Information about profile picture synchronization in Office 365

INTRODUCTION
This article describes the profile picture synchronization process in Office 365. This includes info about where you should see the profile pictures and where the profile pictures are stored in SharePoint Online.
PROCEDURE

SharePoint Online picture synchronization for users who have an Exchange Online mailbox

The following example shows the synchronization process that occurs when a user who has an Exchange Online mailbox browses to the Delve Profile page (Me.aspx) in SharePoint Online.


  1. The user browses to the Delve Profile page (Me.aspx) in the My Site Host site collection. For more information, see View and edit your profile in Office Delve.
  2. During the page load of Me.aspx, a request is made for the large thumbnail photo. This generates a call to Exchange Online for the user’s profile picture.
  3. If the user has an Exchange Online mailbox, and the mailbox contains a profile picture for the user, SharePoint Online will request the picture from Exchange Online.
  4. SharePoint Online creates a small, medium, and large thumbnail photo from the picture that was returned from Exchange Online. The photos are saved in a folder in the User Photos Library for the My Site Host site collection. The name of the folder will vary, depending on what the My Site Host root web locale is set to at the time of photo upload or synchronization.

    Note If the My Site Host root web locale is set to English, the name of the folder will be Profile Pictures.
  5. The Picture Timestamp, Picture Placeholder State and the Picture Exchange Sync State profile properties for the user are set or updated to reflect the profile picture synchronization state.

SharePoint Online picture synchronization for users without an Exchange Online mailbox

The following example shows the synchronization process that occurs when a user who doesn't have an Exchange Online mailbox browses to the Delve Profile page (Me.aspx) in SharePoint Online.


  1. The user browses to the Delve Profile page (Me.aspx) in the My Site Host site collection. For more information, see View and edit your profile in Office Delve. Click Edit profile and then click Upload picture.

    Note When a user doesn't have an Exchange Online license, the Picture property will have an Upload picture button. The Picture Exchange Sync State is set to 0.


  2. Click the Basic Information tab, and then click Upload picture. The Choose a picture dialog box is displayed.
  3. The user uploads a picture to SharePoint Online from the Choose a picture dialog box.
  4. SharePoint Online creates a small, medium, and large thumbnail photo from the uploaded picture. The photos are saved in a folder in the User Photos Library for the My Site Host site collection. The name of the folder will vary, depending on what the My Site Host root web locale is set to at the time of photo upload or synchronization.

    Note If the My Site Host root web locale is set to English, the name of the folder will be Profile Pictures.
  5. The Picture Timestamp, Picture Placeholder State and the Picture Exchange Sync State profile properties for the user are set or updated to reflect the profile picture synchronization state.

Profile pictures in SharePoint Online


The Delve Profile page consists of three sections: the Office 365 suite navigation bar, the Delve Profile pane, and the left-side navigation pane. The user’s profile picture is displayed in all the sections that make up the Delve Profile page. The images are tagged so that they will be cached by the browser. When you change your profile picture, you may have to clear the browser image cache. For more information about the Delve Profile Page, see Connect and collaborate in Office Delve.

Note Users who are licensed for only SharePoint Online will see their user profile picture displayed in only the suite navigation bar in SharePoint Online. They will see a silhouette placeholder picture, as shown here, in the Office 365 suite navigation bar in other applications.



User Photos Document Library

User profile pictures are stored in the My Site Host site collection. The My Site Host site collection is created from the SPSMSITEHOST#0 template. When the SharePoint Online tenant is provisioned, a My Site Host site collection is created. The profile pictures are stored in a document library that's named "User Photos." The pictures are stored in a folder inside the User Photo document library with a .jpg extension. The name of the folder will vary, depending on what the My Site Host root web locale is set to at the time of photo upload or synchronization.

Note If the My Site Host root web locale is set to English, the name of the folder will be Profile Pictures.

Three photos are stored in the folder for each user and will contain the following fragment in the name of the file:
  • LThumb.jpg
  • MThumb.jpg
  • SThumb.jpg
The name of the file is the normalized user nameof the user account, appended with one of the fragments listed earlier. For example: UserNameLThumb.jpg, UserNameMThumb.jpg and UserNameSThumb.jpg.

If the user name includes one of the following characters, that character will be replaced with an underscore ( _ ) character: 
  • Double backslash (\\)
  • At symbol (@)
  • Period (.)
  • Double quotation marks (“)
  • Number sign (#)
  • Percent (%)
  • Ampersand (&)
  • Asterisk (*)
  • Colon (:)
  • Angle brackets (< >)
  • Question mark (?)
  • Braces ({ })
  • Pipe (|)

Profile picture facts

  • Guest user profile pictures aren't synced to SharePoint Online.
  • By default, SharePoint Online will provide three placeholder pictures (SThumb.jpg, MThumb.jpg, and LThumb.jpg) for the user. 
  • Each user profile has a property named Picture (PictureUrl) that points to the medium file (MThumb.jpg) that's located in the My Site Host site collection.
  • By default, the Picture property in the user profile application is editable. The property setting has to be editable for picture synchronization and for a user profile picture upload to be successful.
  • The picture is synced down from Exchange Online only once every 72 hours. 
  • The My Site Host site collection must have available quota in order to store new pictures.

MORE INFORMATION
A user’s profile picture can be added to Exchange Online in multiple ways, as follows: 
  • The Exchange administrator can upload a photo to Exchange Online using the Set-UserPhoto PowerShell cmdlet. For more information, see Set-UserPhoto.
  • A user uploads a picture in Outlook on the web.
  • A user browses to the Delve Profile Page, clicks Edit Profile, clicks Change your photo, and then uploads a picture to Outlook on the web.
     
    Note The Picture Property controls when a user has an Exchange Online Mailbox. Picture Exchange Sync State is set to 1.

  • A user clicks change under their profile picture in the suite navigation bar at the top of the page.
  • A user browses to the Office 365 Portal, clicks Personal info, and then clicks Change Photo under their profile picture. For example: https://portal.office.com/account/#personalinfo.
  • The ThumbnailPhoto Active Directory attribute is synced to Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) with Azure AD Connect. The thumbnails are then synced to Exchange Online.

    Note
     This method produces low-resolution profile pictures. The ThumbnailPhoto Active Directory attribute isn't synced to SharePoint from Azure Active Directory.

Still need help? Go to the Office 365 Community website.
Properties

Article ID: 3185286 - Last Review: 09/23/2016 14:43:00 - Revision: 6.0

Microsoft SharePoint Online, Microsoft Exchange Online, Office 365 User and Domain Management

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