Is there a way to get the user name or the SPUser object by passing the mail address for a user, which is not already known by the site?

I know I can get the SPUser by using


But this only works if the user is already known in the site collection. Does SharePoint (with C# Server Object Model) provide a way to search a user in the Active Directory by its mail address or do I have to use System.DirectoryServices and search in the Active Directory for myself?

Use Case:

I have a mail event receiver for a document library people can send mails to. I have some logic and at the end I want to save the attachments to this library. The Author property of the item (which is now set to SystemAccount) should be set to the person who sent the email.

  • 1
    What is the issue in ensuring the user first and then updating the Author of the item? – Nadeem Yousuf-AIS Mar 16 '15 at 15:32
  • It's an email. The only infomation I have is the user's mail address, but not the account name, which I need to ensure the user. – Fensterbank Mar 16 '15 at 16:08
  • You can get login name from email. Example, if email address is adamb@contoso.com. Then login name will be adamb. – Nadeem Yousuf-AIS Mar 16 '15 at 17:06
  • In most companies, this would work. But not in my case. The user account is something like "a1234", the mail address prename_surname@contoso.com. – Fensterbank Mar 16 '15 at 17:15

Please check the below code.In this way you can get the login name of the user via email address.

   using(SPWeb oWeb=new SPSite("-----URL---").RootWeb)
            SPList oList = oWeb.Lists["Test"];
            foreach (SPListItem i in oList.Items)
                if (i["email"] != null)
                    string email = Convert.ToString(i["email"]);
                    SPWebApplication webApp = oWeb.Site.WebApplication;
                    SPPrincipalInfo principal = null;
                    principal = SPUtility.ResolvePrincipal(webApp, null, email, SPPrincipalType.User, SPPrincipalSource.Windows, true);
                    if (principal != null)


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