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Not ready to delete that Google Workspace account, but don’t want to pay the full license fee? Time to learn about the Archived User license!

What exactly is it? 

This is a special license for specific Google Workspace subscriptions, including Business Standard, Business Plus, and Enterprise. The best part? It often comes with a lower cost compared to active or suspended licenses, making it a budget-friendly option.

What does it do?

When someone leaves an organization, if you don’t have vault, many companies “suspend” the user. But it is easy to accumulate suspended users and forget that all of them are still costing you a Google Workspace license fee. That’s where the Archive User License comes into play. You flip a user’s active status to archived and it’s a way for your company to retain the data and work of former employees within Google Workspace with less cost.

But how do you get your hands on this license? 

You have to purchase it from a Google Cloud Partner or by reaching out to a Google sales representative. Just make sure that your Archive User subscription matches your Google Workspace subscription to assign the license properly. (Note: It is NOT offered for Google Business Workspace starter license.) 

It’s essential to sync your license with your current Google Workspace subscription. So, if you’re using an Enterprise edition, make sure you buy an Enterprise AU license. 

Why should you bother with archiving users in Google Workspace, you ask? 

Good question! The main reason is that some industries require this in order for the organization to remain compliant (like a required legal hold).  

By using the Archive User License, you can keep your data safe after an employee has left at a slightly lower cost than the full license.

But what happens when you actually archive a user?

Google preserves all the data from that user’s Google Workspace account. It’s stored in Google Vaults, which acts like a secure vault for your organization’s information. The data is protected according to Vault retention rules, and you can search and export it whenever necessary. So, no need to worry about losing valuable data.

However, it’s important to note that archived users lose access to Google services like Workspace, Calendar, Gmail, and Drive. They can’t sign in anymore. But don’t worry, the data of those former employees is still accessible to others within your organization. 

Archived users won’t appear in the Global Address List, but they’ll have an archived status in the user directory listing. You can’t delete or suspend them in the Admin console, but you can unarchive them if the need arises.

Want to learn more? Check out this video by the amazing Goldy Arora, Google’s Customer Engineer: What is G Suite Archive User License?