Applies to: Exchange Online, Exchange Server 2016

This cmdlet is available in on-premises Exchange Server 2016 and in the cloud-based service. Some parameters and settings may be exclusive to one environment or the other.

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 Exchange cmdlet syntax.

Get-UserPhoto [-Identity <MailboxIdParameter>] <COMMON PARAMETERS>

Get-UserPhoto [-Anr <String>] <COMMON PARAMETERS>

COMMON PARAMETERS: [-Credential <PSCredential>] [-DomainController <Fqdn>] [-Filter <String>] [-GroupMailbox <SwitchParameter>] [-IgnoreDefaultScope <SwitchParameter>] [-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

The user photos feature allows users to associate a picture with their account. User photos are stored in the user's Active Directory account and in the root directory of the user's Exchange mailbox. The user photo feature must be set for a user before you can run the Get-UserPhoto cmdlet to view information about the user's photo. Otherwise, you get an error message saying the user photo doesn't exist for the specified users. Administrators use the Set-UserPhoto cmdlet or the Exchange admin center (EAC) to configure user photos. Users can upload, preview, and save a user photo to their account by using the Outlook on the web Options page.

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 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 user name and password that's used to run this command. Typically, you use this parameter in scripts or when you need to provide different credentials that have the required permissions.

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 2016.

The DomainController parameter specifies the domain controller that's used by this cmdlet to read data from or write data to Active Directory. You identify the domain controller by its fully qualified domain name (FQDN). For example,




The Filter parameter uses OPATH filter syntax to filter the results by the specified properties and values. The search criteria uses the syntax {<Property> -<Comparison operator> '<Value>'}.

  • <Property> is a filterable property.

  • -<Comparison Operator> is an OPATH comparison operator. For example -eq for equals and -like for string comparison. For more information about comparison operators, see about_Comparison_Operators.

  • <Value> is the property value. Values that aren't integers need to be enclosed in quotation marks ('Value').

You can chain multiple search criteria together using the logical operators -and and -or. For example, {<Criteria1>) -and <Criteria2>} or {(<Criteria1> -and <Criteria2>) -or <Criteria3>}.




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 user account. You can use any value that uniquely identifies the user account.

For example:

  • Name

  • Display name

  • Alias

  • Distinguished name (DN)

  • Canonical DN

  • <domain name>\<account name>

  • Email address

  • GUID

  • LegacyExchangeDN

  • SamAccountName

  • User ID or user principal name (UPN)




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 OrganizationalUnit parameter filters the results based on the object's location in Active Directory. Only objects that exist in the specified location are returned. Valid input for this parameter is an organizational unit (OU) or domain that's visible using the Get-OrganizationalUnit cmdlet. You can use any value that uniquely identifies the OU or domain. For example:

  • Name

  • Canonical name

  • Distinguished name (DN)

  • GUID




The Preview switch filters the results by preview photos. You don't need to specify a value with this switch.

A preview photo is a photo that was uploaded to the user's account, but wasn't saved, for example, if a user uploads a photo in Outlook on the web Options, but doesn't save it. If you use the Preview switch 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 property to sort the results by. You can sort by only one property at a time. The results are sorted in ascending order.

If the default view doesn't include the property you're sorting by, you can append the command with | Format-Table -Auto <Property1>,<Property2>... to create a new view that contains all of the properties that you want to see. Wildcards (*) in the property names are supported.

You can sort by the Id property.




This parameter is reserved for internal Microsoft use.




This parameter is reserved for internal Microsoft use.

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.