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When you add a user with direct permissions somewhere within a site but they haven't yet visited SharePoint - will the user be added into the user information list automatically or only once they visit SharePoint?

If they are automatically added, would this still be the case if I added a role group that the user exists in, or an Active Direct group that the user exists in?

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Easy enough to test, though if memory serves, they are not added until they visit the site. – Matthew McDermott May 20 '13 at 21:53
@MatthewMcDermott Aiming to test if no answer by the end of the week, just don't have an environment I can do this on until then as I'm off-site :) – Codingo May 20 '13 at 23:09
The 2007/2010/2013 tags are for questions which you believe are very specific to a particular version - it never makes sense to have all 3. – lgaud May 23 '13 at 15:21
up vote 7 down vote accepted

To answer your first question -> When you grant a specific user permissions to a site, they are added automatically to the hidden User Information list.

As far as an Active Directory group -> The group gets added to the hidden User Information list, but the user does not get added until they access the site. (As an example, I granted an AD group permissions to my site & only the AD group showed up in the hidden User Information list)

As far as the Role group -> After testing on my machine, I can confirm that neither the role group, nor the members get automatically added to the hidden User Information list when you grant permissions.

Also -> this site gives a little more information on the hidden list:

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Excellent, exactly what I was looking for. Thank-you. – Codingo May 23 '13 at 23:18
The group gets added to the hidden User Information list, but the user does not get added until they access the site I believe it has been changed in SharePoint 2013. As it shows user in list as soon as I give them permission to site regardless of they logon or not :) – Muhammad Raja Oct 14 '13 at 13:23

When you add user with permission in some list or library, SharePoint adds the user automatically even if user haven't visit the site, but if you add Active Directory group or role, SharePoint adds the group or role automatically, and when user visits the site then SharePoint adds it.

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What are you basing this on, do you have any sources? I also think this is the case but I'm hoping for some sort of reference to know it is the case. – Codingo May 22 '13 at 23:07
Use SharePoint Manager ( so you can check results – Hameds May 23 '13 at 3:18
var userId=12;
     operation: "GetListItems",
     listName: "User Information List",
     CAMLQuery: "<Query><Where><Eq><FieldRef Name='ID' /><Value Type='Counter'>" + userId + "</Value></Eq></Where></Query>",
     CAMLRowLimit: 1,
     completefunc: function (xData, Status) {
         var userDetail = {};
         var row = $(xData.responseXML).SPFilterNode("z:row").get(0);
         userDetail .Name = $(row).attr("ows_Name");
         userDetail .Title = $(row).attr("ows_Title");
         userDetail .Email = $(row).attr("ows_Email");
         result(userDetail );
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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Can you please add some brief description to your answer. It help other readers to understand. – Asad Refai Dec 14 '15 at 12:54
This is not an answer to the initial question on how the user information list is populated. You're showing how to retrieve information about a single user object. – jcp Dec 14 '15 at 13:01
OP asks how users get to the User Information List, not how to add them. – Benny Skogberg Dec 14 '15 at 13:10

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