I have about 7900 users in Office 365 that are active and have a license (Office 365 Education Plus for students OR Office 365 Education Plus for faculty) applied to the profile. Of those users, less than 10% have a SharePoint Online User Profile. This leads me to a few questions:

  1. Is a user profile only created after a user logs in?
  2. If that is the case, how can I create the Profiles Manually? I'm not finding any way to create actual user profiles via CSOM.
  3. If I add the users to a site collection, will SharePoint automatically make a User Profile for that user or must that user actually log in to the site first?

I would like to add all the users' data before we launch Office 365 as we have many properties not available in Active Directory and thus not synced to Azure AD. We would like all the users to show up in People Search with those additional properties not available in AD. I have a sync script running that is successfully syncing all the properties, I just need all the users to have Profiles.

2 Answers 2


Office 365 for Education does not automatically sync user profiles with SharePoint Online. To see and edit a user profile in SharePoint Online, the user must first visit a SharePoint site. After a user visits a site, the profile will be synced to SharePoint Online during the next scheduled Office 365 directory service sync.

How To Manage SharePoint Online User Profiles

  1. If you create the user in the site collection they should exist before they log in.
  2. With so many users to add using a power shell script to add them all would probably be the best option. You can find such a script here. This includes instructions on how to deploy the script.
  3. If you add the user to the collection then the user profile will be able for the sites on that collection. They don't need to log in, but you need to add permissions for them to that site.

If you have any additional questions just leave a comment.

  • 1
    For anyone else that might run across this question, adding a user to the information list, even when granting explicit permissions, does not prompt SharePoint to create a User Profile for that user. We had to go a completely different direction to create a user directory. Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 13:59

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