When searching for People in a SharePoint 2016 environment I encountered the following issue:

People are found, but the names of the persons found are not displayed.

Also: neither the profile pictures, nor the gray 'anonymous' profile images (for people that have not uploaded a photo) are shown

For debugging purposes I selected the 'Default Item' display template. When using this search display template "person.aspx" is shown as the item title.

I've already checked that the content access account is an administrator of the user profile service and has the 'Retrieve People Data for Search Crawlers' permissions added.

When using the Search Query Tool the following properties are shown in the result:

enter image description here

What other debugging steps can I follow / what could be the reason for this behavior?

  • Have you looked at the user profiles? Do they have First Last and Preferred Names? Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 14:07
  • they have a First Name and Last Name. How can I check if they have a Preferred Name? (that does not seem to be a separate property in the 'Edit User Profile' UI?) Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 14:44
  • In the mean time I found out that Preferred Name is the internal name of the 'Name' property of the user profiles. And yes, it's filled. Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 15:24
  • Do you have any errors on sps3 or sps3s (depending on if you are using SSL on your web application)? Can you detail how the profile start address is configured? Commented Dec 31, 2016 at 22:19
  • In the crawl log there are no errors or warnings, only successes. About the configuration: there is a separate content source configured which contains just one start address: sps3s://mysite.xx.yy.zz Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 10:34

1 Answer 1


Finally found the solution:

In Central Admin, Search Service Aplications, in the User Profile Service, under 'People| Manager User Properties', in the edit screen of the 'Name' property the checkboxes 'Alias' and 'Index' under 'Search Settings' were unchecked, after enabling them again People Search Results where correct again (including the previously missing profile pictures).

Screenshot after enabling the checkboxes: enter image description here

  • 1
    That's very odd. Those should be checked by default. Who ever has been playing in your UPS does not belong in there. Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 13:29

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