People Directory

People directory pulls information from Active Directory synced with Office 365 Directory.


Choosing user properties to display / and how many profiles show up
  1. Edit the page and access directory app properties


  1. Choose what users will see at each line underneath the user photo


NOTE: [Custom Field] refers to a managed property that can be displayed below all the other properties. Follow the section below [Advanced: Add a custom property to be displayed next to each employee] to see how to set this up.

You can choose how many user profile cards show up on the page. We recommend setting this to 25. But you can set the number up to 100 profiles per page.


Hiding users from directory list

If your user is no longer with the organization and you would like to hide them from the directory, follow these steps People Directory doesn't display some accounts / or displays disabled users

Otherwise, follow these steps.
The most common way to hide users is to assign them to a specific department and filter out this department.
For example, you may want to assign your user accounts to the department of “System Accounts” or “Meeting Rooms” or “Hidden.” (Note: avoid special characters in names, ex.: “Rooms & Resources”)

You can make this change using Azure AD ( or in your Office 365 Tenant Admin (

Note: it might take 48 hours for the department to propagate to SharePoint.

Once the new department is assigned and transferred to SharePoint:

  1. Access the properties of the People Directory app

  2. Use KQL syntax ( to create a query filter and filter out system accounts that can be grouped in a specific department.

For example, if you want to hide all users who have Department property set to Hidden, you can use the following syntax.

AND Department <> 'Hidden'

You can combine several exclusions. For example, the below filter will exclude users whose department is “System,” “Admin,” and whose last name is “Administrator”:

AND Department<>System AND Department<>Admin AND LastName<>Administrator

If you just need to hide one or two system or admin users, such as Foreign Principal for ‘Microsoft Support’ in Role ‘HelpdeskAdmins’ (Global Microsoft Support Tenant Contract) follow these steps:

  1. Access the People Directory app properties

  2. Specify the name of the user by their “PreferredName”, like this:

Note that you will need to enter the full “Preferred Name” for a given user. You can find its name by going here: https://[your-tenant]
and searching for their name. Once found, the PreferredName will show up as a “Name”, see below:


Updating user profile photos

Depending on the licensing of your tenant, the photo must be updated in two of the following ways:

  1. Click the profile icon at the top right-hand corner of your intranet.
  2. Click My Office profile
  3. Click on the blank photo icon in the profile and upload your photo


  1. Next, again, click the profile icon at the top right-hand corner of your intranet
  2. Click My account
  3. In the left -hand side panel, click the [Persona info] tab
  4. Ensure your photo is showing. If not, upload your photo there
    Once complete, Office 365 might take a minute to refresh the above two photos in the directory
Hide/show all directory user pictures

For the user’s photos to show up in the directory, the user must log in to office 365 and update their photo first.

You can disable the directory to show photos by access the Directory App properties and switching off the option to display photos:


Advanced: Pull employee pictures from Azure AD or SharePoint User Profile

As an administrator, you can choose to pull employee pictures from Azure AD or SharePoint User ProfileOffice 365 to be displayed in the staff directory.

This allows you to get pictures from Azure AD or SharePoint profile (which captures photos from multiple locations depending on your user’s licence).

To do that, access the staff directory app properties select your preference as shown here:

NOTE: If you prefer using Azure AD as a source for your directory photos, follow this extra step to set this up: Enabling People Directory to read pictures from Azure AD

NOTE: If you selected SharePoint user profile as a source for your photos but the photos don’t show up, check out these steps for troubleshooting: User profile pictures are not showing in People Directory but are showing in Azure AD

Advanced: Adding custom refiners to group users by

As an administrator, you can choose the refiners available to your employees to filter directory users by.

By default, the refiners will be Department and Location. But with the configuration described here, you can display any two refiners like this:


First, you will need to identify one or more user profile property in your User Profile Service Application:

  1. Navigate to SharePoint Admin center in your Office 365 tenant
  2. Access the User Profile Service. Direct link here: HTTP://[tenant_URL]
  3. Click [Manage user properties]
  4. Find the property you’d like to refine by, in our example [Division]
  5. Grab the name of the property. You will need it next.

Next, associate the property name to a RefinableString property in Search Service Application:

  1. Access the Search Service Application, direct link here: HTTPS://[tenant_URL]
  2. Click [Manage Search Schema]
  3. Search for the [RefinableString] managed property that doesn’t have any other property associated with it yet.
  4. Edit the suitable property and associate your chosen User Profile Property with it, in our case Division as you can see below:

Finally, open the Origami staff directory and configure the refiners:

  1. Edit the Staff Directory web Part
  2. Assign chosen refiners as follows:

In here we have assigned Division to RefinableString1 and Team to RefinableString2

  1. Set the display labels with a friendly text you’d like users to see when refining.
Advanced: Add a custom property to be displayed next to each employee

You can choose to display a custom searchable property for each employee by setting its value in the web part properties as Custom Field as shown below:

In this example, a department will be displayed for each user, if that user has the field populated.

Here is how to find an existing searchable field or create a new one:

  1. Access the Search Service Application, direct link here: HTTPS://[tenant_URL]
  2. Click [Manage Search Schema]
  3. Find existing or create a new managed property that will be used in the web part
    The property must have Retrieve and Safe attributes set, see below as an example:

NOTE: If you’re creating a brand new managed property and mapping it to your User Profile Property, you must ensure that that User Profile Property is set as [Indexed]. If you miss this step, the new property won’t be crawled by the SharePoint search and you won’t be able to map it to your managed property.

Advanced: Skills and Expertise search

You can display Skills, Projects, and other attributes from Delve profile right inside each employee’s profile.

You can use the Custom Field web part property to enter:

  • “Skills” - to show and enable search by skills employees have entered in Delve
  • “PastProjects” - similar to show “Projects” employees worked on and entered in Delve
  • “Interests” - similar to show “Interests” entered in Delve

This will also enable employees to use the search box to search by a particular skill, project, or interest.

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