How do you get the user profile picture from an SPUser profile?

  • do you need some kind of permissions to get the pictures of other users than yourself? I only get my own picture. Feb 17, 2012 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


You can look at the User Information List, to grab the Picture column contents. It's a hidden field, so you might have to write a console app to get the columns, or find a reference somewhere online.

Tobias Zimmergren did a blog post on getting user data from the User Information List from an SPUser object: http://www.zimmergren.net/archive/2008/06/25/sharepoints-hidden-user-list-user-information-list.aspx


You can do something like this:

public string GetUserPicture(SPSite site)
    string userAccount = "domain\\account";

    ServerContext ctx = ServerContext.GetContext(site);
    UserProfileManager upm = new UserProfileManager(ctx);
    UserProfile up = upm.GetUserProfile(userAccount);

    return  up["PictureUrl"].Value;
  • 1
    tarjeieo : when user do not have change his profile picture that time it gives error. can we have some check on pictureUrl? Jul 11, 2014 at 13:45

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