Photos in Lync 2010

So I’ve been fiddling a bit with photos in Lync today. Seems easy enough when you have Exchange 2o10 and can use powershell, see this post, but can be more tricky if you haven’t. Lync 2010 does not supply a method of uploading the pictures to AD, it just uses the photo found in the user attribute thumbnailPhoto. You’ll have to upload the pictures another way.

After a bit of searching on the net, I found this post that had a link to a small .dll, written by a guy named OliD, that extends the ADUC (Active Directory Users and Computers) MMC with two tabs to the user properties page. The first tab we don’t really need, but it will enable you to add employee ID/number. The other will upload and resize the selected image to 96×96 px. It can be downloaded from:

Installation instructions can be found in the .zip file.

It will give you this tab: (that’s me in the picture btw)

If you have a multidomain forest you will also need to enable global replication of the attribute. This procedure is described in the Exchangeteam blogpost linked in the beginning of this post.

The photo won’t display in the Lync client right away though. As per this the ABServer in Lync 2010 has an update pass every night at 01:30AM Server time, just as in OCS2007R2. To speed this up you can run the cmdlet


in the Lync management shell. Note that by default it will still take up to 5 minutes before the actual update pass is run. Look for event 21056 in the event log.

If the user has not had any photos before, just log the user in and out of Lync, and it should be updated. If this is an updated photo, you will have to log out and exit the client and then delete the file

%userprofile%AppDataLocalMicrosoftCommunicatorsip_<SIP URI>ABS_<SIP URI>.cache

Start the client again, and the photo should be updated!

A complete description on how photos are handled in Lync 2010 can be found here.

11 thoughts on “Photos in Lync 2010

  1. Hello, i tried the above on my windows 2008 R2 server and all seemed to work. there were no errors when i ran the command line code. Howwever when i open Active Directory Users and Computers on that server there are no “employee” tab and no “photo” tabs either. i have set it for advanced view as well. what could be wrong???

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