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How To Delete All Sample Data From Dynamics 365

Rough Start

You’re new to your Microsoft Dynamics 365 environment and have decided to experiment with some sample data. Your new CRM is now filled with contacts, products, opportunities, and other entities that you can use to train yourself and your staff without putting your own data at risk. Smart move. You’ve now taken the time to learn the system and are ready to take off those training wheels and delete all sample data from your Dynamics 365 environment.

But what happens when you go through the process of deleting your sample data by clicking Data Management >> Sample Data >> Remove only to have some you can’t get rid of? Simply ignoring the leftover data isn’t a solution for obvious reasons, but you’ve tried what you can only to get nowhere. Don’t worry, you’re not the first to get off to a rough start. We’ll quickly review what some people have tried in the past and finish off with the one solution that will get rid of it once and for all.

So Close, Yet So Far

Whether you’ve come up with them yourself or scoured the internet for solutions, the following “attempts” are unlikely to delete all of your remaining sample data. Here are some myths that need busting:

  • Bulk Delete – When dealing with this issue, trying to bulk delete you sample data has the same effect as your initial removal attempt—not much.
  • One-By-One – Some people have suggested since some of the records are in a “Read Only” state, in order to be deleted, they need to be revised individually to “Read, Write”. After that, you can try deleting your records. It has had limited success in removing some additional sample data, but there are entries that still persist.
  • Methodical – Due to the relationships between different records and entities, others have suggested tackling it in a hierarchical fashion by first deleting products, then checking to see there are no orders or quotes against any opportunity and deleting them, and finally checking for open or closed activities and deleting accounts. Not only is it time consuming if you’re left with a large amount of sample data, but anecdotal results haven’t been encouraging.
  • New Tenant – While starting from scratch with a new tenant would fix the issue, it’s like buying a new car when you simply need your tires inflated. A little too much.

So, what is the answer?

Well, That Was Easy

You need to reset your instance with two easy steps.

Convert Trial Production Instance to Sandbox

Go to Admin Centers >> Dynamics 365 >> Instances, select your instance, and click on Edit. Once you’re able to edit your instance, go to the Instance Type dropdown menu and select Sandbox. Hit next and finish your edits.

Sample Data - Instance

Convert Sandbox Instance Back to Production

Follow the previous step into the edit instance screen, going to the same Instance Type dropdown menu but selecting Production. Finish your edits and see if any sample data has survived! (Hint: they didn’t.)

Sample Data - Edit

Congratulations, your Microsoft Dynamics 365 instance should be as good as new! As we’ve seen, no matter how great a solution is, there will always be times where you can use a little helping hand. Rather than spending hours or days trying to solve a problem yourself, have the peace of mind with responsive and dedicated support from your trusted partner.

If you’re still looking for one or have questions about any other solutions, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to get in touch.

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