Applies to: Exchange Server 2013

This topic no longer applies to the cloud-based service. It applies only to on-premises Exchange 2013. To see the current version of the topic that applies to the cloud-based service, change the (v=exchg.150) value in the URL to (v=exchg.160).

Use the Remove-UserPhoto cmdlet to delete the photo associated with a user's account. The user photo feature allows users to associate a picture with their account. User photos appear in on-premises and cloud-based client applications, such as MicrosoftOutlook Web App, Lync, Skype for Business, and SharePoint.

For information about the parameter sets in the Syntax section below, see Syntax.

Remove-UserPhoto -Identity <MailboxIdParameter> [-ClearMailboxPhoto [<SwitchParameter>]] [-Confirm [<SwitchParameter>]] [-DomainController <Fqdn>] [-IgnoreDefaultScope <SwitchParameter>] [-WhatIf [<SwitchParameter>]]

This example deletes the photo associated with Ann Beebe's user account.

Remove-UserPhoto "Ann Beebe"

In on-premises Exchange, the user photo is stored in the user's Active Directory account. In Exchange Online the user photo is stored in the root directory of the user's mailbox.

For Exchange Online mailboxes, you need to manage user photos by using this cmdlet, or by accessing the user's Outlook Web App Options page.Outlook. User photos are synchronized from Active Directory to the cloud only once during a mailbox migration. Therefore, even in hybrid environments, don't try to manage user photos in Active Directory.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can run this cmdlet. Although all parameters for this cmdlet are listed in this topic, you may not have access to some parameters if they're not included in the permissions assigned to you. To see what permissions you need, see the "Recipient provisioning permissions" section in the Recipients Permissions topic.


Parameter Required Type Description




The Identity parameter specifies the identity of the user. You can use one of the following values:

  • GUID

  • Distinguished name (DN)

  • Display name

  • Domain\Account

  • User principal name (UPN)

  • LegacyExchangeDN

  • SmtpAddress

  • Alias




This parameter isn't available in on-premises Exchange 2013.

The ClearMailboxPhoto switch specifies that a deleted mailbox photo is considered blank instead of deleted.

By default, when a user deletes their mailbox photo, a flag is set on the mailbox that causes subsequent photo requests to:

  • Return a blank photo.

  • Prevent searching Active Directory for a photo.

Using this switch allows photo requests to search Active Directory for a photo. You don't have to specify a value with this switch.




The Confirm switch causes the command to pause processing and requires you to acknowledge what the command will do before processing continues. You don't have to specify a value with the Confirm switch.




This parameter is available only in on-premises Exchange 2013.

The DomainController parameter specifies the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the domain controller that writes this configuration change to Active Directory.




The IgnoreDefaultScope switch tells the command to ignore the default recipient scope setting for the Exchange Management Shell session, and to use the entire forest as the scope. This allows the command to access Active Directory objects that aren't currently available in the default scope.

Using the IgnoreDefaultScope switch introduces the following restrictions:

  • You can't use the DomainController parameter. The command uses an appropriate global catalog server automatically.

  • You can only use the DN for the Identity parameter. Other forms of identification, such as alias or GUID, aren't accepted.




The WhatIf switch instructs the command to simulate the actions that it would take on the object. By using the WhatIf switch, you can view what changes would occur without having to apply any of those changes. You don't have to specify a value with the WhatIf switch.

To see the input types that this cmdlet accepts, see Cmdlet Input and Output Types. If the Input Type field for a cmdlet is blank, the cmdlet doesn’t accept input data.

To see the return types, which are also known as output types, that this cmdlet accepts, see Cmdlet Input and Output Types. If the Output Type field is blank, the cmdlet doesn’t return data.