal.
  • Microsoft Online Services Module for Windows PowerShell (or a script)
  • Microsoft Exchange Online Exchange Control Panel.(ECP)

Furthermore user accounts can be deleted through a synchronized deletion:

  • if directory synchronization filtering changes exclude the on-premises Active Directory user object from the synchronization set. (Directory synchronization filtering changes are also known as scoping.)
  • if the on-premises user object was deleted from on-premises Active Directory schema.

If one of your user account was accidentally deleted from Office 365 it can still be restored. A deleted user object isn’t immediately and completely removed from Microsoft Online Directory Service. The user object is put in a deleted state (sometimes refered to as a ‘Soft Delete’) and no longer appears in the ordinary user listing. However, it’s present in the Microsoft Online Directory Service database and can be recovered for a tenant within 30 days.

To determine whether a user object is still eligible to be recovered from a deleted state, and possible resolutions, follow the steps in this article from Microsoft Support.

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