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My users facing error on SharePoint 2016 when they try to add more than 15 users to share a file/folder. However, this error happen intermittently and have different results on different network connection. I have extended the timeout from default 25s to 60s. After that, the issue reoccurs when a user was adding names in the people picker, left the computer idle for a while and when he comes back to continue adding more names, he encounters the error message.

Does the network connectivity have anything to do with the people picker extracting names from AD? Is it normal for the people picker to timeout if left idle for some time? How can the users avoid facing this error again?

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There are several things you can look into to narrow down your issue:

  1. Check if the SharePoint server has enough resources such as Memory to process the function without timing out.

  2. Check if Anonymous Authentication is enabled for your web site in IIS.

  3. Check if “HTTP Activation” feature is activated on your SharePoint server.

  4. If it has been activated, you can try to deactivated the “HTTP Activation” feature of .NET 3.5 and .NET 4.5 and re-enabled them one by one (1st .NET 3.5, 2nd .NET 4.5). Then perform IIS reset.

If the issue remain unsolved after these methods, please capture a ULS log trace when this error reoccurs. ULS logs for SharePoint 2016 are located in:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\LOGS

You can also use Fiddler to check for more error messages.

Also try other solutions mentioned in below articles(these two articles are for SP 2013, but also work for SP 2016):

http://www.sharepointdiary.com/2016/07/sharepoint-2013-people-picker-sorry-were-having-trouble-reaching-the-server.html

https://guidesharepoint.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/people-picker-error-message-sorry-were-having-trouble-reaching-the-server-in-sharepoint-2013-hnsc/

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