SharePoint 2013 + February 2016 CU

We have an issue when uploading pictures to User Profiles in Central Admin. The steps to recreate the problem are:

  1. Choose a profile to edit (not your own) from the User Profile Service. We'll call this user domain_otheruser
  2. Change/upload a new user photo to the domain_otheruser profile and save
  3. Go back to the profile and note the URL of the profile photo. It should contain your username, not domain_otheruser.
  4. Find your own profile and note that the picture has changed to the one you uploaded for domain_otheruser.

This causes a secondary effect when you try to "fix" your own profile photo, as the user profile data was updated for domain_otheruser to point to your own user profile name (they have the same value). So by changing your own photo, the photo for domain_otheruser is also changed.

I noticed another user posted about this issue: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/70d8411f-5eaf-4850-873c-5c356c65ad67/user-profile-pictures-changing-after-updating-another-profile?forum=sharepointgeneral

I cannot find where Microsoft has publically stated the issue is still happening, they seem to think it only occurring within the October 2015 CU.

  • We have exact same issue with the SharePoint 2013 ​November 2015 CU May 24, 2018 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


With the March 2016 CU, this definately is not occurring. The PictureURL value, after uploading and saving to an alternate user, shows with the correct identity for the MThumb URL (which is what is displayed in the UPSA).

  • Yep, it appears the March 2016 CU fixes the issue: When a user who has administrative permissions edits a different user's profile picture from the user profile management interface in Central Admin, the picture is saved at the administrator's location instead of the given user. Moreover, later modifications of other users' profile pictures may cause those users' profile pictures all pointing at that same location. Therefore, these users will share the same profile picture.
    – meany
    Mar 31, 2016 at 20:33

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