Configure SharePoint User Profile Service

SharePoint UPS (User Profile Service) can be a challenge to setup.  UPS in SharePoint requires a little extra attention to make it work as expected but trust me that this service is worth that time.

What is SharePoint User Profile Service?

You may be wondering – why do I need SharePoint UPS. Just to make it simple and short – all social features from
SharePoint 2007, including My Site support, User Profile pages, audiences and social tagging is now bundled in the User Profile Service.

Preparing your SharePoint farm for the User Profile Service

If you never updated your SharePoint 2010 farm with cumulative updates (and no, I am not talking about Windows Update) – you will need to do it to enable UPS. SharePoint 2010 RTM version has many issues related to User Profile Service – you will need to update to the newest cumulative update available. Just to keep you informed – if you have December Cumulative Update for SharePoint 2010 then User Profile Service won’t work at all! I will be focusing this guide on the latest February 2011 Cumulative Update.

The best resource to find the latest SharePoint updates is TechNet at

For this walkthrough I will be using the SharePoint Foundation 2010 (KB 2475880) and SharePoint Server 2010 (KB
) updates for the SharePoint farm. These updates are downloadable on-demand. It best practise to make a full server backup before you try any Cumulative Updates to SharePoint (including database-backup), because there is no option to roll-back the update.

After you install both SharePoint Foundation 2010 update and SharePoint Server 2010 update, you should run the SharePoint 2010 Products Configuration Wizard to complete the upgrade. After a successful upgrade you should verify if your SharePoint server is indeed updated. To do this, go to the Central AdministrationSystem
Manage servers in this farm section. There you can see all your servers that are connected with the SharePoint farm (including smtp servers and SQL Servers).

SharePoint UPS User Profile Service

Manage Servers in the Farm Window

Unfortunately, there is no clear information about the update – just  build number in the Configuration database version variable. In my case it is 14.0.5136.5002 which means I have the February 2011 Cumulative Update installed.
To verify this I usually Google the exact build number to determine the Update details. If you are following my links and you see 14.0.5136.5002 build – you have February 2011 Cumulative Update and you can continue.

One important note: if your build is 14.0.5136.5001 – you also have February 2011 Cumulative Update, but this build contains an error and you should download and reinstall the 5002 build of the February 2011 Cumulative Update to prevent farm issues.

Most of this article is applicable to the original RTM version of SharePoint 2010, but some solutions may not work exactly as described. I know that the UPS Service caused many issues before February 2011 Cumulative Update (and to give you more – the Feb 2001 CU is actually dedicated for UPS Service hotfixes) so I strongly suggest to upgrade – unless you have a strong reason not to.

Verify Managed Metadata Service installation

User Profile Services requires Managed Metadata Service to interact with. The SharePoint Managed Metadata Service (MMS) is a service that publishes a term store and normally some content types that the managed metadata will consume in its services. MMS is the key to the social tags and notes – since it is where where all tags are to be stored. You can create multiple MMS, but for the User Profile Service you will need at least one MMS.

First we will check if there is at least one MMS installed and configured.

Go to Central Administration Application ManagementManage Service Applications and look for the Managed Metadata Service. If you used Configuration Wizard on your farm (which is what I would personally would recommend), you will probably have one MSS.

SharePoint UPS User Profile Service

Managed Metadata Service in the Service Applications window

If you don’t have one, from the ribbon select the icon New and choose Managed Metadata Service. Then you will have to setup some MMS properties – which you also need to verify when you actually had one MMS before (then you have to mark the Managed Metadata Service and click on the properties icon in the ribbon).

SharePoint UPS User Profile Service

Managed Metadata Service properties window – top

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One Response to “Configure SharePoint User Profile Service”

  1. Thanks so much for this! The only suggestion I could add is to restart the SharePoint Timer Service (OWSTIMER.exe) before starting the UPS Sync service in the SharePoint 2010 Central Administration area.