Migrate/Replicate Photos from Office 365 to Active Directory
Written on November 2, 2016

Users can easily set their photos in Office 365 via any number of interfaces. Performing this change in AD is a little more challenging. Fortunately, we can quite easily write these photos back into Active Directory with a little PowerShell script. You’ll need the ActiveDirectory module and Exchange Online credentials with any multi-factor disabled as Exchange Web Services is used, which does not presently support MFA.

function Get-Office365Photo($EmailAddress,$Credential) {
    $wc = New-Object System.Net.WebClient
    $wc.credentials = $Credential
    # Build the URL that'll return the jpeg of the user's photo
    $url = "https://outlook.office365.com/ews/exchange.asmx/s/GetUserPhoto?email=$EmailAddress&size=HR96x96"
    # Build a path to export it to (.\[email protected])
    $outPath = "$pwd\$EmailAddress.jpg"
    try { 
        # Download the image and save it to the current directory
        return $outPath
    } catch { throw $_ }

function Upload-ADPhoto($Username,$FilePath) {
    # Import the photo into a variable as a byte array
    $photo = [byte[]](Get-Content $FilePath -Encoding byte)
    # Replace the current value of thumbnailPhoto with the byte array from above
    Set-ADUser $Username -Replace @{ThumbnailPhoto=$photo}

# Get the credential to allow us to download the images
$Cred = Get-Credential -Message "Please enter your Office 365 Credentials"

# Get every mail-enabled AD user
$users = Get-ADUser -ldapfilter '(mail=*)' -properties mail

# For each of the mail-enabled users...
foreach ($user in $users) {
    try {
        # Download the photo
        $photoPath = Get-Office365Photo -EmailAddress $user.mail -Credential $Cred
        # Upload the photo
        Upload-ADPhoto -Username $user -FilePath $photoPath
    } catch {
        Write-Warning "Unable to update image for $($user.mail)"


There's no commenting functionality here. If you'd like to comment, please either mention me (@[email protected]) on Mastodon or email me. I don't have any logging or analytics running on this website, so if you found something useful or interesting it would mean a lot to hear from you.