User Profile Administrators can no longer upload a picture for a User Profile in the UPA as of June 2011 Cumulative Update

Update: This is resolved in the December 2011 Cumulative Update.

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There was a code change in the June 2011 Cumulative Update that prevents Administrators of a User Profile Application from uploading profile pictures for users other than themselves. The code change occurred in Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.ProfileImagePicker function, within the SaveFileToPersonalSite(HttpPostedFile file) method. Pre-June 2011 Cumulative Update:

private void SaveFileToPersonalSite(HttpPostedFile file)
{
	SPUtility.ValidateFormDigest();
	if (Path.GetExtension(file.FileName).Equals(".gif"))
	{
		this.m_strErrorMsg = StringResourceManager.GetString(0x1e7f);
	}
	else
...}

June 2011 Cumulative Update:

private void SaveFileToPersonalSite(HttpPostedFile file)
{
	SPUtility.ValidateFormDigest();
	if (!this.IsPersonCurrentUser())
	{
		this.m_strErrorMsg = Microsoft.SharePoint.Portal.WebControls.StringResourceManager.GetString(LocStringId.PictureUpload_SavePicture_Error);
	}
	else if (Path.GetExtension(file.FileName).Equals(".gif"))
...}

As you can see, in the June 2011 Cumulative Update, if the Current User is not the user being managed in the UPA, it will throw an error. Unfortunately the error is not helpful (“There was an error saving the picture. Please try again later”) to the Administrator, nor is anything useful logged in the Event Log.

Trevor Seward is a Microsoft Office Apps and Services MVP who specializes in SharePoint Server administration, hybrid scenarios, and SharePoint Online. He has been working with SharePoint for 16 years from SharePoint 2003 on up, managing environments with terabytes of content for 150,000+ user organizations. Trevor is an author of Deploying SharePoint 2016 and Deploying SharePoint 2019. You can find him on Twitter and in /r/sharepoint.