Synchronise Sharepoint User Profiles with Active Directory

Occasionally you may need to (re) synchronise your Sharepoint user profiles with their counterparts stored in Active Directory, particularly when the Active Directory information changes. Synchronisation occurs automatically when the SharePoint machine is restarted, and periodically acording to 2 SharePoint Timer jobs, “Profile Synchronization” and “Quick Profile Synchronization”.

If you need to do this manually, follow these steps;

  1. Log into the Shared Services Administration site
  2. Click on User Profiles and Properties
  3. Click on Configure Profile Import
  4. Under “Source” select the domain you wish to import from
  5. Under “Default Access Account” select either the default content access account or specify account details – this account must have permission to access the Active Directory users (default) OU container
  6. Click OK
  7. Now select either a Full or Incremental import, a Full import will ensure that users deleted from Active Directory are removed from the profile database
  8. Once the import has finished you can select “View Import Log” to reveal details about the import

Note. To perform incremental imports, the content access account must have the Replicate Changes permission for Windows 2000 Active Directory, this is not required for Windows Server 2003 Active Directory.

Published by

Phil Harding

SharePoint Consultant, Developer, Father, Husband and Climber.

4 thoughts on “Synchronise Sharepoint User Profiles with Active Directory

  1. I need to syncronize with multiple Active directories?.
    How can we achive this?.

  2. Hi Bhaskar, you need to set up alternative or supplementary Import Connections to the domains which you want to import users from, this is done from Shared Services – Users and Profiles section.

  3. my sync with AD is working fine except it is not pulling the pictures in the AD.

    Here is my issue, we have photos of all employees stored as xyz.jpg in the custom attribute (emp_pics_2001) with type string, but the picture url type is url (is this the culprit type change), I am using the custom attribute to map the field in the Sharepoint 2010 miis client.

    I am using the below url to do the set up:

    i did check the profile db picture url field is NULL, i have all the other values for person except the picture.. , I have already wasted more than 2 days in figuring this out

    If i just get xyz.jpg pulled to sharepoint, then i can prefix a url in front of it using powershell
    I am using a full trusted service account with full permissions to the domain

    please help me out..

    thank you


  4. Hi,

    Is there any way to synchronize SharePoint 2007 user to Active Directory.

    In detail, I want to create a user in SharePoint server and the same should be reflected in Active directory. How to do ?



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