I have a user who name is John Doe for example. And his email was [email protected] and he left the organization after a while and we had a new user who name was joseph Doe and we created the same email address [email protected] but when we try to give permission in sharepoint to joseph doe the name and profile changes the name showing John Doe instead of Joseph Doe. I tried to go to manage user profiles and look for the user to edit but i am unable to see john doe nor joseph doe. I tried creating new one and it says account exist. Not sure where to find. I am trying to find that using powershell to see if i can make the changes. Please help. This is becoming an issue a lot nowadays.

Thanks Mohammed

  • The old account might still exist in each site collection hidden user list. Apr 4, 2019 at 15:27
  • how do i find that? Apr 4, 2019 at 15:31

2 Answers 2


To access the user information list, you should append “/_catalogs/users/simple.aspx” after your site like the URL below.


Then you could select the user and delete the user from the user information list.

For more detailed information, you could refer to the articles below.

SharePoint's hidden user-list - User Information List.

How to Delete a User from Your SharePoint Site Collection.


OK you are facing a problem i hit in the past that in my case caused a lot of issues. In our case it was bit different. User Management team had an issue with the one of the accounts. So they have deleted it and recreated with same user name. Our farm had a lot of item level permission and that actually caused SP server to grind to a halt. With MS support we found solution to the issue. OUr case is bit different but the fix may work for you as well. The solution in our case was to run Move-SPUser cmdlet

try running command Move-SPUser for that account where the original identity and target identity are the same: REF: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/sharepoint-server/move-spuser?view=sharepoint-ps

Please not that although the profile may have been removed during sync the data about the user is preserved in each user information list on site. (so you can see for example history of item editing) so if you run it it will look like the new person done all those all changes.

In our best practice we stopped deleting the AD accounts. They get deactivated so no new account can be created with same username.

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