I am in the process of taking over the administration of our SharePoint 2010 infrastructure. Following a support call from one user, we noticed that the names showing up on the sites are looking like DOMAIN\USERNAME.

I tried to use the tip provided by Gary Lapointe as described in his blog post: http://blog.falchionconsulting.com/index.php/2011/12/updating-sharepoint-2010-user-information/

Basically, it forces the profile to get loaded with AD information by issuing the below command:

Set-SPUser -Identity $user -SyncFromAD

This did fix the names on the page for a day. The next day, the names where back to DOMAIN\USERNAME.

Furthermore, while clicking on the name of "some" users, the redirection to their mySite fails with a 502 Time Out HTTP error. Other people profiles (I'm assuming people who did not generate a mySite before the migration) are accessible normally because the user is not redirected to mySite.

I reviewed the configuration of the server and noticed the following: the User Profile Synchronization Service is not started (and not configured) and no synchronization connection is defined). Therefore my question id threefold:

  • Can SharePoint work normally without having the User Profile Synchronization Service running?

  • Would configuring the service and the connection fix the display name / access to mySite issue?

  • Is there any downside of configuring the service after having content on the sites?

2 Answers 2


SharePoint works normally with out User Profile Sync as SharePoint foundation don't have sync services.

Once you configure the User Profile Sync and schedule sync run. Every time Profile Sync completed( incremental or Full), it will update the user records i.e display name, last name etc

their is no down side, only thing is keep the profile sync schedule on off peak hours so it will not hurt performance of sharepoint. This is only happen during the sync running and odd is very less.


If you provision the User Profile Sync Service (and the service application if you have not already) it will not have any negative impact on existing content. And it should help resolve the display issue for user names.

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