Does the attribute userPrincipalName (UPN) always exist for users in Active Directory? Can you specify the Active Directory versions where it is not created during creation of a user?

1 Answer 1


The User-Principal-Name attribute is only used within the User class. Note that the attribute is not marked mandatory.

The following Powershell example will create an AD user without a UPN:

Import-Module ActiveDirectory
New-ADUser -Name abUser

Observe that there is no UPN defined on the user object:

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  • Thanks for the answer (+1). I see than in my AD (2003) the UPN is always created. I see in the customer AD it is not exist. Do you know if the old versions of AD also create the attribute?
    – Michael
    Apr 30, 2013 at 12:35
  • 4
    @Michael When using Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in (dsa.msc) the UPN will almost certainly be auto-populated as part of the user creation process. Older versions of AD all the way back to 2000 (see the docs) defined the attribute. It seems more likely, to me, that a scripted/automated process may have been used to create the users lacking a defined UPN.
    – jscott
    Apr 30, 2013 at 12:43
  • 2
    To list all users without a UPN, do the following: Get-ADUser -LDAPFilter "(!userPrincipalName=*)" -- You could "fix" the missing UPNs with a Powershell one-liner if needed.
    – jscott
    Apr 30, 2013 at 12:55
  • @jscott - you're quite right, deleting my answer as its nonsense.
    – Rob Moir
    Apr 30, 2013 at 16:15

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