I am wondering where information about users (user properties) is stored in SharePoint Foundation.

In SharePoint Server the User Profile Service Application (UPS) syncs in user properties and creates user profiles in SharePoint. In addition, when users access a site, they get added to the User Information List of this site. (This is also discussed in this question.)

But what about SP Foundation?

There, when I go to My Settings for a user (via upper right user dropdown) I get to the page /_layouts/15/userdisp.aspx. There I can see the following properties:

  • Account
  • Name
  • E-Mail
  • Mobile Number
  • About Me
  • Picture
  • Department
  • Job Title
  • SIP Address

My questions about this:

  1. At which point are the property values initially pulled from AD into SharePoint? When accessing the site? Is there a job?

  2. What if a property value changes in AD - will the change be updated in SharePoint? When accessing the site? Is there a job?

  3. Is this user information stored/cached centrally? How do I access the centrally stored information (using PowerShell)?

1 Answer 1


In Foundation the User Information is stored in a hidden list at the root of the Site Collection called the User Information List. The list is populated when a user first accesses a site collection. (In SharePoint Server the list still exists and is synchronized with the User Profile by two timer jobs.)

Updates to the list occur when the user is "Active" on the site, in other words they have to add or edit content on the site. If they just view content their info is never updated. (This is in Server, not certain it's the same in Foundation.)

The User Info is stored on every site collection. This leads to issues when you try to ID a user across site collections because if I am first on one site collection I'll have an ID of 1, if I am fifth in another site collection I'll have an ID of 5. There are methods to resolve this, notably EnsureUser that take a login and return the ID of the user in the site collection (and create the UserInfo record in case it does not already exist).

  • So what you are implying is that there is no central location for user properties in Foundation, since there are no profiles; user properties are just pulled in from AD when a user is "active" on a site? And do you know whether this info is updated every time a user is active? (BTW thanks for putting EnsureUser into this context!) Sep 4, 2014 at 19:21
  • I am not implying, I am stating a fact... in Foundation there is no central location, just a list in each site collection. The UPA in Server is the central location. In foundation I don't know when or how often it is updated, if ever. Sep 4, 2014 at 19:58
  • Just wanted to be sure about the "no central location" part. Thanks, that helps. Sep 4, 2014 at 20:01
  • 1
    That's the "thing" about Foundation, no central Profile, no central Search, just a bunch of disconnected Site Collections. Sep 4, 2014 at 20:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.