Some of you might have noticed that when you limit a people picker to select users only from one group, the search in the browse-user-dialog (or whatever it's called) won't work anymore.

This is because the search is being used to filter the user of the desired group.

This is a huge problem for me, since I need that search. I've found nothing on the internet so far that could tell a way to have both: the possibility to use the search in the dialog and the restriction to search one group only.

I found some topics dealing with this problem and repel it with a quote like "it's not that bad, since you have all users of the group listed there"... fine, no problem with 20 users, but for me and my co-worker it's a problem when dealing with (let's say) 200-300 users. (or even more)

Maybe you've encountert this problem before and hopefully are abled to help me out. Any help appreciated.

P.S. for those who aren't sure about what I'm talking; here's an example: (And I try to give you as much information as I can)

problem with the picker

As you can see with this test-data, no search was conducted (empty search field) yet the search is active (x at the end of the textbox; there are user shown) in order to get the user of the group. Canceling or performing another search is not possible. The only thing left to do is to go thru the list to find the user, which is possible with these test users but not in with real data were far more users are available. (Especially since the list is not sorted*) I hope this helps to understand the problem better, and that this actually is a problem. (And please don't mind that I made the screenshot in firefox; IE is the same, so it's not browser-related)

I should note that we mainly use forms-based-authentification (FBA) users in this and most other projects we do. (AD only for ourselfs or for the developing- and test-phase; ergo mixed authentification) Also, a solution that would effect all people picker only, wouldn't help that much, since not all are limited to a specific group. And I almost forgot to mention, the solution in question is a SharePoint 2010 Server solution, but it might be possible we thrown some features out and make a version for SP Foundation.

(*) I have a Side-question about the unsorted list: Is it at least possible to sort this list? (That might come in handy in the case that the main question is unsolveable)

EDIT: If something is missing, feel free to ask any question you like in the comments.

  • ?? As far as I see you asked very similar question before: sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/19216/… Sep 23, 2011 at 12:28
  • @Vedran , yes it's similiar but still different. The other question is about improving the search results with FBA users; while this one is about the issue of the not working search when the PP selection is limited to a group. One solution to one question wouldn't solve the other, that's why I posted two questions. I hope you can understand my decision. Sep 26, 2011 at 6:25

2 Answers 2


Markus, I solve this problem by writting custom people editor. This is the good article how to do this Create custom PE

Firstly you need to override SimpleQueryControlClass. For example you can write your own logic for searching users in desired group by search query and show results in PickerDialog.

In my mind, it isn't good way to solve this problem, but after many many hours of search I didn't find any better solution.


One alternative to writing a custom people editor is to write a validator that rejects users who aren't in that particular group. This is not a perfect solution, as non-group members will continue to show up in the People Picker list search results, but if you don't want to take the time to write your own Picker control then I'm not aware of a better way to do this.

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