During the configuration of a SharePoint 2013 Enterprise environment, I ran into an unexpected and original issue.  The day before, we had finished creating all of the Service Applications that were going to be necessary to meet their requirements; then we decided we do the configuration inside some of those applications the next morning, like Search, and my favorite–the User Profile Service Application.

So the next morning, we hook up to the projector and pull up Central Administration and go to the User Profile Service Application.  As always, our first step was to create the Synchronization Connection so that we can connect to Active Directory.  We went through the synchronization configuration, chose the appropriate AD containers, and selected ok.  No errors, no issues, perfect as it could have been.  However, after it finished creating, there was no option available to edit the connection.


To verify if there was more going on than just the inability to edit the connection, I kicked off a Full Synchronization; it seemed to run but no users imported into SharePoint.  So I then pretty much started from scratch in regards with the install and configuration in my head to see if I had forgotten anything, or if anything occurred out of the norm.

Things I checked\verified:

  • Permissions (Web Application, Local Admin, etc.)
  • User Profile Services started
  • Account that was being utilized
  • Verified port 389 was not being blocked
  • Verified Delegate Control for the profile account in Active Directory
  • Checked for orphaned service applications
  • Checked to see if anyone had reported a similar issue with the March 2013 Public Update and October 2013 Cumulative Update
  • Compared environment with another environment that I had just finished building a few days prior, and they were identical–even down to the service applications being utilized.
  • Contacted a couple of my partnering companies and asked if they could inquire from their administrators if they had seen anything like this or had an idea.  They stated I had verified everything they would have and have no other ideas.  They are patiently waiting to read this blog :).

So I was pretty much at the end of my rope and trying to figure out what was causing this environment to act so much differently than all the other SharePoint 2013 environments I have built; I have done a ton of them in the last six months.  Then luckily, I overheard someone mention server updates, but not in relation to this environment, so it got me wondering if by chance some type of an update had been released that caused this.

To test my theory I ran Windows Update on the previous environment I mentioned but only installed the  Windows Server related ones, and the environment still worked as it should.  I then initiated the remainder of the updates, which were IE updates, and then it happened.  I could no longer edit the Synchronization Connection in that environment.  Version of Internet Explorer being used was:


So now I have 2 environments with the same issue!  Oddly enough, I was happy about this.  To double check my theory, I then opened Central Administration using Chrome and Firefox and as you can see below, the ability to edit is available.


After comparing two systems’ IE settings (one that worked and one that didn’t), I literally didn’t see any differences.  The differences I did see, I changed to make the identical with no luck…yes I was grasping at straws.  I then decided to check the Compatibility View Settings and the list was empty–which is what I expected.  So I figured it was worth at try…


After adding the website to the compatibility view list, I closed out of all my IE windows and then opened Central Administration, and then to the User Profile Service Application, and then to the Synchronization Connection and look what I see….  Yes it is now editable!!


My final words in regards to this issue is that sometimes Windows and IE updates are useful and solve issues detrimental to a successful server farm implementation.  However, on the other hand, they can be the center of all frustrations and make you wonder why you put yourself through this :).  Then I just tell myself you have to take the bad with the good.  Hope this helps!