Using Lync like a LyncPRO – Look good in federated calls!

LyncGuruUsing Lync like a LyncPRO is a segment on The UC Architects podcast where I go through tools you as a LyncPRO may want to use to make your experience cooler, easier and you can showcase features to your peers. The tools are typically

– Applicable to the desktop client
– Community developed
– Have requirements outside just running Lync
– Use PowerShell and registry to apply settings

Using Lync like a LyncPRO – Look good in federated calls!

This LyncPRO tips was featured on The UC Architects podcast Episode 40

One of my favourite features with the Exchange 2013 integration is the high resolution photo option where you are able to get a crisp color rich photo in all internal Lync calls. There is one drawback though, the profile picture is not shared with federated contacts. In fact, the only way a federated contact can see your picture is if the following is true, if your federated contacts

  • have you in their existing Outlook contacts list, added your sip address and a picture
  • use the Outlook Social Connector to connect to Facebook and has merged that information with their Outlook Contact
  • have activated Outlook Social Connector, is connected with you on LinkedIn and you use your sip address as the primary email address in your LinkedIn profile

As you can see there is a lot of room for your federated contacts not seeing a picture of you when you are in a Lync call with them or they have a picture of you that is not so good for business relations. The resolution of the picture from the social connector is only 48×48 pixels and will get quite garbled when you are in a Lync call.

48x48 picture from AD and LinkedIn

48×48 picture from AD and LinkedIn

Why use the option to show a picture from a website

  • You are guaranteed to show up with a picture in your federated contact activities
    • in their contacts list
    • in Lync calls
  • Even though it will have a lower resolution for internal calls, it is totally worth it if you collaborate with federated contacts on a regular basis
200x200 shared from website

200×200 shared from website


  1. Create your profile picture with the dimensions 200×200 and make sure its below 30k in size
  2. Save your picture on a website that is not behind a username or password
  3. Click your picture in the Lync 2013 client
  4. Make sure you have the radio button to Show picture from a website
    • Don’t see this radio button? Check the prerequisites chapter
  5. Add the URL to your photo
  6. Click Connect to picture to save the setting
  7. Verify that your Lync profile picture is updated, should take less than 10 seconds
  8. You are now sharing your picture of choice to internal and federated contacts and looking good in meetings of any scenario

Some facts

  • In Lync 2010 the thumbnailPhoto attribute had the size of 48×48
  • in Lync 2013 you can integrate with Exchange 2013 and store the photos in
    • 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, Microsoft Lync Web App, and Lync 2013.
    • 648 pixels by 648 pixels for use in Lync 2013 and Microsoft Lync Web App.
  • In Lync 2010 and in Lync 2013 you also have the option to show a picture from a website
    • This url will be shared with federated contacts and you can therefore control the picture viewed by your federated contacts
    • Size is hardcoded to 200×200, smaller images will be upscaled and bigger pictures will be downsized
    • You can also use twitter and LinkedIn profile pictures directly if you have their url’s
      • I found them to have a lower quality than a directly linked jpg picture of a blog.
648x648 picture not that much different from the 200x200 picture

648×648 picture not that much different from the 200×200 picture


  • Show picture from a website is only available when you are logged on to a Lync Server 2013 deployment
    • Lync Online does not have this option at the time of writing
  • It is not enabled by default on Lync Server 2013
  • To enable it, do the following in Lync Server Management Shell
    • $pe=New-CsClientPolicyEntry -Name EnablePresencePhotoOptions -Value True
    • $po=Get-CsClientPolicy
    • $po.PolicyEntry.Add($pe)
    • Set-CsClientPolicy -Instance $po
  • Make sure that the client policy assigned to your users have the DisplayPhoto AllPhotos



5 thoughts on “Using Lync like a LyncPRO – Look good in federated calls!

    • True, but they do have the option to allow it for a select number of users through Client Policy and can control it using by adding the option to select user groups.

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