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Upload Profile Pictures to AD and Synchronize with SharePoint

You can use PowerShell or a custom .NET program to upload photos to AD, but there are actually free tools available to easily manage user pictures in AD. Below are the links to two tools I found on a blog while hunting down more information on an efficient way to get this to work. What is part of this blog:

  • Features of these tools
  • Links to resources for PowerShell or .NET experts who want to do this the hard way or have other requirements
  • Steps to Synchronize with SharePoint

    Free tools:



    • Single file upload
    • Bulk Upload (For bulk uploads, you can match photos based on name of file to name of person or other AD properties)
    • Uploads photos to outlook, sharepoint, or Lync (by uploading photos to the appropriate AD schema field)
    • Auto-crop for Outlook and AD: As outlook requires different dimensions, AD requires pictures to be < 100KB etc, these tools take care of all that

    Using PowerShell Instead:


    Synchronizing with SharePoint: (2010 or up)

    Follow the instructions laid out in the technet blog: http://blogs.technet.com/b/harmeetw/archive/2011/09/10/importing-thumbnail-photos-from-ad-active-directory-into-sharepoint-2010.aspx

    In short you have to run the powershell cmd-let (Update-SPProfilePhotoStore) after the profile synchronization is run in SharePoint central administration for the pictures to show up in SharePoint. For the life of me I can’t understand why this would not be part of the timer job that does the user profile sync (MS just figures a way out to make life harder than it should be!)


    I downloaded both tools, imported the pictures to AD and tested the synch with outlook, and SharePoint. Below are the results:

    1. Import into Active Directory: Very easy, no issues here. Tried single user and bulk import with both tools and they worked great.

    2. Synchronizing with SharePoint 2013: Walked through the technet article and had no issues with the pictures to show up on mysites, newsfeed, and micro-blogs on team sites

    3. Checked outlook and the pictures show up there as well cropped properly

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