I configured the SharePoint 2013 farm recently for one of the Customer. As per requirement, I have to use ADFS as authentication and Active Directory Import(ADI) for User Profile. Everything as expected except the profile picture. I tried this so far.

  • Map the Picture property to thumbnailphoto
  • Run Full Import
  • Run the PowerShell command to create the thumbnails

Still nothing added into the MySite User photo library, X sign when you see the user's profile page.

Have any one experienced this and help me?

Note: I am not using the User Profile Sync and even this is not an option in my requirement.

  • Have you confirmed that the thumbnail attribute is populated in AD? Aug 30, 2014 at 14:25
  • If you asking about picture in AD then yes...Also just for testing, I did user profile sync it's works as expected
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Aug 30, 2014 at 15:59
  • I don't understand. Are you saying it is working now? Sep 1, 2014 at 11:39
  • Pictures are stored in AD, if i use User Profile Sync then every thing works. But When i use ADI then not.
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Sep 1, 2014 at 14:34

3 Answers 3


After Couple of Week with support finally we got the Answer.

ADI does not support importing or export the profile picture. ADI only works with simple mappings like single value strings and ints. Profile Picture falls under complex attribute so that it is not supported.

User Profile Sync engine would be the one you would want to go with if you’re wanting to do anything with the profile pictures.

  • You can store a URL to a picture in an AD ExtensionAttribute and use that as a mapping to display the picture Aug 20, 2015 at 14:47

I can't find anything that definitively addresses your question, but I did find a comment on Spence Harbar's post about ADI that indicated a year ago the same issue as you. (http://www.harbar.net/archive/2012/07/23/sp13adi.aspx) I suspect that it is not supported in ADI.

  • 1
    i read that before, this is comment and no response /confirmation from MSFT. Thanks for sharing, Today we open Support case with MSFT. Let's see....
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Sep 2, 2014 at 12:22

ADI does not support importing pictures from AD.

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