I got a question today from someone at one of my clients about how the All People page works. This is the page found at:
Here’s the question:
I’ve noticed that in the All People page of my department site, accessible from the People And Groups section, some users are listed with the Created By property equal to their name. These users have no permission on the site, they do not belong to any group.
Is it because the domain group NT AUTHORITY\authenticated users has read access to the site?
By the way, what’s the behavior of the All People page?
Are users added as soon as they access one of the site pages?
Here’s what’s going on. The first time that you “touch” a user or a user “touches” the Site Collection, they are added to a hidden list (from the View All Site Content page, anyway) at the root of the Site Collection called the User Information List. The All People page — or any other views you create there — is just a view into the items in that list.
So what you see in the Created column is when that “touch” occurred. If you see the user’s own name in the Created By column, then they were added to the User Information List by visiting the Site Collection themselves (therefore “touching” it). If you see someone else’s name in the Created By column, then it is showing the first person who added that person to an object contained in the Site Collection, like including the person in a list item, or by granting them specific permissions, etc.
Note that in SharePoint 2010, the All People link has gone missing. However, it just so happens that I saw a post entitled “All People” view in SharePoint 2010 from my pal Geoff Varosky (@gvaro) yesterday showing that you can add it back in, should you want to. You can also simply access the All People view by appending
/_layouts/people.aspx?MembershipGroupId=0 to the URL.