Using SharePoint 2010, some user names in the people pickes and User Information List are shown by John Smith. Others are companyDomain\jsmith. We would like to correct this for consistency.

I have checked our active directory records, and there is no difference in how the accounts were created there. The only clue that I have is that newer employees are formatted in the latter way and older employees the former. This makes me suppose that someone made a change somewhere in SharePoint

  • Is there anything askew with your user profiles? Could maybe be an error/glitch with the profile import. Check to see if they appear correctly in your user profiles service application in Central Administration. Also, are all of the users on the same domain (just want to rule out that it's two domains with a trust between them).
    – webdes03
    Jun 3, 2011 at 21:20
  • They are all on the same domain. I am looking into the user profile service, but have never used it before.
    – caschw
    Jun 6, 2011 at 12:31
  • In the user profiles service application, pull up one of the profiles where you're seeing a username instead of a name, and look at the data. You should be able to tell if something like what Tom mentioned below is happening based on the data that SharePoint has imported from Active Directory.
    – webdes03
    Jun 6, 2011 at 19:20
  • 1
    User profile service was not running correctly, but some accounts were stuck in companyDomain\jsmith. the following fixes that Set-SPUser –Identity "domain\jsmith" –DisplayName "John Smith" –Web http://companyDomain.com
    – caschw
    Jun 7, 2011 at 2:19
  • @cashw I think it would be appropriate to move your comment to an answer. I would upvote it. It is a legitimate solution to this issue if you don't want to set up User Profile Synch.
    – Tom Resing
    Aug 25, 2011 at 14:35

4 Answers 4


'John Smith' should be the 'Display Name' in the AD. This will then be synchronized with user-profile service. Please make sure that your 'user profile synchronization service' is working without errors.


User profile service was not running correctly, but some accounts were stuck in companyDomain\jsmith. the following fixes that:

Set-SPUser –Identity "domain\jsmith" –DisplayName "John Smith" –Web http://companyDomain.com

I believe I've seen this when the first name and last name properties in Active Directory were blank.


Take a look at the settings in the Person columns in the list, the display values can be configured on a column by column basis.

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