I'm setting up a SP2013 development server (1-tier setup).

Right now I'm trying to get the user profiles setup to my liking. I imported user profiles from Active Directory. That gave me some 300 user profiles.

Now I would like to get the thumbnailPhoto to show in the user profile.

I can't get it to work, and I suspect it has something to do with my AD connection, or the My Sites configuration.

Not sure if this indicates a problem, but when I add the mapping to the thumbnailPhoto, I cannot select the Attribute from the dropdown box. The dropdown is empty. Isn't it supposed to be filled with some selectable values?

See screenshot: Screenshot empty attribute dropdown

Since the dropdown was empty, I typed in the attribute by hand, and added it. For the rest I followed Import User Photos From Active Directory Into SharePoint 2013.

The My Sites are set up on port 101, so e.g. I can see a colleague's profile on: http://<myserver>:101/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/Person.aspx?accountname=.....

Any ideas?

4 Answers 4


I've exactly the same problem with you. You can delete the current connection and create a new one, then start synchronize it. And try to focus on Sync Status on screen when you starting sync to see if there is any change there. If not, I think difinitely cause of sync.


What I noticed in my case.. (not sure if this is a rule or just something my configuration needs) ..was the following:

in my Synchronization Settings, I have to use SharePoint Profile Synchronization and not Active Directory Import. If I use A.D.I., I will NOT see the attribute dropdown filled in.

If I use S.P.S. the dropdown WILL be filled in, and then after that the profile pictures will be shown, following the mentioned article.

So, the trick lies in using SPS, rather than ADI. (Even if SPS might seem scary, because it IS capable of updating Active Directory with changed values from SharePoint. I don't do this, however.)

Hope this helps!


Here is a better technical explanation (please look a the "Tips and Tricks" section at the end of the post):


  1. If you are mapping attributes and are using FIM, all of the attributes from AD are listed in the drop down box. However if you are mapping the attributes using ADI, you will need to type the attributes in the textbox. The drop down is still displayed, however empty. This is not an indication that there is something wrong with your security.

It seems like you're having a problem with the synchronization connection? Could you check if it's able to import any property? Do any of the other AD properties actually filled?

  • Hi Christoffel, yes, other properties do get imported correctly. I set it up to import the AD property "scriptPath" into the Title property of the user profiles. I do see the value (its.bat) showing up in my user profiles pages in Edit User Profile.
    – wlusink
    Aug 15, 2014 at 16:31

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