Disable and Purge User Accounts

Disable and Purge User Accounts

This article will be most useful for Concourse admins.


An important part of Concourse maintenance is ensuring that the system can only be accessed by authorized users. We recommend reviewing user accounts, purging unnecessary accounts, and updating user permissions regularly to reflect the institution’s personnel and needs. In this article, we explain how to disable and purge user accounts in your system.

Before You Begin

Only users with Administer System permissions are able to disable and purge user accounts. If your institution determines that a user should be able to disable and purge accounts but they do not have Administer System permissions, their account will need to be updated before they can follow the steps below. For more information about updating this permission, see System Permissions in Concourse.

Once users are purged, the accounts cannot be recovered. Once an account is purged, all records of the user’s viewing and editing activity (if applicable) are no longer available in the system. User accounts should only be purged if the Concourse administrator is absolutely certain that the account should no longer exist within the system. If a user should no longer be able to access the system but the account should not be removed from the system, the account may simply be disabled instead of purged.

Disabling User Accounts

To start the process of disabling and/or purging user accounts, first search for the accounts to be altered. Either generate a User Report (Main navigation > Reports > Users) or search for user accounts (Main navigation > Admin > Users). Following are the remaining steps to locate and disable user accounts (the same for either method):
  1. To locate user accounts to be purged, enter the appropriate search criteria, such as the user’s name, email, domain or system permission, or authentication type in the search panel and then select Search.
  2. In the Results pane on the right side of the screen, select the hyperlinked name of the user account to be disabled.

  3. On the resulting account page, select Edit in the upper-right corner of the Settings box
  4. On the subsequent page, in the box labeled User: Name, check the box to the right of Disabled and select Save.

Users whose accounts are disabled may not access Concourse except via public viewing links. If a user’s disabled account should later be re-enabled, the Concourse admin may follow the steps above to reverse the process. Just locate the account and then uncheck the Disabled option and Save to make the account active again.

Purging User Accounts

A user account may not be purged until it has been disabled. This two-step process serves as a safety net to make it more difficult to accidentally purge user accounts from a Concourse system. Once a user account has been disabled, it may be purged from the Concourse system by following the steps below:
  1. In the main navigation, select the Admin dropdown and then Tools.
  2. On the Tools page, under the Purge heading (last option on the page), select users. The following page displays all disabled user accounts. 
  3. Accounts may be purged individually by selecting Purge to the right of the specified account’s External ID.
  4. All disabled accounts may be purged by selecting Purge All in the upper-right corner of the Purge Users table.

  5. After selecting the option to purge accounts individually or en masse, a warning appears. The warning reminds the Concourse admin that when a user account is purged, all account information is irrevocably deleted. If the account is (accounts are) definitely to be purged, select OK.
  6. If accounts are purged en masse, an additional warning appears that states “Purged users are permanently removed from your system and must be re-added. All reporting information on the user will be lost.” If the accounts are definitely to be purged, select OK.

Best Practices and Recommendations

Because of the data loss that occurs when users are purged from Concourse systems, it is recommended that users be purged only if it is NOT necessary to maintain records of their system activity (viewing and editing). For example, it may be necessary to produce records of syllabus editing activity for internal procedures or accreditation purposes. As a result, it may be a better choice to disable user accounts with instructor and student roles or those with audit permissions. Ultimately, we urge you to use caution when purging user accounts. 

It is more advisable to purge accounts in the event of permanent personnel turnover, such as retirement or resignation. In the event of reassignment within the institution, simply disabling the account temporarily is advised because the user may need Concourse access in their new position or if they return to their previous position.

If your institution uses shared accounts (for example, eLearning@institution.edu) and a user with access to the shared account permanently separates from your institution, it may be sufficient to change the account password instead of disabling the account.

For more information, see User Management and Reporting.

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