Azure AD recommendation: Remove unused applications (preview)

Azure AD recommendations is a feature that provides you with personalized insights and actionable guidance to align your tenant with recommended best practices.

This article covers the recommendation to investigate unused applications. This recommendation is called UnusedApps in the recommendations API in Microsoft Graph.


This recommendation shows up if your tenant has applications that haven't been used in more than 30 days, so haven't been issued any tokens. Applications or service principals that were added but never used show up as unused apps, which will also trigger this recommendation.


Removing unused applications improves the security posture and promotes good application hygiene. It reduces the risk of application compromise by someone discovering an unused application and misusing it to get tokens. Depending on the permissions granted to the application and the resources that it exposes, an application compromise could expose sensitive data in an organization.

Action plan

Applications that the recommendation identified appear in the list of Impacted resources at the bottom of the recommendation.

  1. Take note of the application name and ID that the recommendation identified.

  2. Go to Azure AD > App registration and locate the application that was surfaced as part of this recommendation.

    Screenshot of the Azure AD app registration page.

  3. Determine if the identified application is needed.

    • If the application is no longer needed, remove it from your tenant.
    • If the application is needed, we suggest you take appropriate steps to ensure the application is used in intervals of less than 30 days.

Known limitations

Take note of the following common scenarios or known limitations of the "Remove unused applications" recommendation.

  • The time frame for application usage that triggers this recommendation can't be customized.

  • The following apps won't show up as a part of this recommendation, but are currently under review for future enhancements:

    • Microsoft-owned applications
    • Password single sign-on
    • Linked single sign-on
    • App proxy
    • Add-in apps
  • The current unused app processor identifies any apps that were created recently. In some instances newly created apps might need more time to deploy the code that uses the application registration. Progress is underway to filter out apps that were created within the past 60 days so they don't show as unused.

Next steps