Hopefully this is a question with a simple answer. I have two SharePoint 2010 environments, each containing a people editor control. In one environment the "check names" button resolves the name into the actual first and last name of the user (e.g. "Fred Smith"). In the other environment, it resolves to the DOMAIN\username format. I am wondering why the difference?

For additional context, the first environment has a user profile application running and syncing with AD. The other has a UPA provisioned, but not syncing. The two environments are also operating in separate domains, so I thought it might have something to do with how AD is configured in the separate domains. Or maybe it's something else entirely?


You can run Get-SPUser –Web http://<name of web app> | Set-SPUser –SyncFromAD on each affected user account to force SharePoint to re-sync the user information. Just iterate through all users if this is a global issue.

Check out this blog post:


  • I ran the commands from this article, and it appears to have resolved the issue. So I take it that I had to manually do the sync with AD via PowerShell because there is no UPA syncing automatically in the second environment? – JasonV Oct 15 '12 at 15:50
  • If you don't have UPS syncing set up, I've seen it do this before (actually, I've seen a web application switch from preferred name display back to domain\uname). I don't know the root cause, but I've fixed it before. – RJ Cuthbertson Oct 15 '12 at 15:52
  • Why is syncing not enabled anyhow? – RJ Cuthbertson Oct 15 '12 at 15:52
  • It's a development environment, and we just never got around to setting up syncing. It's there in staging and production. – JasonV Oct 15 '12 at 16:45
  • Just curious. One thing to note here is that even after running this script, you may find your site has reverted after a while. If that happens you'll have to re-run the script (or set up sync). – RJ Cuthbertson Oct 15 '12 at 18:35

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