How to Change the Facebook Cover Photo

Mulling a new selfie stick for your travels? Here are some helpful tips to ensure that you get the right one for you. Getty Images

On the new Facebook pages, you have a profile picture and a cover photo. A profile picture is what will appear when you post on your page or profile, or on someone else's page or profile. It is also what will appear in the news feed whenever you make an update to your profile or page. A cover photo is a larger image that will appear above your profile picture. Facebook suggests that this image should be unique and representative of your brand. For a business Facebook page, you might use a picture of your product, a photo of your storefront or a group shot of your employees. But don't limit yourself. The cover photo is an opportunity to be fun and creative.

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How to Choose a Cover Photo

Facebook Images and Albums

Screenshot of Facebook © 2012

This is the most time-consuming part of the process. You don't want to select just any photo to be the cover photo. You want to select a photo that highlights the most important thing about your page.

Cover photos are horizontal, so a picture that is at least 720 pixels wide is suggested. The best images are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. Facebook has specific guidelines of what cannot be included in a cover photo; mainly, a cover photo cannot look like an ad.

You should look through all the photos you have already uploaded to Facebook. You may already have the perfect cover photo. If you find one you like, make note of what album you found the photo in.

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Adding the Cover Photo

Choosing a Facebook cover photo
Screenshot of Facebook © 2012

Once you have chosen a cover photo, click Add a Cover. A warning message from Facebook will pop-up reminding you that the cover photo cannot be promotional or resemble an ad.

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Two Photo Options

Uploading a Facebook cover photo.
Screenshot of Facebook © 2012

You have two options for adding a photo. You can choose an image from the photos you already have uploaded to Facebook or you can upload a new photo.

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Selecting a Photo from an Album

Choosing a photo from a Facebook album.
Screenshot of Facebook © 2012

If you choose from the photos you have uploaded you will be shown your most recent photos first. If the image you want is not a recent photo, click View Albums in the upper right corner to select a photo from a specific album. You will have the option of picking the album and then selecting a photo from that album.

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Uploading a New Photo

Uploading a new photo on Facebook
Screenshot of Facebook © 2012

If you decide you want to add a new image, click on upload photo. A box will appear to find the image saved on your computer. Find the image and hit open.

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Position the Photo

Screenshot of Facebook © 2012

When you have selected an image, you can reposition it up or down, left or right, for the best display. Once the image is in position, click Save Changes.

If you don’t like the image you picked you can cancel and start over, repeating steps five through seven.

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New Cover Photo Posts to Timeline

Facebook cover photo created
Screenshot of Facebook © 2012

Once you have added a new image, it will also post to your Timeline that you have updated your cover photo. You might not want your cover photo change to be broadcast on news feeds of the people that like your page.

To remove the cover photo update from your Timeline, hover your mouse over the right-hand corner of the new cover photo announcement on your timeline. Click the icon that looks like a pencil and select Hide from Page.

After looking through the Facebook help page, it is impossible to change or upload a cover photo on the Facebook app. So when you get home to your laptop, the dimensions for the cover photo are 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. The alternative is to use the mobile web version instead of the Facebook app to update your cover photo.