Why won’t a users’ new name that was changed in Active Directory show up in the sites within SharePoint 2010???

For whatever reason, this is a little tricky because of multiple levels of caching. But here is a quick run-down of how you get a name changed for a user in SharePoint 2010.

  1. If running User Profile Services (and you should) make sure a full sync has been performed. You should have this on a schedule so as to keep it up to date, but if not, run the full sync job and double-check the name has been updated in their profile within User Profile Services.
  2. Browse to the User Information List for the Site Collection in which the old name is displaying. At the root of the Site Collection, enter http[s]://[site]/[subsite, if necessary]/_catalogs/users/simple.aspx. (What I did long-term was created a new view called Admin that allowed me to view 1000 users at a time so as to quickly sort through the list and find them.)
  3. Find the users’ old name in the list.
  4. Select the drop-down next to the user and select Edit Item.
  5. Within the window that comes up, click Delete User From Site Collection.
  6. Now, go to Site Permissions within the site, search for the user from the user pick list (which should be showing the new name now) and add them (only temporarily). You can now remove them. This may seem strange, but what this does is caches the users’ profile information within the User Information List we first browsed to in step 2, but this time with the new name associated with the account.
  7. Repeat this step for every site collection where the old name is displaying.
  8. Have the user double-check that their name is now displaying correctly.