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 Get-UserPhoto cmdlet to view information about the user photos feature that 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.

Get-UserPhoto [-Anr <String>] <COMMON PARAMETERS>
Get-UserPhoto [-Identity <MailboxIdParameter>] <COMMON PARAMETERS>
COMMON PARAMETERS: [-AccountPartition <AccountPartitionIdParameter>] [-Credential <PSCredential>] [-DomainController <Fqdn>] [-Filter <String>] [-GroupMailbox <SwitchParameter>] [-IgnoreDefaultScope <SwitchParameter>] [-Organization <OrganizationIdParameter>] [-OrganizationalUnit <OrganizationalUnitIdParameter>] [-Preview <SwitchParameter>] [-ReadFromDomainController <SwitchParameter>] [-ResultSize <Unlimited>] [-SortBy <String>]

This example displays information about the user photo configured for Susan Burk.

Get-UserPhoto "Susan Burk"

This example displays information about the user photo that was uploaded to Pilar Pinilla's account, but wasn't saved.

Get-UserPhoto "Pilar Pinilla" -Preview

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 the Set-UserPhoto and Remove-UserPhoto cmdlets, 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.

If you use this cmdlet on a user who has never had a user photo configured, you'll get an error message saying the user photo doesn't exist

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




This parameter is reserved for internal Microsoft use.




The Anr parameter specifies a string on which to perform an ambiguous name resolution (ANR) search. You can specify a partial string and search for objects with an attribute that matches that string. The default attributes searched are:

  • CommonName (CN)

  • DisplayName

  • FirstName

  • LastName

  • Alias




The Credential parameter specifies the account used to read Active Directory.

This parameter requires the creation and passing of a credential object. This credential object is created by using the Get-Credential cmdlet. For more information, see Get-Credential.




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 retrieves data from Active Directory.




The Filter parameter indicates the OPath filter used to filter recipients.

For more information about the filterable properties, see Filterable properties for the -Filter parameter.




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

The GroupMailbox switch indicates the specified user is an Office 365 group. You don't need to specify a value with this switch.




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




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.




This parameter is reserved for internal Microsoft use.




The OrganizationalUnit parameter returns objects only from the specified organizational unit (OU).




The Preview switch retrieves information about the preview photo for the user account. You don't need to specify a value with this switch.

The preview photo is the photo object that was uploaded to the user's account, but wasn't saved, for example, if a user uploads a photo in Outlook Web App Options, but doesn't save it. If you use the Preview parameter after a user photo is saved, this cmdlet returns an error saying the preview photo doesn't exist.




The ReadFromDomainController switch specifies that information should be read from a domain controller in the user's domain. If you run the command Set-AdServerSettings -ViewEntireForest $true to include all objects in the forest and you don't use the ReadFromDomainController switch, it's possible that information will be read from a global catalog that has outdated information. When you use the ReadFromDomainController switch, multiple reads might be necessary to get the information. You don't have to specify a value with this switch.

By default, the recipient scope is set to the domain that hosts your Exchange servers.




The ResultSize parameter specifies the maximum number of results to return. If you want to return all requests that match the query, use unlimited for the value of this parameter. The default value is 1000.




The SortBy parameter specifies the attribute by which to sort the results. You can sort by only one attribute at a time. The results are sorted in ascending order.

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.