Update ‘System Account’ user information on a stand alone SharePoint installation

If you’ve ever installed SharePoint in a stand alone SharePoint configuration, e.g. on a development machine on Windows 7, you’ll have noticed the user properties drop down by default shows ‘System Account’ as the current logged on user:


Although this does not cause any problems with the operation of SharePoint in a stand-alone install, when demonstrating SharePoint this can sometimes require explanation to the audience why System Account is displayed. It is actually displayed because the current user is logged on with the account used by the SharePoint app pool.

To change the display name show on the user properties drop down to something more friendly is easy with PowerShell:

## Load the SharePoint Snapin so the script can be executed from PowerShell editor
Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell –erroraction SilentlyContinue

## get the default web app
$web = Get-SPWeb http://bc01

## get the user info list
$l = $web.Lists | where { $_.Title -eq "User Information List" }

## get the system account item
$i = $l.Items | where { $_["Account"] -eq "SHAREPOINT\system" }

## update to a friendly name
$i["Title"] = "Brian Cartmel"

## update e-mail address
$i["Work e-mail"] = "your.email@your.domain.com"

## update the item

This results in the above being shown…


…and the following being updated in the into the (hidden) User Information list:


I hope this helps.