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How To Change Your Google Profile Photo / Icon

The problem: I’ve already changed my Google photo twice, yet the old photo keeps appearing in every single email I send, and I bet I’m not the only one struggling with this. So let’s figure out how to change your Google profile photo — for real this time!

Honestly, it took me way too long to figure this one out and I had to browse through way too many guides online to actually get it done. So, I felt like I should write another quick how-to guide for anyone who’s having the same tiny, but somewhat annoying problem.

Ok, get to the point already! Yes, I agree. To the point. Here are a few things you can try:

The Obvious: How To Change Your Google Profile Photo

Here’s what I (obviously) tried first:

  1. Open Gmail, click on your profile photo on the upper right corner.
  2. Hover over your photo, click on Change.
  3. Choose a photo from your folders or upload a new one. Done!

This is what I did the first time and it changed the image in the upper corner alright… however, every email I sent still showed the old photo as a little icon. Annoying! So, I investigated further. I did all the tricks. Below, you’ll find some of them.

How to change your google profile photo
Ironically, this one still shows my old photo…

The Next Step

  1. Open Gmail, click on the little Settings icon (cog shaped) and choose Settings.
  2. Scroll down to My Picture and change it.
  3. Save your changes from the bottom of the page by clicking Save Changes.

How to change your Google profile photo

The YouTube Trick

Ok, so after the first two steps my bigger profile photo, as well as my Gmail login icon both changed alright. BUT… I still had that pesky, crappy summer holiday photo appearing as a tiny little thumbnail bubble in every single email I sent out to clients and the rest of them. Super annoying! I googled around a bit and someone suggested changing the photo via YouTube. Strange… but ok, let’s try that too.

  1. Go to and make sure you’re logged in with the Google account you want to use the new profile photo with.
  2. Click on your profile photo on the upper right corner. (There’s a lot of clicking your own face involved in these instructions but let’s just keep at it, patiently.)
  3. Your profile page opens; click on your (bigger) profile photo here in the middle. If you hover over it, it should say “Edit channel icon“.
  4. Click the image and a pop-up with an Edit button should appear. Do it! Click on it and change the photo as advised.

How to change YouTube user photo

The About Me page on Google

Still not working? Ok, let’s try one more thing. Google’s About Me page. If you’re logged in with your Gmail or your Google account in general, you should find it at And on this page another one of your profile photos lives. Click on it, and another Pick a photo pop-up should appear. Do as you’re told.

How to change Google user photo

Did any of these do the trick? Something still wrong? Please share in the comments and we can compare our struggles. For the record, I use a PC with the latest version of Chrome, and I’m not sure if all this applies to anything else. But we can discuss that in the comments as well.

How, I still have a couple of old photos appearing on YouTube and other places, but I’ll get back to those a bit later… some real life stuff to attend do!


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Tiia / Fangirl Quest
Tiia / Fangirl Quest
Photographer, illustrator, graphic designer, copywriter, marketing assistant. I once traveled across North America in flipflops. I love dogs, ketchup and many inspiring people. Visit my photo portfolio here.