Deleted users still have their local file copies

Beginner question here…
If I delete a user who is using the desktop client, they appear to retain all their local copies of the files - even the ones in group shared folders.

Am I missing something? Surely if I delete a user they should no longer have access to anything??

Nextcloud version 16.0.3:
PHP version 7.2:

If you simply delete the user so when NC Client Application goes online - it could not login again and all synced files remains in local user Device.

If you want that all files are deleted from the user local Device when he is online, I would do following:

  1. Set user quote to something low, e.g. 1 KB.
  2. Un-share all folders and files with this user.
  3. Use Impersonate App to login as this user and delete remains files and cancel subscription to shares that were not un-shared on step 2. Please check this out before install this App Why tell users that admins can see theirs files in Parameters > Privacy page (if it is wrong)?
  4. Wait when user online and get everything in “sync”.
    In this case when user is online - he will be able to login and all files and shares will be automatically deleted from his local Device and because of quote limit he could not upload new files.
  5. Delete user from the system when all done.
1 Like

Many thanks - I’ll experiment along the lines you suggest.

1 Like

This raises some ethical questions about whether you should be taking steps to delete someone’s files from their own device. I suppose it depends on the nature of the data…


Thats true, even NC will raise a warning in Privacy Page:

But issue it self is quite interesting. Sometimes we need this unusual use case. If we could get an App that will do this job for us instead of doing steps above, it could be cool.

That’s true but in our case it’s not really ‘their’ data. This is for a club committee to all be able to access info related to running the club. If they leave the committee then they should stop having access.

This is not really 100% secure solution, works if users “did’t expect it”. But you can try.

I agree, this is not the way to approach it. You aren’t going to be able to guarantee deletion of remote data. If that’s a major concern, then I would say don’t set them up with the sync client at all. Use WebDAV or the web browser instead, or use club-owned laptops that they have to turn in.

Of course that is no guarantee that they won’t have copied the files somewhere, but that’s more of a personnel problem than a technology problem.