Skype for Business and High Definition Photos

In Skype for Business Server 2015 photos can be stored in a user’s Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 mailbox; that allows for photo sizes up to 648 pixels by 648 pixels. In addition to that, Exchange 2013 can automatically resize these photos for use in different products as needed. That means three different photo sizes and resolutions:

  • 48 pixels by 48 pixels, the size used for the Active Directory thumbnailPhoto attribute. If you upload a photo to Exchange 2013 Exchange will automatically create a 48 pixel by 48 pixel version of that photo and update the user’s thumbnailPhoto attribute. Note, however, that the reverse is not true: if you manually update the thumbnailPhoto attribute in Active Directory the photo in the user’s Exchange 2013 mailbox will not automatically be updated.
  • 96 pixels by 96 pixels, for use in Microsoft Outlook 2013 Web App, Microsoft Outlook 2013, Skype for Business Web App, and Skype for Business.
  • 648 pixels by 648 pixels, for use in Skype for Business and Skype for Business Web App Skype for Business Web App.


Note: If you have the resources, it is recommended that you upload 648×648 photos; that provides the maximum resolution and optimal picture quality in any of the Office 2013 applications. Each JPEG photo with a size of 648×648 and a depth of 24 bits results in a file size of approximately 240 kilobytes. That means you will need approximately 1 megabyte of disk space for every 4 user photos.

You can confirm that your photo has been copied and assigned to the user account by opening up a browser and entering the following URL with your own details:

Skype for Business HD Photo

Display HD Photo


For troubleshooting, if the administrator can view the photo using Internet Explorer but the user cannot view his or her photo in Skype for Business there may be a connectivity problem with Exchange Web Services or with the Exchange autodiscover service.

We can use the Set-UserPhoto cmdlet to configure the user photos feature that allows users to associate a picture with their account. User photos appear in on-premises client applications, such as Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Web App, Lync, Skype for Business, and SharePoint.

On a user’s Outlook Web App Options page, when you upload a photo, a preview is displayed before you click Save or Cancel. This is the preview state, and is the same as running Set-UserPhoto with the Preview switch. If you click Save, the preview photo is saved as the user’s photo. This is the same as running Set-UserPhoto with the Save switch. If you click Cancel, the preview photo is deleted. This is the same as running Set-UserPhoto with the Cancel switch.

A user photo must be set before you can run the Get-UserPhoto cmdlet to view information about the user’s photo. Otherwise, you’ll get an error message saying the user photo doesn’t exist.

This example uploads and saves a photo to my user account using a single command.

Set-UserPhoto “Austin.Hutton” -PictureData ([System.IO.File]::ReadAllBytes(“C:\Users\Administrator\Desktop\AustinHutton.jpg”))


Other posts related to this

Step by Step on configuring the Unified Contact Store (UCS) and Skype for Business Server 2015

Step by Step on configuring Skype for Business Server 2015 and Exchange 2013 Archiving

Step by Step on configuring Oauth between Skype for Business Server 2015 On Premises and Exchange 2013

Step by Step Enabling Instant Messaging on Outlook Web App (OWA) with Skype for Business Server 2015/2015/08/31/enabling-im-on-owa-with-skype-for-business/


All the best!


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Filed under Exchange 2013, HD Photo, OAuth, Skype for Business Server 2015

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