Change Teams Guest Profile Picture

In tenants with lots of Guests, the massive display of user initials – the default profile picture – isn’t very pleasing to the eye. Now while regular user can change their profile picture, Guest users cannot. Therefor, a long standing and popular request on UserVoice has been the ability to change profile pictures for Guest users. End of 2020, this request was updated, indicating a change was planned to incorporate the ability to change this profile picture. No signs on the roadmap yet, so what options – if any – does one currently have?

Last week, Teams MVP Yannick Reekmans posted a blog containing instructions on how to change your profile picture for tenants in which you are a Guest. It requires quite some steps and fiddling to accomplish this. One might also wonder, isn’t this possible “the programmatic way”? Well, yes, and here are the steps:

First, open up PowerShell, install the AzureAD PowerShell module it is not yet installed using Install-Module AzureAD, and connect to Azure Active Directory, specifying the tenant where you are a guest:

Connect-AzureAD -TenantDomain contoso.onmicrosoft.com

When the authentication challenge pops up, specify the credentials of the Guest account and approve the Multi-Factor Authentication challenge when required.

Next, use Set-AzureADUserThumbnailPhoto to set the profile picture for your Guest account, specifying your User Principal Name as ObjectId, as well as the picture you want to use, e.g.

Set-AzureADUserThumbnailPhoto -ObjectId 'michel_fabrikam.com#EXT#contoso.onmicrosoft.com' -FilePath 'c:\pic.jpg'

Regarding the User Principal Name, you can use Yannick’s method of determining your Guest’s ID. You can also try to guesstimate it by taking the e-mail address of your original account, replacing ‘@’ with ‘_’, adding a trailing #EXT# followed by ‘@’ and the default domain of the hosting tenant. The picture can be JPEG or PNG format, size 100kb at most, and square dimensions work best.

To verify the image has been set successfully, use Get-AzureADUserThumbnailPhoto -ObjectId <ID>. Then, have some patience for the change to propagate throughout the directories and caching mechanisms. To verify your update was successful and your picture looks properly, you can close the Teams client, clear the locally cached Teams data by removing everything under %AppData%\Microsoft\Teams (Windows), and start Teams again.

To easily spot tenants where you are a guest user and not a regular user, you might want to alter your standard issue profile picture a bit. For example, I have added a text label ‘Guest’ to mine. It doesn’t look as good as the high resolution photos that you can store in Exchange Online, but it certainly looks less boring than a set of intilials.

Note that all of the above is not an officially supported way to manage this picture. So, until there is one, these steps might help you out.