I’ve added pictures to my Outlook.com contacts in Outlook. However, when I look at my Contacts on the Outlook.com website or in Outlook on another computer, I don’t see the contact pictures I added.
How can I get the pictures to synch to Outlook.com so that they look the same on all my computers and on the Outlook.com website?
Unfortunately, contact pictures are not being synched via the Outlook Hotmail Connector. Synching them via the EAS or Exchange protocol only provides limited support.
The original intention of Outlook.com is that the contact pictures are being taken and updated automatically from the user’s Microsoft Account and any social network providers you are connected to such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
Microsoft Account profile picture
As you might have noticed, you can’t add or change a contact’s picture via the Outlook.com website at all.
The main source of contact pictures on Outlook.com is coming from the profile picture which people have selected for their own Microsoft Account. You’ll see this picture when you are connected to this person via Skype or previously via (Windows Live) Messenger.
This requires you to be both connected to Skype and each other based on your Microsoft Account and not via Skype usernames. When you are connected to each other, you’ll see a Skype icon below the contact’s picture.
Social Networks connections for Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and more
Similar to being connected via Skype to retrieve the user’s Microsoft Account profile picture, you can connect Outlook.com to other social networks to retrieve the contacts and profile pictures from these services.
To connect yourself to a social network on Outlook.com, you can use the Connect to social networks link in the People hub on Outlook.com. Currently you can add contacts from Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and Yahoo. Facebook integration is planned but no release date has been set for this yet.
Unfortunately, as the Social Connector in Outlook has been discontinued, you can no longer add these networks directly to Outlook via their Social Connector Providers.
Limited Contact picture synching support over Exchange and EAS
When you are connecting to Outlook.com in Outlook via the Exchange Exchange or Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol, then adding a picture to a contact will allow it to sync between other Outlook clients and other mail apps that support synching contact pictures via EAS.
Unfortunately, these pictures are not shown on the Outlook.com website itself and various Mail apps on smartphones don’t support it either.