How to restore contact pictures to your windows phone

If you sync your contacts and appointments from the desktop version of Outlook 2010 (or earlier versions of Outlook) to your online Outlook.com (Microsoft) account, and then sync this information to your Windows Phone, you’ll probably notice that any pictures that were included with your Outlook contacts did not sync to your Outlook.com account or to your Windows Phone.

Outlook.com stores photos with contacts, but the only contacts you’ll see in the Outlook.com People hub with photos are your Live Messenger contacts who have posted a picture of themselves to their Messenger profile. You can’t edit those pictures and you can’t add your own pictures to those contacts.

You’ll need to manually add the photographs to your contacts on the phone.

The easiest way to add contact pictures to your windows phone contacts is to upload your preferred pictures to OneDrive and then sync the pictures over to your phone.

Upload the Pictures to your OneDrive Account

  • Gather together all your contact photos and place them in a folder on your computer
  • Then, from a computer, log into the OneDrive account that is associated with the Microsoft account you use on your phone. Select Create folder > input “Contact Photos” in the space provided (or whatever you prefer to call the album) > Next
  • Open up File Explorer in a new window on your computer, navigate to your contacts folder and select all the contacts.
  • Drag all of the pictures to the OneDrive\Contact Photos windows to upload the contacts to OneDrive

Sync the Pictures to your Phone

  • On your phone, open up the Pictures hub > albums >  look for the Contacts Photos album you just created (folders are albums).  You can tap the Contact pictures album and tap each picture to download it from your Outlook.com account, then tap the three periods in the lower right hand corner of the screen and tap “Save to Phone” or you can go open up the people hub on the phone (there is no need to save the pictures before you assign them to a contact)
  • Select a contact that you want to add a picture to and tap the pencil icon
  • Tap “add photo” and then select the picture from the Contacts Photos album or from your Saved Pictures.

When you sync your phone to Outlook.com account, the updated contacts (and pictures) will sync to Outlook.com.  You won’t see the pictures there, but if you get another phone and sync it to your Outlook.com account, the contacts and associated pictures will be synced over to your new windows phone.