Is it possible to create a new user profile service application and use the exisitng the databases from a previous user profile service application? Both service applications are in the same farm.

I want to preserve profile and social data.


I have done this more then few times on my development machine (!)

You just delete old user profile service but without checking Delete data associated with the Service Applications.

Then you create new user profile service and for Profile Database, Synchronization Database and Social Tagging Database you provide same database names. If you used default values you don't need to change anything (Profile DB, Sync DB, Social DB).

I don't see any possible issues if you are doing this on same farm and with existing databases. But again, I have tested this only on my development environment!


Here is step-by-step guide on how to recreate User Profile service with PowerShell:

And here is solution to invalid Sync DB (MSDN forums):


This supported the idea that the UserProfile Service Application's Sync process was indeed "jacked up". To rectify this issue, I simply did not include the switch to reference the existing sync database (in the powershell command). By doing so, a new Sync database was created. At this point, I was able to start the Profile Synchronization service on one of the SP Servers and then able to create new connections to our AD Forest. Resolved my issue and kept all of the social content and the user's profile data (the intent).

So when creating 'new' User Profile Service you can simply create new Sync DB and everything will work as expected.

  • That's exactly what I thought. I'm running into an issue where I can use the previous Profile and Social DB's but I get an error about the Synchronization DB. The error says it's not a valid sync database. I'm confused why this won't work. – daver306 Oct 3 '11 at 18:50
  • You can create new Sync DB and after you just need to do full user profile sync. I have updated my answer. – Vedran Rasol Oct 3 '11 at 19:14
  • Thanks, Vedran. I actually tried this approach in the mean time and it did work. The new user profile service application gets created and all the Profile and Social data is there. I ran a full sync but realized that the majority of my profiles were flagged for deletion. The MySite Clean Up job eventually ran and deleted majority of the user profiles. Fortunately this is in a dev environment but I'm confused why the profiles got deleted. – daver306 Oct 3 '11 at 19:22
  • Hi Vedran, Following the instructions we have been able to create the UPSA. However when trying to Start User Profile Sync Service It shows message starting for few minutes but doen't start (The start button again shows up). The account am using to start service is FarmAdmin and is local admin on server – shoab Jan 6 '18 at 10:55

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