Wipe a Mobile Device for a User

 

Applies to: Office 365 for professionals and small businesses, Office 365 for enterprises, Live@edu

Topic last modified: 2010-09-14

If a user's mobile device is lost or stolen, you'll want to immediately wipe all data from the device so sensitive information, such as personal identification or confidential communications, isn't accessed by anyone other than the mailbox owner. You also may want to wipe all data from an organisation-owned mobile device that you want to assign to a different user. You can only clear a mobile device for a user when Exchange ActiveSync is used to synchronise the contents of the mailbox.

Clearing a mobile device that you don't have physical access to is known as remote device wipe.

A mobile device can be cleared in several ways:

A mobile can also be cleared automatically by Exchange ActiveSync device policies if you've set the option to wipe all data on a device after the user exceeds the maximum number of sign-in failures before the device is wiped.

Before you begin

You have to be a member of the built-in Organisation Management or Help Desk role group to access a user's Options page. To learn how to add a user to a role group, see Add or Remove Role Group Members. The User Options RBAC role assigns the specific permissions required to access a user's Options page.

Note   Not all devices support remote device wipe. To protect your organisation's intellectual property, you may want to limit use of devices that don't support it.

Caution   Because remote device wipe relies on the device connecting to the server, you should also enforce a device lock and a maximum number of failed logon attempts using Exchange ActiveSync device policies. Here's how: Create a New ActiveSync Device Policy.

Caution   After a device is reset with a remote device wipe, data recovery may still be possible using sophisticated tools.

Ask the user to clear their own mobile device

If the user can get to their mailbox by using Outlook Web App, ask them to clear the mobile device by following the steps in Managing Your Mobile Phone.

Clear a mobile device from the Mailboxes list

  1. In the Exchange Control Panel, in the Select what to manage field, select My Organisation > Users & Groups > Mailboxes.

  2. In the Mailboxes list, select the user, and then click Details.

  3. Under Phone & Voice Features, select Exchange ActiveSync, and then click Edit.

  4. Under Mobile Devices, select the mobile device that has been lost, and click Wipe Device.

  5. Click Save.

You can see the wipe status of a device by selecting it and clicking Details.

Note   The mobile device isn't given the remote wipe command until it next tries to synchronise with Microsoft Exchange. If you find a lost phone before it is wiped, you can reverse the remote device wipe as explained in Reverse a Wipe of a Mobile Device. Let the user know if they find the phone, they should contact you to reverse the remote wipe before they try to synchronise. A confirmation e-mail is sent to the user as soon as the remote device wipe is complete.

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Clear a mobile device from the user's Options page

  1. In the Exchange Control Panel, in the Select what to manage: field, select Another User.

  2. In the Select Mailbox dialogue box, select the user's account, and then click OK. The Options page for the user you selected is displayed. At the top of the page is a note that identifies which mailbox you are working on.

  3. Select Phone > Mobile Phones.

  4. Select the device that you want to wipe, and then click Wipe Device.

  5. A dialogue box appears and asks Are you sure you want to wipe your device? Click Yes. The status for the mobile device will show as Wipe Pending until the device next connects to the account.

  6. After the remote device wipe is complete, you can remove it from the mobile phones list.

  7. When you're finished, just close the window to return to the Exchange Control Panel for your organisation.

Note   The mobile device isn't given the remote wipe command until the next time it tries to synchronise with Microsoft Exchange. If you find a lost phone before it is wiped, you can reverse the remote device wipe as explained in Reverse a Wipe of a Mobile Device. Let the user know if they find the phone, they should contact you to reverse the remote wipe before they try to synchronise. A confirmation e-mail is sent to the user as soon as the remote device wipe is complete.

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