Find and Delete Orphaned Alerts in SharePoint

Problem Description: In Short – When users leave your organization and removed from Active Directory (AD) they become orphans in SharePoint! Also their alerts!!

Why we care about them: To keep SharePoint clean, we’ve to remove em’ from all SharePoint sites. So, I’ve written a PowerShell script to scan all site collections of the web application, find and remove orphaned users from SharePoint here: Find and Delete Orphaned Users in SharePoint with PowerShell

Well, that solves the problem? kind of, but we have one more orphan to clean-up: SharePoint alerts created for orphaned users! Alright, Not a difficult task, Lets make use of the existing script, modify it little, run it before deleting orphaned users!

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

#Function to Check if a User exists in AD
function CheckUserExistsInAD()
	Param( [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [string]$UserLoginID )  
	#Search the User in AD
	$forest = [System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory.Forest]::GetCurrentForest()
	foreach ($Domain in $forest.Domains)
		$context = new-object System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory.DirectoryContext("Domain", $Domain.Name)
        $domain = [System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory.Domain]::GetDomain($context)
		$root = $domain.GetDirectoryEntry()
        $search = [System.DirectoryServices.DirectorySearcher]$root
        $search.Filter = "(&(objectCategory=User)(samAccountName=$UserLoginID))"
        $result = $search.FindOne()
        if ($result -ne $null)
           return $true
	return $false  

#Get All site collections of all web applications
$sites = Get-SPWebApplication | Get-SPSite -Limit All
#Iterate through each site collection
foreach($site in $sites)
	Write-Host "Processing Site:"$site.Url -ForegroundColor Magenta
	foreach($Web in $site.AllWebs)
		#Arrays to Hold Orphaned Alerts & Users
		$OrphanedAlerts = @()
		$AlertUsers  = @()
		#Get all Alerts created on the web
		$WebAlerts = $web.Alerts 
		#Get Unique Users from All Alerts 
		$AlertUsers = $web.Alerts | foreach { $_.User } | Select-Object -Unique

		#Check if any user with alerts is :Orphan!
		If($AlertUsers.length -gt 0)
			foreach($AlertUser in $AlertUsers)
				#Write-host "Checking User:"$AlertUser
				#Check if the user is valid - Not Orphan
				$UserName = $AlertUser.UserLogin.split("\")  #Get User Name from : Domain\UserName
				$AccountName = $UserName[1]    #UserName
					if ((CheckUserExistsInAD $AccountName) -eq $false)
			if($OrphanedAlerts.Length -gt 0) 
				Write-Host "Total No. of Orphaned Alerts Found:" $OrphanedAlerts.Length  -ForegroundColor Red
				#Delete each orphaned alert
				foreach ($OrphAlert in $OrphanedAlerts)
				write-host "`nOrphaned Alert:" $OrphAlert.ID" on "$web.Url "List:" $OrphAlert.ListUrl "User:"$OrphAlert.User
				Write-Host "Deleting Orphaned Alert..."

This PowerShell script scans and deletes all alerts created for Orphaned users. Please note, I’ve commented out the line:


Just run the script to see how many alerts on what lists & libraries, Un-comment the above line by removing the # to actually remove orphaned alerts in SharePoint.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

One thought on “Find and Delete Orphaned Alerts in SharePoint

  • any idea why getting below error

    Exception calling “GetDirectoryEntry” with “0” argument(s): “Unknown error (0x80005000)”
    At line:16 char:4
    + $root = $domain.GetDirectoryEntry()
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [], MethodInvocationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ActiveDirectoryOperationException

    Exception calling “GetDomain” with “1” argument(s): “The specified domain does not exist or cannot be contacted.”
    At line:15 char:10
    + $domain = [System.DirectoryServices.ActiveDirectory.Domain]: …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : NotSpecified: (:) [], MethodInvocationException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : ActiveDirectoryObjectNotFoundException


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