# How do I change my profile picture, icon, or avatar?

I'm currently using the stock image, which is a colorful kaleidoscopic design:

but I'd like to use a photograph or picture of my choosing instead.

How do I change this image?

• Gee, you mean you don't really look like that? I thought those green things were just zits or something. – Olin Lathrop Dec 6 '11 at 15:58

Go to your profile, then click edit. Then right under your avatar picture is a clickable link to change the picture.

This site uses a annoying system where you have to set up this stupid "gravatar" account, which apparently exists for holding avatar images. Then you come back here and reference the gravatar account.

Yes, I think it's silly too that you can't just upload a picture. I guess that would be too easy.

• Gravatar is great! But, to be serious, I need to say that I think they don't want to store images in their server. – abdullah kahraman Dec 6 '11 at 14:14
• @abdullah: Seems like a long way to go to avoid storing one small file per user. They already have other per-user state, and avatar pictures could easily be size limited, so this doesn't sound like a problem worth going to such extraordinary lengths to avoid. – Olin Lathrop Dec 6 '11 at 14:33
• @Olin - The motivation behind this feature/system/annoyance is that you could potentially use the same avatar service on multiple sites, just like you could log into multiple sites with your OpenID. If you don't use other Gravatar- or OpenID-enabled sites, then yeah, it's not really very useful. You may also be interested in this status-deferred feature request to use non-Gravatar avatars. – Kevin Vermeer Dec 6 '11 at 15:17
• It could also be for moderation reasons, to avoid improper avatars. – clabacchio Feb 2 '12 at 13:37

This is a FAQ on meta.stackoverflow.com (Note: It's fine to ask it here) at How do I change my profile picture, or avatar?

### How do I change my profile picture, or avatar?

1. Go to Gravatar.com
2. Create a profile and upload a picture.
4. Wait a few hours for it to propagate.
5. You might need to clear your cache to have the new image requested.

### How can I use different avatars on different SE sites?

2. Change your e-mail address on the sites for which you want a different avatar.
3. Follow the steps in How do I change my profile picture, or avatar? (above) for the new address.

### How do the SE sites know when I changed my Gravatar?

The SE sites directly link to these Gravatar images from gravatar.com, so that when it is updated on Gravatar, it will be updated immediately on the SE sites as well. You may need to clear your cache to see the changes, though.

According to Gravatar, your email address is hashed and used in your avatar's URL. For example, in the URL http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/6b40908a8b13c9c7eecfcb95960cc0f6?s=128&d=identicon&r=PG, the portion 6b40908a8b13c9c7eecfcb95960cc0f6 is your email's md5 hash, provided you have an email address associated with your account.

StackExchange now (or actually a while ago) hosts your own avatar image. Using Gravatar is not necessary anymore, the images are now stored on imgur (the same place all the site images are stored).