Computer account lifecycle

When your University of Waikato enrolment or employment ends, an automated process begins which will eventually remove access to, and then delete, your Waikato Google and Microsoft accounts.

Google and Microsoft Account Lifecycle

Who does this apply to?

The account changes apply to:

  • Former staff i.e. on their final day of employment (with some exceptions to meet the requirements of the Public Records Act 2005)
  • Alumni and students not enrolled in any papers and it has been 180 days (~ 6 months) since the end date of their last paper:
    • account deactivation will occur 180 days after their final paper ends, and an email notification will be sent (if possible) notifying the student that their data will be deleted in 90 days
    • account/data deletion will occur 90 days after the deactivation (presuming the student has not enrolled in any papers since deactivation) i.e. no data is deleted/unrecoverable until it has been 270 days (~9 months) since a student was last enrolled in a paper
  • PhD student not enrolled in any papers:
    • account deactivation will occur 5 years after their final paper ends
    • data deletion will occur 90 days after the deactivation (presuming the student has not enrolled in any papers since deactivation) i.e. no data is unrecoverable until it has been 5 years + 90 days since a PhD student was last enrolled in a paper


As of January 2023 Google charges the University for data storage - without mitigation, this would have lead to an increase in costs, as:

  • Google previously offered free accounts with unlimited storage for educational institutes
  • Students currently retain their University Google accounts and data for life

To control costs, we have changed how Google accounts/data are managed when staff and students leave the University.


As well as addressing the lifecycle of our Google accounts, this is an opportunity to improve and align how we manage Microsoft accounts/data and home drive data at the same time and inform our people about all of these changes at once.

We are going to:

  • Change how we manage Google accounts, Microsoft accounts and home drives for staff and students who have left the University
  • Tidy up accounts/data currently retained for former staff, alumni and former students
  • Update operational processes so in future, staff and student accounts/data will be removed after they depart (including ensuring automated notifications/reminders are sent to affected users, giving them an opportunity to move their data elsewhere)

We will communicate these changes across a variety of platforms (email, social media) at different times (including reminder emails), in an effort to reach as many impacted users as possible.

End of Life How To Guides and Frequently Answered Questions