SharePoint is completely new to me, so thanks for your patience. I have set up a standalone SharePoint 2016 instance for testing/development purposes. However, People Picker cannot resolve domain users. SharePoint is installed on a server that is joined to a domain, but the accounts under which SharePoint services run are local server accounts. Does that matter?

I have checked the Default authentication provider and it has the boxes checked for "Enable Windows Authentication" and "Integrated Windows authentication" (NTLM). Again, SP is a new world to me, so thanks for the help.

  • 1
    try to run this command stsadm -o setproperty -pn peoplepicker-searchadforests –pv –url Url of web application
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 23:17
  • Thanks, @WaqasSarwarMCSE. You set me in the right direction. See the Answer I added if you want to see what worked for me.
    – NSouth
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


After some research, I got things working with this script, following instructions from here. I had to add my domain to People Picker's set of AD domains that it searches, complete with a domain user which can be used to search the domain.

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell #Add the SP snapin
$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication http://MyUrl/  # Main SP web app
# Optional: clear existing domains
# $webApp.PeoplePickerSettings.SearchActiveDirectoryDomains.Clear() # Optional: clear existing domains
# $webApp.Update()
# Set an encryption key to encrypt/decrypt pwd
$key = ConvertTo-SecureString "Password123" -AsPlainText -Force  
$userpwd = ConvertTo-SecureString "<DomainUserPassword>" -AsPlainText -Force
# Define AD search object to add to web app
$ADSearchObj = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPPeoplePickerSearchActiveDirectoryDomain
$ADSearchObj.DomainName = "domain.com"
$ADSearchObj.ShortDomainName = "domain"
$ADSearchObj.IsForest = $false  # True if forest
$ADSearchObj.LoginName = "DomainUser"
# Add AD search object to the main SP web app

I also had to add the same $ADSearchObj to the SP Central Admin web app.

(thanks to @WaqasSarwarMCSE for pointing me in the right direction)


If user is disabled in AD, it doesn't show up.

I figured this after spending 2 hours today... :)

Happy SharePointing!

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