We are using SharePoint 2010 that has User sync set up with Active Directory.

Frequent problem that we have is that if an user comes to our firm with a name John Smith, we give him an user name jsmith. If this user leaves our firm we delete this user in AD. This does not delete the user in SharePoint (I'm not sure if they can be delete at all). After that if a new user comes with name Johanna Smith, we can accidentally give her the same user name jsmith. This causes a wrong connection in SharePoint and she suddenly logs in as John Smith which is completely wrong. The only quick solution I found was to modify the user data using power shell and turn John to Johanna (I know this is the worst solution).

We modified her username to josmith, but this did not help us. Can we create a new SharePoint user and connect that user to the right AD user?

2 Answers 2


When a user accesses SharePoint, some information is stored in a hidden list in each site collection. You need to remove this user information from the lists in the site collections to clean out the old information before the new user is created. You can see which users are on the list in each site collection by navigating to the hidden users list at


If you want to remove the user from the list, you need to navigate to the view of the list that gives you the controls to remove a user, e.g.:


  • Thanks, I will try it. I remembered incorrectly that I cannot delete users, haven't worked with SP2010 in a long time. Apr 19, 2017 at 10:37
  • I have tried it but the same old user has been recreated, all the data has changed, but the UniqueID stayed the same. The problem here is that on the old files created by the previous user (in my example John Smith), Created On-s are now changed to Johanna Smith. Apr 19, 2017 at 11:00
  • Instead of UniqueId I ment ID, the list ID, numeric like 123 Apr 19, 2017 at 11:06

It is a bad practice to delete users from the User Info List. In general, organizations do not delete and reuse user names. This keeps the Active Directory authoritative and also maintains a consistent audit history, so you know EXACTLY which JSmith created the document and deleted it.

  • We do not know exactly which jsmith created an item, but that is not the only problem. We have a lot of requests that have a field Employee, which is of type Person. There were several such requests for that employee, when he went away, and a new one came, and this error happened, this first user got renamed to second user, this requests now claim that they are for Employee Johanna Smith, not John Smith. Apr 20, 2017 at 7:53
  • That is the problem you created by deleting users and reusing their AccountName. Apr 20, 2017 at 11:16
  • by "deleting users" you mean AD or SharePoint users, the first time you talked about SharePoint users. We did not delete any SharePoint users until now when Andy suggested it. Apr 20, 2017 at 11:52
  • I am talking about AD, the source of the users in SharePoint. SharePoint uses the SID for the user to identify them as unique. Reusing the user name after deleting the user in AD only complicates the matter. Apr 20, 2017 at 16:10
  • Thanks. From my experience SIDs are different for different users with same userName, this caused an opposite problem from this one in Dynamics CRM. Apr 20, 2017 at 16:58

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