SharePoint People Picker – There was an error in the callback

When trying to configure the people picker to search a trusted domain I ran the command “STSADM.exe -o setproperty -pn peoplepicker-searchadforests -url http://servername” using the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell from the Central Administration server in our SharePoint farm.  I received the error:

“The Web application at http://servername could not be found.  Verfiy that you have typed the URL correctly.  If the URL should be serving existing content, the system administrator may need to add a new request URL mapping to the intended application.”

The error was strange because the web application URL I entered does exist.  I removed the URL parameter and ran the command again.  This time it ran without error.  To check the value I ran the command “STSADM.exe -o getproperty -pn peoplepicker-searchadforests”  This returned the value I expected.  However, when I tried to search for users from the remote domain nothing was returned.

I then connected to one of the Web Front End servers and ran “STSADM.exe -o getproperty -pn peoplepicker-searchadforests”.  Again, it returned the expected value.  I then ran the command with the URL parameter “STSADM.exe -o getproperty -pn peoplepicker-searchadforests -URL http://servername”  This didn’t return the expected value.

I realized that the initial command  “STSADM.exe -o setproperty -pn peoplepicker-searchadforests -url http://servername” needed to be run from the web front end server.  This time I didn’t receive the error about the web application not being found.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the end of the story as when I searched for a user I received the error “There was an error in the callback”.

People Picker


In order to fix this error I had to update the permissions on the registry key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\14.0\Secure” on each Web Front End server.  The local groups need the following  permssions:

WSS_WPG – Read



Having changed the permissions I was able to search.