Adding Active Directory Accounts to SharePoint

One of the most common questions when someone starts to use SharePoint is how to add users. What most people don’t understand is that SharePoint actually does not provide a way to authenticate or control password accounts. SharePoint will actually depends on Active Directory (AD) (or whatever methodology you provide) where that information is held and controlled. You can have hundreds of user accounts in AD but they won’t be in your SharePoint farm until you specifically add them.

Active Directory Part

As an example here we have our sharepoint.local domain with our demo users.

Now if we select the location of the users we can add a user by clicking: Action>New>User

Add users example

Here we can see the New User Object window. Fill this out with the relevent information. I used a ‘Jane Doe’ example.

New User Object

The next window will be the password data. Enter the password you want for the account. Check to make sure it meets your AD environment’s password complexity requirements. I typically will clear the ‘User must change password at next logon’ option since there is no built in way for SharePoint to reset the password. I check the ‘User cannot change password’ and ‘Password never expires’. Select which ever options you feel comfortable.

New user password window

Once this completed there will be a user object in the account called ‘Jane Doe’. Now that this is complete we can log into SharePoint and create a link to this AD account so that SharePoint recognizes the account.

SharePoint Section

Note: if you need to add these AD accounts to SharePoint 2010 follow this: Adding Active Directory Accounts to SharePoint 2010

Next, log onto your server with appropriate administrator right to add SharePoint accounts and click: Site Actions>Site Settings>Users and Permissions>People and groups. You will land on this page.

People and Groups page

We can see that by default we land into the ‘Members’ group. By default there are three groups in a SharePoint site.

  • Members: This group can add/delete thier own content to the SharePoint site
  • Visitors: This group can only read from the SharePoint site
  • Owners: This is can add/delete all content and perform some administrative functionality

To add our existing ‘Jane Doe’ we need to press ‘New’. Add in the appropriate user account information.

Add User Screen

From this windows you can options you can select and press OK:

  • Group membership
  • Initial E-Mail greeting

You now have a AD account that is part of your SharePoint site.


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