Orphaned User? Who are they?
Orphaned users are those who have been disabled/removed from Active Directory, but still have permissions to sites, lists and items. Internally, SharePoint keeps them in “UserInfo” table of the content database for meta-data such as created/modified by fields.
It’s unavoidable in any organization where employees constantly on-boarding and off-boarding. It’s really difficult to manage when it comes to thousands of sub-sites, sites, libraries, and lists with their own sets of permissions.
Why do we care about orphaned users?
It is a best practice to delete orphaned users to keep the farm clean & organized. Also, this will solve the problem of deleted active directory users still appearing on the people picker which was discussed here People Picker not showing users from Active Directory? . If you know the user base or criteria then you can use: Clean-up User Information List
Found only a few users and want to delete them?
Go to: http://YOUR-SHAREPOINT-SITE-URL/_layouts/people.aspx?MembershipGroupId=0
This will give the master list of users in the site collection, from here you can remove users who are no longer need by clicking “Remove Users from Site Collection”
If you know the orphaned user name (E.g. Employee left the Company), You can go to above URL Filter and delete the particular user. Alternatively, You can query the SQL Server table to find the orphaned users. Here is how:
Step 1. Open SQL Server Management Studio from SharePoint’s SQL box, and run this query for relevant content database.
SELECT * FROM [MOSS_Content_DatabaseName].[dbo].[UserInfo] WHERE tp_Login='DOMAIN\UserID'
Step 2. Take note of the tp_ID column value
Step 3. Go to http://<your sharepoint-site-collection/_layouts/userdisp.aspx?ID=tp_ID, where tp_ID is the number you found from the above select statement.
Step 4. This will take you to the user’s profile where you can click on the Delete User from Site Collection button.
However, it is not possible to manually check for SharePoint 2010 orphaned users and clean them, as it would take lot of time. Things become easier with PowerShell, Lets use it here to find & delete Orphaned users in SharePoint.
How to Find and Delete Orphaned Users in SharePoint using PowerShell?
Here is my script to Find and Delete Orphaned SharePoint Domain Users: Find and Delete Orphaned Users in SharePoint with PowerShell
Related Post: Remove all alerts assigned to Orphaned users: Find and Delete Orphaned Alerts in SharePoint