I have employee photos that are already loaded into active directory. I would like to have them pushed into SharePoint so that they are visible on the MySite pages and on all site collections.

How do I go about doing this?

  • I've done exactly that and the photos are now showing on MySite - thank you, however when users update their photo using FIM 2010 - which syncs back to A.D, the photos are not updated on MySite. I have an incremental Sync Job running every night and the thumbnailphoto property has import selected. Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 8:34

2 Answers 2


I found this great article on how to accomplish this.

Assuming that you already have basic user profile synchronization working, the steps are:

  1. Create an import PictureUrl mapping - Go to your Central Admin site "Manage Service Applications -> User Profile Service Application -> Manager User Properties -> Picture" and select "thumbnailPhoto" as the attribute. Choose the "Import" direction". Make sure that the edit settings are "Do not allow users to edit values for this property" if you do not want photos from SharePoint to export to active directory. Click "OK".

  2. Run a full profile sync - While still on the central admin site go to "Manage Service Applications -> User Profile Service -> Start profile synchronization" and select "Full". When it completes you will notice that the photo still doesn't show when you go to a user profile. There is one more step.

  3. Give yourself permission to push photos to MySite - Go to Central Admin and click on "Manage Service Applications". This time select the "User Profile Service Application" row and not the link. On the ribbon go to "Service Applications -> Sharing -> Permissions". Add your account and give it "Full Control" permission.

  4. Push the photos to MySite - This step requires that you have a MySite setup (Setup MySite). Open a powershell window and enter

    Update-SPProfilePhotoStore -CreateThumbnailsForImportedPhotos 1 -MySiteHostLocation "http://YourServerName/my"

    If you receive an "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" exception then make sure you followed step 3. This is caused by a permission error. Here is a link with more details.


Thanks! Another helpful step by step guide to Import User Pictures from Active Directory to SharePoint 2010 My Site: http://www.sharepointdiary.com/2013/01/import-user-pictures-from-active-directory-to-sharepoint-2010-mysite.html

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.