I'm sure I already know this... that or it is really simple but what setting, connection or page decides who is shown in the People Picker / Address Book?

Is it simply who is in your AD, determined by the attached UPS or some other page?

Is it set at a Web Application level or can we tailor it per site collection?


2 Answers 2


The People Picker is populated from the local user data, not directly from AD. The local user data can come from AD (or other stores), but AD isn't ever queried directly.

In the case of Foundation (or equivalent), it's the User Information List. In the case of Server (or equivalent), it's the User Profile store.


People Picker is configured to

  • apply a custom AD filter (you can filter and restrict the results)
  • limit the search to within a site collection (use onlysearchwithinsitecollection attribute )
  • limit the search to within an AD Organizational Unit(OU) (Those settings will apply to every site within the site collection)
  • return only non-AD user accounts (if web application is using FBA)

All these can be configured at Zone level of a SharePoint farm using stsadm setproperty. See Configuring people picker. How to tailor it for a certain site collection

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