Updating User Profile pictures with powershell on SP2010

I finally had the chance to play around with user profiles. My customer asked me if it was possible to have the pictures of all employees show up in their respective user profiles in SharePoint and this without uploading the pictures themselves because they already had a dedicated website with all the pictures available. So the only thing to try to figure out was if it was possible to specify a link to the picture on a different website.

The customer was able to give me a CSV file with about 20K lines in it with 2 fields: Username + url of the picture. Worth mentionning was that the url of the user picture was not saved in any Active Directory property of the user object, sow e could not get it from there using the User Profile import process.

As it turns out the User profile actually has a property called PictureUrl which is completed by SharePoint when you upload your profile picture. So the task at hand was to write a script that could read the CSV file and update the user profiles. I started out with the script of Phil Childs and ended up with the following script:

$CSVFile = "C:\Scripts\pictureurls.csv"
$mySiteUrl = "http://people.contoso.com"

#Connect to the User Profile Manager
$site = Get-SPSite $mySiteUrl
$context = Get-SPServiceContext $site
$profileManager = New-Object Microsoft.Office.Server.UserProfiles.UserProfileManager($context)

#Read CSV file and process each line
$csv = import-csv -path $CSVFile
foreach ($line in $csv)
$up = $profileManager.GetUserProfile($line.UserName)
if ($up)
$up["PictureURL"].Value = $line.PictureUrl
write-host $up.DisplayName," --> ", $line.PictureUrl
if (!$up) {
write-host $line.UserName, " --> no profile found"

Now, I’m not a powershell expert (yet) so this script can probably be optimized or improved.

For my customer, we are planning to have this script adapted to check if the pictureUrl field has already been populated and only add the value when it is not and have it run on a regular basis. Ultimately my customer is looking into saving this picture url in Active Directory afterwhich we can play around with FIM to have it popluate the user profiles that way.

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