This all started as a request from a client to hide only certain users from the people search. I’ve decided on this route because the management interface already exists to update user profiles and it would be very little work to add a user profile property, get it crawled and use that as the filter in the people search results webpart. Below I will explain how I was able to accomplish this in Office 365 but the same would work for a SharePoint 2013 on prem.

Update 1/28/2017 – I was able to test and in order for Office 365 search to pick up a newly created user profile property you must set the value of that property in at least 1 user profile. Running the reindex-user.sp1 script located here will also ensure that that a full crawl happens (relatively soon somewhere between 0-8hrs possibly?)

Update 1/25/2017 – There have been many comments about Office 365 not picking up the new field. I am still evaluating the exact steps but this takes time. I recently was able to get Office 365 to pickup the custom field last night using > reindex-users.ps1 script. I believe that this is what made it happen but i need more time to test.

How To

In Office 365 -> SharePoint Administration -> User Profiles

Click “Manage User Properties” under the People Group

Click “New Property”

Set the following properties (everything else leave be)

Name: HideFromPeopleSearch

Display Name: HideFromPeopleSearch

Policy Setting: Optional

Default Privacy Settings: Everyone

Search Settings -> Alias [checked]

-> Indexed [checked]

Click “OK”

Wait some amount of time for O365 to index the User Profiles and retrieve this new field.

!!! for O365 users !!! – You must set this property on at least 1 user profile before it will be picked up by the crawl. I also recommend running this script ‘reindex-users.ps1’ > will also ensure that that a full crawl happens (relatively soon somewhere between 0-8hrs possibly?)

** for on prem users – kick off a FULL search crawl of your people content source**


You’ll know it’s ready when you can find the new Property in the Search Schema, Crawled Properties.

From the Admin Center click “search” in the left hand menu

Click “Manage Search Schema”

Click “Crawled Properties”

Enter “Hide” in the Crawled properties search box, then click the green arrow

You will see the property appear in the search results when the property has been successfully crawled.

Next you will need to create a “Managed Property”, Click On the “Managed Properties” link

Click “New Managed Property”

Enter the following information:

Property Name: HideFromPeopleSearch

Type: Text

Queryable: Checked

Retrieveable: Checked

Add Property Mapping -> People:HideFromPeopleSearch

Click Add A Mapping

Enter “Hide” in the search box, click the Find button

Select “People:HideFromPeopleSearch”, click the OK button

Leave all the other properties as-is, click OK

You will now have to wait until Office 365 runs a full crawl on your site for the property to become available in search. When this action takes place is unknown. (I’ve head 4 hours)

** for on prem users – kick off a FULL search crawl of your site content source**

Next go to the people search page

Edit the page and Edit the Web Part Properties of the People Search Core Results

Click Change Query

In the Property Filter drop down select –Show all managed properties–

Select HideFromPeopleSearch

Select “Not equals” then “Manual Value”

Enter “True” for the Manual Value

Next Click Add property filter

Click OK

Click OK in the People Search Core Results, Web Part Properties pane

Save, Check-In & Publish your page – All Set!

To manage users it’s as easy as using the User Profile Service Application, searching for a user’s profile and checking a box to save. Watch the video if you are note sure about that –

Remember it won’t be instantly removed – it will take a crawl of the people source for those changes to make it to the site!!!

About the Author

Developer, Designer, Thinker, Problem Solver, Office Servers and Services MVP, & Collaboration Director @ SoHo Dragon.

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