People Picker - pick users with alternate email

Super Contributor

A friend of mine has this challenge:


How does one make sure in SharePoint Online that a user can be searched/found via an alternate Email addresses which are different from the UPN they have? 



A user named is synced through AD Connect and gets created as a user in SharePoint User Profiles as - as the UPN
but his primary email (on-prem) is:  - surely one can find him by the people picker by a search upon the name Steve - but not if the search is done with: 

How does one tell SharePoint that it should find users by the alternate email address?    

4 Replies
best response confirmed by Taen keren (Super Contributor)

@Taen keren  "A friend of mine" :smile:


To my knowledge this cannot be done through configuration. Are you looking for this functionality across all of SharePoint or just in one place? if the answer is in the latter, then you have some hope, but it requires you basically creating your own People Picker functionality which is no small task. It is likely not worth it... This could be a good one to submit to user voice but make it more generic. The ability to add other user fields to be searchable in people picker could be very useful... 


The challenge is just SharePoint, - when he searches for a specific user - by the name - a "wrong" email is served on that user - I can't see how he can solve this challenge. 


All the AD connect synced users, have a different email address, in one Tenant, their logon is their UPN - sure you can change this on the user and thereby reflect all the custom domains and the correct email address, but that still doesn't make them searchable by email in SPO.     


You can change a user's UPN in the Microsoft 365 admin center by changing the user's username or by setting a different email alias as primary. You can also change a user's UPN in the Azure AD admin center by changing their username. And you can change a UPN by using Microsoft PowerShell.     

@Taen keren 

Can you clarify both the architecture, and the issue? You are using AD Connect, but is this issue occuring in SP Online or are you using on prem? 


It sounds like you are referencing several different types of users in different tenants, who are having different experiences. I think more informationis required to understand the full setup and the issue in detail in order to be able to give you an answer that ill be helpful to you. 



My friend is the AD administrator in a Hybrid setup: Meaning they have One O365 Tenant and lot of various domains are registered in that tenant


All the user's mailboxes is still on their Exchange on-prem. 

All users are synced with AD Connect - with their UPN - - but that user on-prem Exchange mailbox is - does this help any?