Deactivating Salesforce Users without Causing Issues

Deactivating Users without Causing Issues

Whenever an employee leaves your organization or simply no longer needs access to Salesforce, it’s important to deactivate their user account to free up their Salesforce license. However, there are some key items and settings you need to check before deactivating the user to ensure that you don’t cause any processes in our Salesforce org to fail. Each of these settings can be found in Setup.

Freeze the User

The first step in deactivating a user is to freeze their login. That will prevent the person from accessing Salesforce while allowing you time to walk through the necessary steps prior to deactivating. Keep in mind that freezing a user does not free up the license, it simply prevents login access. You can do this on the User's record–simply click the Freeze button.

Illustration of the User record in Salesforce, highlighting the Freeze button, which can be used to prevent a user from accessing Salesforce. Note that it does not free up the user's license though.

Lead and Case Settings

  • Under Setup→Lead Settings
    • Check the Default Lead Owner and change it to an active user if necessary
    • Similarly, check the Lead Assignment rules and replace any assignments with an active user. 
  • Under Setup→Marketing→Web-to-Lead
    • Replace Default Lead Creator if necessary. 
  • Under Setup→Feature Settings→Service→Support Settings
    • Check the Default Case Owner and Automated Case User and change them if necessary

Email Alerts

  • Under Setup→Process Automation→Workflow Actions→Email Alerts
    • Go through any Email Alerts and remove the user’s email and/or User record from the recipients list.

Process Automation and Scheduled Jobs

  • Under Setup→Process Automation Settings
    • Set the Default Workflow User to an active user
  • Under Setup→Environments→Jobs→Scheduled Jobs
    • In the Scheduled Jobs list, check the “Submitted By” column for any jobs setup by the frozen user. If necessary, you may need to to delete and reschedule the Apex job.
    • Special note for NPSP Users: If the user to be deactivated is the running user for the NPSP batch jobs that run nightly, delete the NPSP scheduled jobs. Then, logged in as the desired running user (usually as another administrator), navigate to NPSP Settings from the App Launcher and click Bulk Data Processes→Batch Process Settings, making sure Don't Auto Schedule Default NPSP Jobs is not selected. Simply navigating to that page recreates all the default jobs.


  • Under Setup→Analytics→Reports & Dashboards→Report Types
    • Create a custom Report Type on the Dashboards object.
  • Create a report based on the new Dashboards report type and include the Title, Dashboard Running User, and Running User: Full Name fields. 
  • If you see a Dashboard set to “Run as Specified User” with the Running User: Full Name set to the frozen user, edit the Dashboard and change the running user.

Record Ownership

  • Create a report on any key objects (e.g. Account, Contact, Lead) in your Salesforce org and group the results by the record owner. 
  • If necessary, reassign any records owned by the frozen user to an active user.


  • Under Setup→Installed Packages
    • Check any app integrations to ensure the frozen user is not set as the integration user, primary contact, etc.

Company Information

  • Under Setup→Company Information
    • Ensure the Primary Contact is set to an active user.

If you have walked through the checklist items above, you’re all set to deactivate the user and free up that license! Simply return to the User record, click Edit, and uncheck the Active checkbox.