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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 YouTube.com 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 https://aboutme.google.com/. 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.

22 Comments

  1. Elizabeth says:

    If you’ve updated your picture in the General tab of your Gmail settings, but when hovering over your name in your Chat list, you still see the old picture, check to make sure you haven’t set a picture for yourself in your Contacts list. Click Contacts on the left side of the page and search for your Gmail address. Select the entry for your address and check the picture on the right side of the page.

  2. Tami says:

    I’ve done all the things on this page and I still have the old picture as my icon on my browser AND my youtube! Even though my new picture shows on my youtube channel page, when I comment it is the old one! SAVE ME!

  3. Fatimah says:

    Your information was extremely helpful but it didn’t solve my issue (changing the picture in the icon of my email). I had to delete the old profile picture for it to actually work. Which I was able to do by accessing the album archive (https://support.google.com/plus/answer/6008918).

  4. Midnight Run says:

    Sometimes it takes a few days to work its way into the system. After following the suggestions here, my profile icon was changed to my new one in all except the one in the upper corner of the browser window. I’ve run into this problem before and after a few days, it fixed itself.

    I guess you just gotta have patience.

  5. fghoiehfbvlkha says:

    It didn’t work for me! Actually, I’m not even sure if I did it correctly!

  6. rahana parvin says:

    not bad

  7. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the helpful post. I’ll just add that none of those options above worked for me to finally switch the photos everywhere, and in the end I finally found a solution by going into my android phone and removing all the google data (Signing out of my google account in the settings, Gdrive, Gmail, Google Play Store, hangouts, etc) Once I did this, reset the phone, and came back to gmail on my macbook (after a reset of cashe / history in the browser).

  8. Ken says:

    A ctrl-F5 in the browser did the trick. Which forces your browser to re-get the image and not use any that’s cached.

  9. Diana Studer says:

    Also found this.
    Wait 24 hours.
    https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/gmail/0JHDuYHU1Us/Fwqmz_2xCAAJ

    I have a fuzzy old picture up on my toolbar – which is ‘linked to my gmail’ which IS right.
    Maybe tomorrow.

    And it is my fault for deleting the previous picture from my Google photos.

  10. Yoana says:

    What happens if you are about to turn 13, but google accounts won’t let you get a profile picture?? DO you have to wait until you are 13?

  11. Sunghyun Lee says:

    So what I’ve done is deleting the photo in the album and changing my profile photo.

    I think the problem is solved at least when I’m using my laptop, but NOT on my phone.

    I don’t know what the problem is. I don’t have my old photo anymore for every service on Google, for example, youtube etc.

    I’ve already checked my albums on google and yes… that’s weird.

  12. Tammy Donahugh says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting this! I’ve been working at this little bits at a time for over a year now and consider myself pretty decent with the computer. The trick that finally fixed the issue for me was the Google About Me page. Thank you again!

  13. I’m trying to put Gabe the dog photos on my Google account picture screen.

  14. A box will appear over your photo, selecting part of it. Drag this selected region to crop your photo or resize the region by clicking and dragging one of the region corners.

  15. Omaris Bhumiriady says:

    Hello.

    A couple of days ago, my Google account got disabled without warning but I was able to restore it. However, whenever I try to restore my profile pic, it will never update at all.

    Can someone help me? This is a critical issue!

  16. Hermann says:

    Hi, in my new samsung phone where it says profile picture, it says “you can not change your profile picture” it was in my old phone in my gmail account, do you know why ?

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