Configure My Sites in SharePoint Server

APPLIES TO: yes2013 yes2016 yes2019 noSharePoint Online

This article describes how to set up My Sites in SharePoint Server. Like other tasks in SharePoint Server, there are multiple ways to complete a task. This article provides ordered tasks with prerequisites and procedures to help you set up My Sites in your enterprise.

Before you set up My Sites, ensure that you understand the concepts and terminology in Overview of My Sites in SharePoint Server and Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server.

We recommend that you perform all of the procedures in the order listed for best results, although not all of them are required.

Prerequisites

Because My Sites have dependencies on other service applications and features in SharePoint Server, ensure that you meet the prerequisites in this section before you perform the procedures in this task.

Note

My Sites are hosted by a web application and rely on a User Profile service application. Both are described in this section. My Sites also requires a managed metadata service application. We recommend that you also have a Search service application to use with My Sites, but this is not required. Without the Search service application, some My Sites functionality is affected. For more information, see Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server.

Web application

Although you can use an existing web application, for optimal performance and security, we recommend that you create the My Site host site collection in a dedicated web application. For more information, see Create a web application in SharePoint Server.

Important

If a My Site host site collection was created during initial deployment and configuration, we recommend that you do not use it because it was created in the default web application. Delete this site collection, and create a new web application that is dedicated to hosting My Sites. Then create a new My Site host site collection in the dedicated web application.

User Profile service application and profile synchronization

Ensure you have a User Profile service application that you want to use for My Sites.

Important

Although the Create New User Profile service application dialog box requests information in the My Site Host URL and Personal Site Location sections, for this task, remove any default values and leave those fields blank when you create the User Profile service application. Additionally, you can select any of the options in Site Naming Format. These settings will be configured separately later in this task.

Note

This section only applies to SharePoint Server 2013. > Optionally, configure profile synchronization if you want to synchronize user and group profile information that is stored in the SharePoint Server 2013 profile database with profile information that is stored in a directory service or business system.

Create a My Site host site collection

The My Site host site collection is a site collection that uses the Enterprise site template named My Site Host. This site collection must be created in the web application that you want to host My Sites. Generally, this site collection can be created at the root path of the web application, although it can be created as an explicit inclusion managed path deeper in the URL as long as there is a site collection created at the web application root. For more information about how to select the path for the My Site host collection, see Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server.

To create a My Site host site collection

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:
  • To create a My Site host site collection, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators group on the computer running the SharePoint Central Administration website or a service application administrator for the services related to My Sites. If you are a service application administrator, you must also have permission to create site collections in the web application that you dedicate to host My Sites.
  1. In Central Administration, click Application Management, and then click Create site collections.

  2. On the Create Site Collection page, in the Web Application section, ensure that the selected web application is the web application that you want to host My Sites. If it is not, expand the list, and then click Change Web Application. In the Select Web Application dialog box, select a different web application.

  3. In the Title and Description section, type a title and description for the site collection.

  4. In the Web Site Address section, select the URL where you want this site collection created. Generally, you should use the default path (which is displayed as / in the user interface), which is the root of the web application. For more information about this path, see My Sites architecture in Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server.

  5. In the Template Selection section, on the Enterprise tab, click My Site Host.

  6. In the Primary Site Collection Administrator section, and optionally in the Secondary Site Collection Administrator section, type an account in the format domain\username to specify an administrator for the site collection.

  7. Optionally, in the Quota Template section, select a quota template for the My Site host site collection. This quota template does not affect the individual site collections that users create for their My Sites. For more information, see Planning for storage requirements in Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server.

  8. Click OK. Copy this site collection URL for later reference.

Add a wildcard inclusion managed path to the web application

The wildcard inclusion managed path is the path under which separate site collections are created for a user's My Site. Creation of the site collection occurs the first time that a user views the user's My Site. This functionality is available only when self-service site creation is also enabled. Enabling self-service site creation is discussed later in this article.

To add a wildcard inclusion managed path to the web application

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:
  • To add managed paths, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators group on the computer running the SharePoint Central Administration website.
  1. In Central Administration, click Application Management, and then click Manage Web applications.

  2. On the Web Applications Management page, select the web application that you created to host My Sites.

  3. On the Web Applications tab, in the Manage group, click Managed Paths.

  4. In the Define Managed Paths dialog box, in the Add a New Path section, in the Path box, type the path that you want to append to the URL namespace, and then select Wildcard inclusion. For example, if your web application URL is http://mysites.contoso.com/ and you want users' individual site collections created under a path named "personal", type personal in the Path box. Separate My Sites site collections will be created for each user under http://mysites.contoso.com/personal/.

  5. Click Add Path, and then click OK.

  6. Copy this managed path for later reference.

Connect the web application to service applications

The web application that hosts My Sites must be connected to service applications in SharePoint Server. The User Profile service application is required for My Sites. The managed metadata service application and Search service application are highly recommended. For more information, see My Sites architecture in Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server.

Additionally, if you have other SharePoint sites from which you want users to be able to access their My Site and About Me links from the upper-right corner menu, connect the web applications of those sites to the User Profile service application.

To connect the web application to service applications

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:
  • To connect a web application to a service application, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators group on the computer running the SharePoint Central Administration website.
  1. In Central Administration, in the Application Management section, click Manage Web applications.

  2. On the Web Applications Management page, select the web application that you created to host My Sites.

  3. On the Web Applications tab, in the Manage group, click Service Connections.

  4. In the Configure Service Application Associations dialog box, in the Edit the following group of connections list, select default if the default group contains the service applications that you want to connect to the web application.

  • If you choose [Custom], select any service applications to which you want to connect the web application, including the User Profile service application, the managed metadata service application, and the Search service application.
  1. Click OK.

Enable self-service site creation for the web application

Self-service site creation enables the automatic creation of a separate site collection for users when they first view their My Site.

To enable self-service site creation for the web application

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:
  • To enable self-service site creation, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators group on the computer running the SharePoint Central Administration website.
  1. In Central Administration, in the Application Management section, click Manage Web applications.

  2. On the Web Applications page, select the web application that you created to host My Sites.

  3. On the Web Applications tab, in the Security group, click Self-Service Site Creation.

  4. In the Self-Service Site Creation Management dialog box, in Site Collections, select On. Optionally, in Quota template to apply, select a quota template.

  5. In Start a Site for SharePoint Server 2013 and 2016 or Site Creation in SharePoint Server 2019, any option may be selected, including hiding the Self-Service Site Creation process from the user.

  6. Click OK to finish.

Perform these additional steps to configure permissions for users to create team sites from their My Sites to use site feeds.

  1. In the Policy group, click Permission Policy.

  2. On Manage Permission Policy Levels dialog box, click Add Permission Policy Level.

  3. Type a name for the permission policy.

  4. Under Permissions, in Site Permissions, select the Grant option for Create Subsites - Create subsites such as team sites, Meeting Workspace sites, and Document Workspace sites.

  5. Click Save.

  6. In the Policy group, click User Policy.

  7. On Policy for Web Application dialog box, click Add Users.

  8. On Add Users, in Zones select (All Zones), then click Next.

  9. In Choose Users, enter the user names of the users that you want to create team sites from their My Site to use site feeds. If all users can create team sites from their My Site to use site feeds, click the Browse icon. In Select People and Groups, click All Users, then click Everyone. Click Add, and then click OK.

  10. In the Choose Permissions section, select the name of the Permission Policy created previously.

  11. Click Finish, and then click OK.

Configure My Site settings for the User Profile service application

After you have a My Site host site collection and wildcard inclusion managed path configured for My Sites, you can update the My Sites settings in the User Profile service application. Most of these settings are configured during initial deployment and only change infrequently during maintenance operations afterward.

To configure My Site settings for the User Profile service application

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:
  • To configure My Site settings for the User Profile service application, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators group on the computer running the SharePoint Central Administration website or a service application administrator for the User Profile service application.
  1. In Central Administration, in the Application Management section, click Manage service applications.

  2. Click the User Profile service application that you connected to the web application hosting My Sites earlier in this task.

  3. On the Manage Profile Service page, in the My Site Settings section, click Setup My Sites.

  4. On the My Sites Settings page, in the Preferred Search Center section, specify settings for the search center to direct users to when they search for people or documents from their About Me profile page. If you do not have a search center set up yet, you can skip this step and complete it later. For more information, see Search service application in Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server.

  5. In the My Site Host section, type the URL of the My Site host site collection that you created earlier in this task.

  6. The My Site Host URL in Active Directory section uses Exchange Autodiscover to allow client and mobile phone applications to find a user's SharePoint Server 2016 My Site.

  7. In the Personal Site Location section, type the wildcard inclusion managed path you configured earlier in this task. By default, personal is prepopulated in the box. However, if you chose a different path for your wildcard inclusion managed path, replace personal with your path.

  8. In the Site Naming Format section, select a naming format for the My Sites site collections that will be created when users view their My Sites for the first time. For more information about these formats, see My Sites architecture in Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server.

  9. In the Language Options section, there is an option to specify whether users can select a preferred language for their My Site. However, the current behavior is to default to the installation language for SharePoint. My Sites architecture in Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server

Note

This section is not present in SharePoint Server 2019.

  1. In the Read Permission Level section, specify the users or groups that can view other users' My Sites when they are created. By default, this includes all authenticated users. However, you can select a more specific group or users depending on the needs of your deployment.

  2. In the Security Trimming Options section, specify how system generated posts are checked for permissions before they are displayed in feeds and on the Tags and Notes page.

  3. In the Newsfeed section, enable system generated posts to the feed on My Sites by selecting Enable activities in My Site newsfeeds. This option is selected by default. This is important in hosted environments where tenants can share the same User Profile service but have different requirements on whether they can enable newsfeeds for their users.

  4. In the E-mail Notifications section, specify an email address to use as the sender email address for My Site email notifications. This account does not have to be a real monitored email address. If you want to receive notifications for newsfeed activities, such as replies to your posts or when someone follows you, select Enable newsfeed email notifications.

    Important

    You must add the IP address of the farm's outbound SMTP server to the safe list in Exchange Server 2013 to prevent My Site email notifications from being sent to the Junk folder.

  5. In the My Site Cleanup section, specify a new owner of a My Site if the existing My Site user is removed from the profile database. For example, if a user leaves the company and is no longer in the profile database, the user's My Site will be deleted together with any content. However, before it is deleted, a new owner can recover any important content. Select Enable access delegation for the My Site cleanup job to first attempt to assign ownership of the My Site to the user's manager. If no manager is found, the My Site is assigned to the user specified in Secondary Owner. The new owner has two weeks to retrieve content from the My Site before it is deleted.

  6. In the Privacy Settings section, select Make My Sites Public to make all users' My Sites public. This option is not selected by default.

    Note

    When a user's My Site is public, the user's list of followers, the user's list of people they are following, and all activities (including new follow notifications, social tagging and rating of content, birthdays, job title changes, workplace anniversary, updating Ask Me About, posting on a note board, and new blog posts) will be public. Any policies set within People and Privacy on the Manage Policies page is overridden.

  7. Click OK.

For more information about additional timer jobs for My Sites, see Planning for jobs and schedules in Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server.

Enable the User Profile Service Application - Activity Feed Job

The User Profile Service Application - Activity Feed Job creates system generated posts in the feeds for the following events:

  • Following a tag

  • Tagging an item

  • Birthday celebration

  • Job title change

  • Workplace anniversary

  • Updates to Ask Me About

  • Posting on a note board

After you configure My Sites, enable the User Profile Service Application - Activity Feed Job so that users receive system generated posts in the Newsfeed on their My Sites.

There are other timer jobs related to My Sites that you might want to review and change default settings for. For more information about jobs related to My Sites functionality, see Planning for jobs and schedules in Plan for My Sites in SharePoint Server.

To enable the User Profile Service Application - Activity Feed Job

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:
  • To configure timer jobs, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators group on the computer running the SharePoint Central Administration website.
  1. In Central Administration, click Monitoring, and then click Review job definitions.

  2. On the Job Definitions page, in the View list, select Service. The Service list appears.

  • If the Service list does not display User Profile Service, in Service, click No selection, then click Change Service. On the Select Service page, use the arrows in the upper-right corner to locate User Profile Service, and then click it. The Job Definitions page updates with the User Profile service jobs.
  1. Click the activity feed job for the User Profile service application that you created in Prerequisites earlier in this article. The job name is in the format User_Profile_service_name - Activity Feed Job, where User_Profile_service_name is the name that you specified for your User Profile service application.

  2. On the Edit Timer Job page, in the Recurring Schedule section, select the interval that you want the job to run. Available intervals are Minutes, Hourly, Daily, Weekly, and Monthly. Selecting a shorter interval, such as Minutes or Hourly, ensures that activities appear on users' My Site newsfeeds more frequently. However, it increases load on the system depending on how many activities are available. Selecting a longer interval, such as Daily, Weekly, or Monthly, reduces the number of times the job runs and processes feeds. However, it also means that users receive less frequent updates to activities in their newsfeeds.

  3. Click Enable.

  4. Optionally, click Run Now to run the job immediately without waiting for the next scheduled interval.

Next steps

After you configure My Sites by using the procedures in this article, consider whether you require the following optional procedures:

Configure trusted My Site host locations

Trusted My Site Host Locations is an optional feature that prevents a user from creating more than one My Site in an organization with multiple User Profile service applications.

User Profile service application administrators can add links to trusted My Site host locations when they want to give users access to My Sites on multiple User Profile service applications. In most cases, links to trusted My Site host locations will be targeted to individual users or groups of users based on an identified business need. The links can be maintained and changed over time as business and user needs change. User Profile service application administrators can delete a link to a trusted My Site host locations when the users targeted by the link no longer require access to My Sites in multiple locations.

To add a trusted My Site host location by using Central Administration

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:
  • To use Central Administration to add a trusted My Site host location, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators group or a Service Application Administrator for the User Profile service application.
  1. On the Central Administration Web site, under Application Management, click Manage service applications.

  2. On the Manage Service Applications page, select the User Profile service application from the list of service applications.

  3. On the ribbon, click Manage.

  4. On the Manage Profile Service page, under My Site Settings, click Configure Trusted Host Locations.

  5. On the Trusted My Site Host Locations page, click New Link to add a trusted My Site host location.

  6. On the Add Trusted Host Location page, enter the URL of the trusted personal site location in the URL box.

  7. In the Description box, enter a description for the trusted personal site location.

  8. Optionally, in the Target Audiences box, either type the user names or group names in the corresponding box or click Browse to select audiences by browsing, and then click OK.

Users' My Sites are convenient locations for users to save files that they work on in Office client applications, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. After you configure an environment for My Sites, you can add a link to the Favorite Links section that users see when they save documents in the Save As dialog box in Office client applications. Users can then select their My Site and save files to the Documents library available on their My Site.

To add a link to Office client applications

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:
  • To add a link to Office client applications, you must be a member of the Administrators group on the computer that is running the SharePoint Central Administration Web site.
  1. On the Central Administration Web site, under Application Management, click Manage service applications.

  2. On the Manage Service Applications page, select the User Profile service application from the list of service applications.

  3. On the ribbon, click Manage.

  4. On the Manage Profile Service page, under My Site Settings, click Publish Links to Office Client Applications.

  5. On the Published links to Office client applications page, click New Link.

  6. On the Add Published Link page, in the URL box, type the URL of the location where users will be able to publish links.

  7. In the Description box, type a brief name for this location.

    This is the name that will appear in the Favorite Links section of the Save As dialog box.

  8. Select the type of the location that this link represents. For example, if the target location is a SharePoint document library, select Document Library.

  9. In the Target Audiences box, either type the name of the user or group to add or using the address book to find a user or group to add. Separate multiple user names or group names with a semicolon (;). You may also type All site users to select all users.

    Note

    To use the address book, click the book icon. In the dialog box that appears, type all or part of a user's name, and then press ENTER. Scroll through the search results, and double-click the name of the user or users whom you want to add. Then click OK.

  10. Click OK.

    The new link is displayed in the list of links on the Published links to Office client applications page.

If your organization wants to provide important information to users, it can do so by promoting a site link to a user's My Site. When you promote a site link, it appears on all the My Sites in the site collection. They can be used to display important company information. For instance, your organization might want to give users quick access to a timesheet. The destination of the link can be a site within the company intranet or an external site on the Internet.

Add promote a site link to My Sites

  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:
  • To use Central Administration to add a trusted My Site host location, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators group or a Service Application Administrator for the User Profile service application.
  1. On the Central Administration Web site, under Application Management, click Manage service applications.

  2. On the Manage Service Applications page, select the User Profile service application from the list of service applications.

  3. On the ribbon, click Manage.

  4. On the Manage Profile Service page, under My Site Settings, click Manage promoted sites.

  5. On the Promoted Sites page, click New Link.

  6. On the Promoted a Site page, in the Properties section, do the following:

  7. In the URL box, type the URL of the site to which you want to link.

  8. In the Description box, type a description of the site.

  9. In the Owner box, type the name of an owner for this link, or click Browse to select an owner from the People Picker.

  10. Leave Target Audiences blank.

    When you leave this box blank, the link that you specified in the URL box appears on the My Sites top link bar for all users.

    Note

    If you want to specify target audiences for the site, either type the audience names in the Target Audiences box or click Browse to use the Select Audiences page. This option requires that you define an audience, set up rules for this audience, and compile the audience.

  11. Click OK.

If the related services for My Sites have not been started yet, start them so that My Sites functionality is available in your environment. For more information, see Start or stop a service in SharePoint Server.