I was wondering if it is possible to edit the User Profile Synchronization settings in SharePoint Online like in SharePoint On-Premise to select which users should and should not be imported in the User Profile Service.

In SharePoint 2013 On-Premise, the User Profile Service Application has a Synchronization category where you can select Configure Synchronization Connections. This option enables you to prevent certain containers (and user accounts) in Active Directory to be imported in the User Profile Service. Thus preventing the creation of profiles for them.

SharePoint 2013 (On Premise)

In SharePoint Online the category Synchronisation is nowhere to be found. Thus implying that all Azure Active Directory user accounts are automatically imported in the User Profile Service

SharePoint Online (Office 365)

Is there a way for me to exclude users from the User Profiles so they don't show up Search, My-Sites, in SharePoint Online?

4 Answers 4


You can use DirSync for this purpose

DirSync is simply a pre-configured Microsoft Identity Integration Server [MIIS] installation specific for Office 365 integration

There are 3 ways of setting up directory sync filtering:

  1. Organizational Units based, which allows you to select which OUs are to be synced to the cloud;
  2. Domain based, allowing you to select which domains are synchronized to the cloud;
  3. User attribute based, enabling you to control which objects shouldn’t be synchronized to the cloud based on their AD attributes.

You can read more on each step http://netwovenblogs.com/2014/12/02/moving-from-on-premise-to-office-365windows-azure-part-4/

  • The thing is, there are Administrator and Test accounts imported by DirSync that are needed for managing other services like Exchange Online (and SharePoint Online). So they need to be synced using DirSync. But these Administrator and Test accounts don't need to be imported in the User Profiles (in SharePoint Online). Is there a way to "filter out" certain user accounts to prevent them form being shown in SharePoint Online?
    – TempaC
    Apr 30, 2015 at 14:58
  • Yes you can use #3 in the link I posted. Apr 30, 2015 at 14:58
  • why not put those acconts into different OU and stop them from importing.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Apr 30, 2015 at 14:58
  • Because some of these accounts are also needed to manage / test SharePoint Online as well (also Exchange Online, Yammer, ...). I've edited my previous comment to reflect this. So the accounts are needed to manage, but should not be shown in the user Profiles.
    – TempaC
    Apr 30, 2015 at 15:03
  • 1
    My understanding is, when a user visit the sharepoint site, if user dont have the profile already then SharePoint create one for that user. but if you have filter on next import that account will be removed.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Apr 30, 2015 at 15:11

I don't think you should focus on DirSync, as this only is a part of the issue/solution. If you have a lot of cloud-only-accounts (e.g. [email protected]) they would show up anyway, regardless of DirSync-settings. As far as I know there is no way of excluding your service desk agents, administrators etc that use such an account-type from the user profile import online.


As i said before, even you exclude the account from dirsync but after that if you login with that account, sharepoint will create a profile for that account. Now on next sync it will exclude it from the sync but again you login with that account, a new profile will e their.

You should be fine in term of your worries that if account removed then that account will not able to perform the duties.

  • As long user has valid account.
  • right permission in SharePoint.

they really don't answer your question as it appears that you can't control the Profile sync. But if for example you wanted to exclude disabled users - u could run a scheduled task and then some MSOL & SPO powershell to remove the users.

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