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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Create and Configure Accounts and Permissions in Active Directory Server

You need to apply all of these settings or your User Profile Service won’t work. To be able to complete this section, you will need full access to the Active Directory to perform AD-Forest based permission settings using the adsiedit tool

Step 1. Create Service Accounts in Active Directory.

We will need two accounts, one for the UPS application pool (we will call this sps_ups_pool) and one for the synchronization between SharePoint and Active Directory (we will call this sps_ups_sync).
These accounts should only have domain user rights (don’t listen to people stating you need local admin or worse – domain admin rights for these accounts). Also, these accounts need to have two flags enabled in AD: User  cannot change password and Password never expires.
Some SharePoint resources state that you should not check these options since Managed Accounts in SharePoint handle password changes etc. However this is incorrect, the User Profile Service does not work fully with the Managed Accounts and I have found that using them would causes headaches each time your Active Directory policies demand the service account to change the password.

Account properties window with two important flags enabled.
 Step 2 : Check The Farm Administrator Account Permissions

To successfully provision the User Profile Service, the farm admin account needs to be local administrator on all the SharePoint 2010 servers. You should check what account is your farm admin and give that user local admin rights –
remember to remove these permissions after you finish this tutorial and verify that UPS is provisioned.
To identify your Farm Admin account, go to Central AdministrationSecurityConfigure Service accounts option and select Farm Account from the menu.

Farm Account credentials configuration in Central Administration

As you can see, my farm admin account is ad\spssetup – so I will have to verify that this user belongs to the local administrators group on every SharePoint server in my farm before going forward with the tutorial.

Step 3 : Setup Active Directory Rights For The sps_ups_sync Account.

Now the most important part of the setup, and one which often causes issues when improperly configured.

Assign Replicating Directory Changes permission to sps_ups_sync account

Login to your AD Server and open up Active Directory Users and Computers console. Now right-click the Active Directory Server name and choose the Delegate Control option.

Active Directory Users and Computers console
On the informational screen click the Next button. Now you need to choose the account for delegation, click on the Add button and find the sps_ups_sync account.

Delegation Control window with sps_ups_sync account added
On the next setup screen, select the Create a custom task to delegate option and click next.

Custom task delegation selected

On the Active Directory Object Type window make sure that the This folder, existing objects in this folder, and creation of new objects in this folder option is selected and click Next.

Active Directory Object Type configuration
Next we should see the permissions setup window. You need to find the Replicating Directory Changes permission type. Do this with care since there are several other similar names. Also make sure that the General Checkbox is selected. The Property-Specific and Creation/Deletion of specific child objects should be unchecked.

Permissions window with the Replicate Directory Changes permission type selected
Now ensure that the proper permission is selected (verify with the screen above) and click Next. On the summary screen, just click Finish.

Now we need to add the same sps_ups_sync account to the AD Configuration container with the same permission set. To do this, press Windows + R buttons and type in: adsiedit.msc

If you do not have adsiedit (which is part of Windows Support tools),
go to and follow the instructions specific to your operating system.

In Adsiedit expand the Configuration tree node, right click on the CN=Configurationcontainer and select the Properties option.

Adsiedit window with CN=Configuration container properties just being selected
Next, go to the Security tab and click Add. If you have this button grayed-out, you probably need to change the ownership of this container. To do this, click the Advanced button, select the ownership tab and change the owner of this container to the administrators group or your current user. After changing the permission revert to the original owner if possible to prevent possible issues with system permissions to this container.
When you’ve clicked the Add button in the Security tab – you should add your synchronization account.

AdsiEdit Security Tab on Cn=Configuration main container
In the Permissions for Administrators section below the accounts list, find the Replicating Directory Changes and check the Allow option for our newly added sps_ups_sync account and click Apply.

Synchronization account permissions – Replicate Directory Changes checked.
You can close the Active Directory Users and Computers windows now and log off from the Active Directory Server. The permission configuration setup is completed.


  1. Hi, thenk you for this step-by-step setup tutorial.
    I was following every step, which make sense as far as it concerns the sync account. But you state that you need two accounts. The question would be where to use the second account(sps_ups_pool) and what rights it has in AD.

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