Person fields not pulling data from AD

Brass Contributor

Hi !


We have an Employee Directory in SharePoint. It's very simple - it's a list, and it is supposed to pull data like Title, Office, Mobile Phone, Work Phone, Email Address etc. from Active Directory into each column. The columns are set to "Person or Group", and are mapped to each of the corresponding data points. 


Mobile Phone refuses to update. All the other columns work great, but the column linked to "Mobile Phone" always comes up blank, even though the majority of our users have mobile phones entered into the Mobile Phone field in Active Directory. Yes, I've double-checked that the field is filled in with the person's name, so it's not a matter of missing data. 


I've tried adding this column to several lists in both modern & classic SP, and the result is the same in every list. This one stupid piece of data just refuses to populate. 


Any ideas of what I can try to force this? 





13 Replies
Have you checked the field itself, what is it puling from AD? The mobile phone field is just "mobile" need to make sure that's mapped correctly.

I haven't, but I'm not sure how to go about doing that. The "Mobile Phone" options is a dropdown when you create a Person column in SP online. I'm not sure where to go to see where it's pulling from. 

@Caite Stevens 


Can you provide more information on how you created this list?  I am attempting to do the same. I created a new list and I have a couple of fields (Name, Department, Title, etc.) Each setup as Person/Group.  When I create a new item (employee), I can start by typing in their name which works, but the other fields do not populate the additional information.  Would love to hear how you go this working.  Thanks. 


@Jeff Harlow 

As long as that info is in AD, it should pull through. I'm on SP online, which may be the difference - when I add a Person, I'm given the below options for what I want displayed in that field:



@Caite Stevens  Yes. That information is in AD (Azure AD). What I have noticed is that I have to select that name in each of the fields (Title, Work Phone, etc.) It does not auto populate all of the fields based on the name field which is how data fetching usually works.  Did you witness the same?  Also, I noticed like you did, the Mobile Phone does not work.  I have the data there and confirmed it in Azure AD but it simply will not populate that data.  I am using SPO. 



The People Field in SharePoint is an interesting field... it doesn't pull directly from AD per se.

There is a hidden list on every site collection called the "User Information List". This list contains all of the users that have been added to a site collection. It includes the properties from their user profile in Active Directory.

The People Picker first checks to see if the Person in the Person/Group field exists in the User Information List. If it does, it uses the values from this list for the "Show Field". However, if the user is missing from this list, it retrieves the user information from AD and adds the user to the site collection User Information List. 

Theoretically, this list should update from a timer job in SharePoint... but it's extremely common that it does not update correctly. You'll likely find blogs on how to remove/re-add users to this list and/or re-sync the values from AD. I actually don't know how often it is supposed to run in SharePoint Online.

It's crazy to think that SharePoint online, especially modern web parts use these old school pieces of original SharePoint tech. You would think they would update or have that webpart pull from graph at least :).

@Chris Webb 


It's frustrating because if we are using SP as an intranet, one of the first things people want to see is an Employee Directory, and clicking on Delve or Teams /org doesn't cut it as a replacement.

well, again, searching for people works well now, but if the directory is a must the power app approach is easy and solves the issue better than trying to maintain a static people list.
Sounds like I'm going to have to learn how to do that!
Yeah it's not too hard. If you go create a powerapp under new app there is already a template for mobile employee directory / org browser, you can either use that one as is or use the logic and compare it to build a table size / bigger size version of it, but at least you can see how the app works from the mobile template version.

I am experiencing the same problem in SharePoint 2019. A simple list of contacts contains three columns: Name, Department, and Phone. All 3 columns are of type Person or Group. When we add an item to the list, we pick the person in all 3 fields. For the Name column, the Show field is set to "Name (with presence)". For Department, "Department". For the Phone column, the Show field is set to "WorkPhone". The Name and Department fields display ok but the WorkPhone field is blank. I verified the WorkPhone field is populated correctly in AD and also in the User Profile Service which is synchronizing from AD. I note the WorkPhone field is not available in the hidden User Information List. This worked fine in SharePoint 2013. Is there a bug?

Did you find any solution to this even I am facing the same issue