Salesforce: Difference between Freezing and Deactivating User Account

We often wonder when do we freeze or totally deactivate a user account. In the following table, we hope it will help you make a decision based on the closest scenario given.

Do you plan to disable the user for good?

Freeze – Temporarily disable the account. Good for returning users.
Deactivate – Suspend the user account entirely and they are not returning users.

 

Is the main reason of disabling the user account to free up user license?

Freeze – Does not free up license
Deactivate – Able to free up a user license

 

The user account cannot be deactivated (for the many reasons identified in https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=deactivating_users.htm&language=en_US)

Freeze – will help disable the user from logging in
Deactivate – deactivate again once the deactivation issues are sorted out

 

You need to settle all records or configuration settings (e.g.transfer ownership) that are linked to the user before deactivating it.

Freeze – ideal to prevent the user from logging in temporarily
Deactivate – once the transfer is settled, deactivate the user account for good