Through Outlook on the web, Office 365 offers the capability to remotely wipe data from a device that is synced to your account in case it is lost or stolen. However, this will only work if you configure your email account in the native email client that comes with the device. If you use the Outlook app and configure your account, remote wiping will only remove your account from the app.
Important: Only mobile phones/tablets (Android/iPhone/iPad/Windows Mobile/Windows Phone/Palm devices - also Blackberry, but using a different process) that have a connection to Office 365 via Exchange/ActiveSync can be remotely wiped. This means:
- Laptops/desktops cannot be remotely wiped.
- Phones/tablets using Outlook on the web or a client configured for POP/IMAP cannot be remotely wiped (unless they also have an account configured via Exchange/ActiveSync).
- Only Mobile devices, when configured for your Office 365 account via Exchange/ActiveSync protocol, can be remotely wiped.
Remote Wipe Policy
An Office 365 account holder can initiate a self-service remote wipe for their mobile device. This will wipe your mobile device, much like a factory reset, and require you to setup the device again.
- Log into your account via Outlook on the web.
- Click on View All Outlook settings.
- Click General, and then select Mobile devices.
- Select the mobile phone.
- Click or tap the Wipe Device icon.
Note: If you contact the Help Desk to perform a remote wipe, they will be unable to do this and will need to escalate the case to the Office 365 service and support team to perform this action.
In extraordinary cases (device is stolen, device has been compromised, and/or legal purposes), Cybersecurity and Office 365 support staff will initiate a remote wipe under the following conditions:
- For a university-owned device, the remote wipe must be authorized by the Dean or Director of the employing unit, or that unit’s HR department.
- For a non-university-owned device, the remote wipe must be authorized by the Dean or Director of the employing unit in consultation with the Chief of the UW-Madison Police Department or the Provost.
- If ownership of the device is uncertain, it must be treated as a non-university-owned device.
What happens when a remote wipe is performed
The below picture is an example of an Office 365 account.
- iPad: The user has configured the native mail client for their iPad. If they click , this will completely wipe their device. The user will lose any data on the device that is not backed up.
- Outlook: The user has configured the Outlook app on a mobile device. If they click , this will remove their account from the Outlook app on all devices. This will only impact the data on the app and not wipe the device.
- UniversalOutlook: The user has configured the native Windows mail client on their Windows 10 Mail App. If they click , this will completely wipe their device. The user will lose any data on the device that is not backed up.