I have a contact list with attached images to each contact person in the list. All of the contact list items are synced with Outlook and it gets all the information from there.

Is there a way to create a view of that list where the attachments shows a thumbnails instead of an icon? (If someone knows another way around this, I am interested.) I would really like to avoid using links to the images if at all possible. Not all of our contacts have photos yet.

Basically what I am looking for is a way to attach a photo to a contact without it having to be a link. The persons who will be updating contact information in the outlook aren't very tech savvy. I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for them.

3 Answers 3


It appears that this may not be possible due to the way that Outlook stores the contact pictures. I have been searching for an answer for hours without any luck.

See: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/sharepoint/en-US/78ac45e1-ae15-434d-bac5-70881416d672/contact-list-picture-and-outlook-2010-contact-sync

For a tool to help debug and troubleshoot how outlook is working, check out: http://www.dimastr.com/outspy/home.htm


It is possible with a trick: Outlook stores the Picture as an attachment to the list item in *Listname*/Attachments/*Item-ID*/ContactPicture.jpg

  • create a calculated column
  • formula: ="<img src='http://xyz/Lists/abc/Attachments/"&ID&"/ContactPicture.jpg' />"(include the "=", just replace "xyz" and "abc")
  • you can also add height="80" to the formula to make all Pictures the same height
  • set the datatype to NUMBER

Now you have the contact Picture as a normal field within the list view.

  • Remember: ID is zero for newly created items because it is assigned after the first save. So this Formula only works on items that have been touched : modified or the Calculated Formula was added/updated Commented Oct 4, 2015 at 9:39

You can go through all that trouble or you could just add the Site Column called "Contact Photo". This site column displays the picture and is synchronized with Outlook if the list is synchronized with outlook.

To make this a better solution, you would customize the column with JSLink to allow uploading the image and saving it as an attachment to the list item using the appropriate file path.

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