Wondering if there is a way in Sharepoint 2010 to import User Profiles from Active Directory without exporting them back?

I've got a User Profile Synchronization connection made but I want to make sure that it doesn't export back to Active Directory, only import.

Is there an option in Central Admin or do I need to go into the options in the FIM Service Management tool?


3 Answers 3


You don't have to export anything back to AD after importing the profiles. Just don't allow any mapped properties to be edited and don't complete the setup for the two-way sync. Note however even though you don't write anything back, you still need to provide an AD account that has replicate directory changes as specified in any of the MSDN documentation for setting up user profile import.


UPA does not by default write anything back to AD. You configure this per property; AD to SP OR SP to AD. Its no two-way sync in SP2010 - for that you need the full FIM 2010 product (correct me if I'm wrong).

  • HI Wictor, In SP2013, I have configured the user profile service application to "Use SharePoint Active Directory Import" instead of "Use SharePoint Profile Synchronization". My requirement is to pull in AD user details into SHarePoint and sync this details at regular intervals. Have I chosen the right option?
    – variable
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 4:47
  • I have read that AD import method is import only method, but can this import be run using tiemr job at regular intervals?
    – variable
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 5:00
  • I would also like to know what is meaning of "mapping to system SharePoint properties is not supported"?
    – variable
    Commented Mar 22, 2014 at 5:02

User profile sync goes one way or the other for each field, depending on how you map it in the connection. For instance, we have everything mapping from AD to SP, except for the manager field, which we maintain in SP and have replicate back to AD.

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