Enable accidental deletions prevention in the Azure AD provisioning service

The Azure AD provisioning service includes a feature to help avoid accidental deletions. This feature ensures that users aren't disabled or deleted in an application unexpectedly.


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The Azure AD provisioning service includes a feature to help avoid accidental deletions. This feature ensures that users aren't disabled or deleted in the target tenant unexpectedly.

The feature lets you specify a deletion threshold, above which an admin needs to explicitly choose to allow the deletions to be processed.

Configure accidental deletion prevention

To enable accidental deletion prevention:

  1. In the Azure portal, select Azure Active Directory.
  1. Select Enterprise applications and then select your application.

  2. Select Provisioning and then on the provisioning page select Edit provisioning.

  1. Select Cross-tenant synchronization (Preview) > Configurations and then select your configuration.

  2. Select Provisioning.

  1. Under Settings, select the Prevent accidental deletions check box and specify a deletion threshold.

  2. Ensure the Notification Email address is completed.

    If the deletion threshold is met, an email will be sent.

  3. Select Save to save the changes.

When the deletion threshold is met, the job will go into quarantine and a notification email will be sent. The quarantined job can then be allowed or rejected. To learn more about quarantine behavior, see Application provisioning in quarantine status.

Recovering from an accidental deletion

If you encounter an accidental deletion, you'll see it on the provisioning status page. It will say Provisioning has been quarantined. See quarantine details for more information.

You can click either Allow deletes or View provisioning logs.

Allowing deletions

The Allow deletes action will delete the objects that triggered the accidental delete threshold. Use the following procedure to accept the deletes.

  1. Select Allow deletes.
  2. Click Yes on the confirmation to allow the deletions.
  3. You'll see confirmation that the deletions were accepted and the status will return to healthy with the next cycle.

Rejecting deletions

If you don't want to allow the deletions, you need to do the following:

  • Investigate the source of the deletions. You can use the provisioning logs for details.
  • Prevent the deletion by assigning the user / group to the application (or configuration) again, restoring the user / group, or updating your provisioning configuration.
  • Once you've made the necessary changes to prevent the user / group from being deleted, restart provisioning. Don't restart provisioning until you've made the necessary changes to prevent the users / groups from being deleted.

Test deletion prevention

You can test the feature by triggering disable / deletion events by setting the threshold to a low number, for example 3, and then changing scoping filters, un-assigning users, and deleting users from the directory (see common scenarios in next section).

Let the provisioning job run (20 – 40 mins) and navigate back to the provisioning page. You'll see the provisioning job in quarantine and can choose to allow the deletions or review the provisioning logs to understand why the deletions occurred.

Common de-provisioning scenarios to test

  • Delete a user / put them into the recycle bin.
  • Block sign in for a user.
  • Unassign a user or group from the application (or configuration).
  • Remove a user from a group that's providing them access to the application (or configuration).

To learn more about de-provisioning scenarios, see How Application Provisioning Works.

Frequently Asked Questions

What scenarios count toward the deletion threshold?

When a user is set to be removed from the target application (or target tenant), it will be counted against the deletion threshold. Scenarios that could lead to a user being removed from the target application (or target tenant) could include: unassigning the user from the application (or configuration) and soft / hard deleting a user in the directory. Groups evaluated for deletion count towards the deletion threshold. In addition to deletions, the same functionality also works for disables.

What is the interval that the deletion threshold is evaluated on?

It's evaluated each cycle. If the number of deletions doesn't exceed the threshold during a single cycle, the “circuit breaker” won’t be triggered. If multiple cycles are needed to reach a steady state, the deletion threshold will be evaluated per cycle.

How are these deletion events logged?

You can find users that should be disabled / deleted but haven’t due to the deletion threshold. Navigation to Provisioning logs and then filter Action with StagedAction or StagedDelete.

Next steps