I received a reader email last week. The sender said:
“Your instructions don’t work. There is no ‘Options’ in the Mac version of Lync.”

He’s correct. Lync for Mac/Communicator 2011 doesn’t use the exact same interface as Lync 2010. So my instructions from 8 Things to Do With a New Lync Client were missing something!

Specifically, the sender wanted to add a picture to his Communicator account. So we looked for another way to add pictures.

We found one pretty fast, too! Credit to Joe on the PlanetMagpie team for the following method.

Upload Pictures with the Exchange Management Shell

The solution was to use the Exchange 2010 Management Shell. The Management Shell is a command-line interface where you can automate administrative tasks using lines of code called “cmdlets.”

I wrote about cmdlets the other day, when we discussed backing up and restoring Lync Servers.

The cmdlet we need for adding pictures is “Import-RecipientDataProperty.” The upload process Joe worked out goes like this:

  1. Upload the picture you want to add to Lync (or Communicator for Mac) to a folder on your servers. Any internal location should do, but I recommend a spot on your Lync or Exchange servers.
    • NOTE: The picture must be less than 10kb in size, and preferably 96px by 96px.
  2. Note the specific folder location. You’ll need this.
  3. On the server where Exchange is installed, click Start > All Programs.
  4. Navigate to “Microsoft Exchange Server 2010”.
  5. Click Exchange Management Shell.
  6. In the new Shell window, type the following:Import-RecipientDataProperty -Identity “User Name” -Picture -FileData ([Byte[]]$(Get-Content -Path “C:PicturesPicture1.jpg” -Encoding Byte -ReadCount 0))
  7. Replace the “User Name” with your username. Replace “C:PicturePicture1.jpg” with the specific folder location of the uploaded picture.
  8. This adds the picture to your Active Directory schema, under a property called “thumbnailPhoto.”
  9. Replicate the new property to the Global Address List (GAL). If you have Exchange 2010 SP1, this should be done by default.
  10. If not, you’ll need to turn on replication for the “thumbnailPhoto” attribute. Visit this link: Adding photos to the Exchange 2010 Global Address List – ExchangeInbox.com. Follow the instructions in the “Preparing the AD Schema” section.
  11. Lync acquires the picture from the GAL replication.

And that’s it! Your picture should now display in Lync. Even on a Mac.

Do you use Lync for Mac? ¬†What are your impressions of its interface? Is it missing anything right now that you’d enjoy using?

The Universal Way to Add Pictures to Lync Contacts: Use Exchange Management Shell
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One thought on “The Universal Way to Add Pictures to Lync Contacts: Use Exchange Management Shell

  • October 24, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    My favourite way to do it is to install the adext.dll extension on my active directory server.
    It adds a photo tab where you can simply upload a thumbnailPhoto for the user.
    It shows in outlook and Lync..
    Here”s the extensions:



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