SharePoint 2010: Exposing the User Information List

There are times when working with SharePoint that we want to make use of the User Information List beyond what SharePoint has been designed for.  However, when trying to work with the list in SharePoint Designer 2010 when trying to access the list we get the msCryptic that:

SharePoint designer cannot display the content of this view

Yet, I am able to bring up the list in a browser without issue.  This is due to the fact that in SharePoint 2010, the list is not editable and we cannot add anything to the User Information List.  In order to “fix” this issue (and I won’t go into the security issues of doing this at this time) we can rely on our trusty PowerShell bag of tricks.

In order to unhide the list so it’s usable within the UI, try running this PowerShell script:

$WebUrl = "http://sharepoint"
$ListName = "User Information List"
$OpenWeb = Get-SPWeb $WebUrl
$List = $OpenWeb.Lists[$ListName]
$List.Hidden = $false
$List.Update()

After running this, you are now able to add columns to the User Information List and create lookup columns from the data.

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