We are in the process of migrating to a new domain/datacenter, and have rebuilt a development farm in the new DC. The farm is very simple in that it does not require many services and service apps (State Service for InfoPath, Health/Usage, Logging, Distributed Cache, ASP.NET Session State).

The original farm was setup using the default configuration wizard so all of the services and databases were created even though they were not needed.

After rebuilding the new farm with only what we believe was required, we then decided to use the Backup-SPSite and Restore-SPSite since there are only 3 site collections in the single web application being used. However when trying to access 2 of the 3 restored site collections we were seeing the error "Could Not Load User Profile". We do not require the use of UPS as most of the users accessing the site will be external users that are authenticated via ADFS using SAML and do not use the User Profile Sync, therefore do not want to carry the extra overhead of having the User Profile Service that provides no use for us here.

Just to see if it would resolve the issue, I provisioned the User Profile service with fresh databases without restoring from the previous farm and the issue went away. However if I turn the service off the issue will resurface.

Is there a way to resolve my issue without the use of User Profile Services? We would like to eliminate any unnecessary dependencies to keep the solution simple.

  • Is there a reason you didn't use DB attach? Sep 6, 2018 at 23:01
  • This was taken from a UAT farm which had some old unused and test site collections that we did not need. There was only 3 site collections so I figured site collection backups were cleaner and starting with a fresh database would be less problematic.
    – cpiasecki
    Sep 8, 2018 at 0:32

1 Answer 1


You need a user profile service for the smooth running, In you situation what you have to do, dont set up the sync connections so that no more syncing from AD.

UPA services application along with one running instance of the UPA on any server will be enough and will not put load on your farm.

  • We do not utilize any of the additional properties stored in UPA nor do we use the sync services, so even though it won't put much load on the farm it is still additional databases and services we have to maintain and document which is unfortunate. So you are saying there is no way around requiring UPA?
    – cpiasecki
    Sep 6, 2018 at 13:38
  • then it will not cause any performance issues on server. You just need UPA service without sync.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Sep 6, 2018 at 13:39

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