Add property to SharePoint user profile and map SharePoint managed property

Add property to SharePoint user profile and map SharePoint managed property

When adding extra queries or views to the People Directory widget, you'll use SharePoint managed properties to filter on. You can use one of the default SharePoint user profile properties and a default SharePoint managed property. To have more control, you can add a custom property to the SharePoint user profiles and map a custom SharePoint managed property. This article describes how to add these. 


  • You need to be a SharePoint administrator in your Office 365 tenant.
  • A good understanding of the SharePoint Admin Center.

Add custom User Property to the SharePoint User Profiles

  • Open the SharePoint Admin Center and click on User Profiles in the left menu.
  • Click on Manage User Properties.

    Manage SharePoint user profile properties
  • Click on New Property.
  • Type a Name, e.g. ShowinPeopleDirectory. This field is used for admin or internal purposes, please do not use any spaces or "-".
  • Type a friendly Display Name, e.g. 'Show in People Directory'.
  • Choose the correct Type, e.g. boolean or string.

    Choose the correct Type
  • Scroll down to Default Policy Settings and change the value to 'Everyone'.

    Set the Default Privacy Setting to Everyone
  • Leave the other settings unchanged and click on OK to save the new property.

Trigger SharePoint to create a Crawled Property

  • Click on User Profiles in the left menu.
  • Click on Manage User Profiles.
  • Search for any existing user.
  • Click on the found user and click on Edit My Profile.
  • Fill in a value in the newly created property. E.g. select the checkbox for Show In People Directory.
  • Go to Manage User Profiles and fill in the newly created property to one of your users. 
  • Click on Save and Close.
These steps will trigger SharePoint to create a crawled property for the newly created user profile property (this can take up to 48 hours).

Please wait 48 hours in order to continue with the following steps.

Add a custom Managed Property

  • Open the SharePoint Admin Center and click on Search in the left menu.
  • Click on Manage Search Schema.

    Open Manage Search Schema
  • in the tab Managed Properties, click on New Managed Property.
  • Fill in a Property Name. Please do not use "-". This name will be used when adding extra queries and views to the People Directory widget in the CMS.
  • Choose the correct Type. This type should match the type of the SharePoint user profile property. E.g. select 'Text' for user profile properties with the type 'String' and select 'Yes/No' for user profile properties with the type 'Boolean'.

    Add a Managed Property
  • Select the following options:
    • Queryable
    • Retrievable
    • Token Normalization
      Select the options Queryable, Retrievable and Token Normalization
  • Click on Add a Mapping at 'Mappings to crawled properties'.
  • At 'Search for a crawled property name', enter (a part of) the name of the SharePoint user profile property, e.g. 'ShowInPeopleDirectory'.
  • The property will be shown as People:[PropertyName], e.g. 'People:ShowInPeopleDirectory'. Please note that you will only find the property once SharePoint has finished crawling.
  • Click OK to add the mapping.
  • Click OK to save the new managed property.
 Note: When you want to make this property refinable, use an existing refinable property. 

Start editing your profiles

Once you've finished the steps above you can start populating the newly added user profile properties with the desired values. After editing a user profile, SharePoint Online will re-index the specific profile, including the newly added properties. Therefore it's important to first add the managed property and map it to the user profile property before you start editing the profiles! 

Automation of filling user profiles properties

Of course it is a bit cumbersome to manually add the desired property values to all user profiles. You can use PowerShell scripts to automate these actions. Many are available on the internet. Please consult us if needed.
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