Yammer user blocking

By default, any user can create an account on Yammer using their work email address and get added to your company network. Most of the time, this is just what you want – however, if you’re in a Proof of Concept, you need a way to control the size of the group who has Yammer access in order to perform your testing in a controlled manner.

Before a user can be blocked, their account needs to be deactivated in Yammer. If you export a list of users from within Yammer, all deactivated users show up as soft_delete. Active users simply show up as active. If the user hasn’t logged into Yammer at all, their account won’t show up in the list of users, but I’ll cover blocking these users below.

Deactivating Current Users:

This can be done one at a time, by typing their name into the search field on the Yammer Admin page, under Remove users:


Select the user to be deactivated, and the action you want to take, and then click Submit.


Once a user has been deactivated, they can be reactivated by simply clicking Reactivate beside their name in the list.


Deactivating Users through Bulk Update

You can also use the Bulk Update tool in Yammer to perform the following actions: create a new user, update an existing user, as well as suspend or delete a user.


The Bulk Update tool cannot be used to block or unblock users – this must be done manually through the Yammer Admin page, under Block Users.

Blocking Users in Yammer

Blocking users prevents them from creating an account on your Yammer network – this is why an active user can’t be blocked, only accounts that haven’t been activated for Yammer, or have already been deleted from within Yammer.

To block a user, simply copy paste their email address into the Block Users field – either one email address per line, or comma separated. This field doesn’t allow you to import a csv file of users, but a csv file can be used to copy/paste the required addresses into the field. Once you have the email address(es) in the field, click Block.

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When a blocked user attempts to log into Yammer directly through www.yammer.com, or by clicking on the Yammer icon in Office 365, they’ll be redirected to the following error page:


Unblocking Users in Yammer

To unblock users in Yammer, simply find their name in the list and click Unblock.


An unblocked user is immediately able to log into Yammer as normal:


As you can imagine, this process is far from ideal – it’s not that bad if you only have a few users to deactivate / block, but what if you had to do this for an organization with thousands of users? That would be incredibly painful to manage – and enabling / disabling access in the future involves scrolling through pages of blocked users to unblock them one at a time.

I really only recommend using this process for smaller networks – if you are planning on implementing Yammer, or have done so in a larger environment, Yammer Single Sign On allows you to allow / deny access based on AD security group. This is much easier to manage, and allows you to control the roll-out, rather than having to let everyone access it right away, and clean up the mess that comes out of that approach.

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