Quick question, I don't know how SharePoint i set up like this, but where are users stored? I recently got to a new workplace and there's a Sharepoint site here which has been programmed a bit. And I was told that once a user is created in Active Directory, that user is synced to SharePoint, cause SP has got it's own collection of users, for some weird reason.

Now, I've noticed that if I delete a user in Active Directory, I'd expect that the user is also deleted in SharePoint. But that's not the case here, looks like it's only a one way sync.

Could anyone shed some light on this? Is it possible to delete a user from SharePoint? Edit: This is Sharepoint 2007.

5 Answers 5


I'd advice you do a syn on Central Admin again and see if that still remain the same. Yes, sharepoint does have a service profile called User Profile Service Application and once this has been created and running, you can basically do a syn of your AD users. This I think, import users from AD into a User Profile database. So I assume, the reason why you still have your user in SharePoint is because you need to do a syn again, it will delete users that aren't available on AD on the user profile content database.

I hope this help. I might be wrong though - Just a thought.

  • Hmm, wouldn't that affect new AD users as well? Meaning, newly created AD users wouldn't sync to SharePoint. I mean, newly created AD users are synced to SharePoint. So it's not like the service has stopped or anything. Do you have any idea where I can find the status of this service? And where I can start it, if it has stopped? Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 8:29
  • Go to Central Admin --> System Settings --> click where it says "Services on the Server", and you can see if it is running or not. Alternatively, you can go to Central Admin --> Manage Service Application --> User Profile Service Application - then you can mange it from there, including doing Syn.
    – Sepaka
    Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 8:47

Users are stored on User Profile Service(UPS) and in User Information List.

Users get stored on the User Profile Service when you do a UPS sync which imports user profiles from Active Directory. Normally, this is how it's setup. You can add, update, or delete the user profiles manually.

Users get stored on the User Information List only when they access the site for the first time. The data stored will be coming from UPS. After that, it will regularly sync the data by doing either a quick or full update as scheduled jobs.


Even though users are from active directory, SharePoint stores these information seperately in a list called User Information List which will be available in the site.

  • 1
    Users can be deleted from this list. Commented Oct 28, 2011 at 13:33

Another thing to check is did you delete the AD user, or disable them? We tend to disable users to make recovery easier if we need to. However, I think unless SharePoint is setup to filter out disabled users they will remain in SharePoint regardless of syncing.


My observations agree with Paul Chapman's: users remain in Sharepoint even though they are deleted from the AD. The reason for this, I've been told by our SP consultant, is that there might be stuff in the SP database owned by this user and SP cannot reassign it to another user. (At least not automatically.)

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