I have a bunch of site collections for my single web application and when I run Full Synchronization of users using the User Profile Synchronization service the information in each site collection's User Information List is NOT updated. The information is moved correctly from Active Directory to the User Profile DB because I see values like "Manager" and "Office" get updated but when I look at the user on any of the site collections those values are empty. I've also read an answer from Clayton Cobb on this Microsoft forum question stating that the User Profile Synchronization and User Information List are not related. Is there a way to correctly synchronize between these two locations?

4 Answers 4


There are two jobs, User Profile to SharePoint Quick Sync and User Profile to SharePoint Full Sync, that synchronize the User Profile database information with the UIL. Sometimes this stops working (properly) and in that case you need to run:

stsadm -o sync -listolddatabases 0
stsadm -o sync -deleteolddatabases 0

The first command will list Content Databases that haven't had the UPA -> UIL sync occur in 0 or more days. The second command will delete the records corresponding to those databases (it doesn't delete databases/end user data).

  • I had tried this multiple times before as I have seen this solution on other sites and it had not worked. However I just tried it again and it was successfully updated. I guess that the Quick Profile Sync is not very reliable. Thanks for the help!
    – skeletank
    Commented Jun 11, 2012 at 14:52
  • 1
    Just out of curiosity, is there a PowerShell equivalent to the STSADM sync command?? Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 13:01
  • Nothing provided out of the box.
    – user6024
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 16:39
  • Not working for me. Database records are cleaned up but even manually running the Quick Synchronization timer job didn't sync the two.
    – Toadmyster
    Commented Aug 8, 2012 at 19:16
  • 1
    Users are never deleted from the UIL. Users are always present in the UIL if they're referenced in any sort of fashion on the Site Collection (e.g. in a Person or Group column, or added to permissions on the site or an object).
    – user6024
    Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 18:05

Microsoft has added an article on how to Reset profile synchronization using powershell Maintain user profile synchronization settings in SharePoint Server 2013

To get the User Profile Service application object, type the following command:

$upa = Get-spserviceapplication <identity>

To view the users and groups to delete, type the following command:

Set-SPProfileServiceApplication $upa -GetNonImportedObjects $true

To delete the obsolete users and groups, type the following command:

This action cannot be undone.

Set-SPProfileServiceApplication $upa -PurgeNonImportedObjects $true
  • 1
    @BennySkogberg thanks for cleaning up my answer. I'll make sure to not just post a link in the future, but also the relevant content from the linked source. Commented May 3, 2017 at 17:58
  • Super! And the answer helped me too :) +1
    – Benny Skogberg
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 18:24

For me this fixed the issue as there was a disabled timer service instance:

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell
$farm = Get-SPFarm
$disabledTimers = $farm.TimerService.Instances | where {$_.Status -ne "Online"}
if ($disabledTimers -ne $null)
foreach ($timer in $disabledTimers)
Write-Host "Timer service instance on server " $timer.Server.Name " is not Online. Current status:" $timer.Status
Write-Host "Attempting to set the status of the service instance to online"
$timer.Status = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPObjectStatus]::Online
Write-Host "All Timer Service Instances in the farm are online! No problems found"



For me the only solution worked was Provisioning a new user profiles Service Application.

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