How to Add A Picture To Your Gmail Profile

Change the picture people see when they open your emails

A young woman in a yellow jacket taking a cell phone selfie

 Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

Your Gmail profile picture is what people see when they open your emails in their Gmail account. You can change this picture any time you want and for any reason by clicking on your existing image or avatar.

You should have a profile picture in Gmail not only for people you know but also those you don't to minimize the anonymity behind your email address. When you update your Gmail profile photo, anyone who hovers a mouse over your name or email address from their email account will see your updated profile image.

You can only use one image across your entire Google account, with the exception of Gmail. When you change your Gmail profile image, you can make it change just for Gmail, or you can have all of your profile pictures change across any other Google-run public page you might have, like in Hangouts or YouTube.

Want to change your overall Google profile picture? Whether you're currently using Gmail, Google Photos, or Google Calendar, you can change out that photo in just a few steps. These instructions are the same for each of these websites; go here for those step-by-step instructions.

How to Change Your Profile Picture in Gmail

You can also change your Gmail profile picture from within Gmail's settings. However, going this route only lets you upload a new picture, not select one you already have on your Google account.

  1. Use the gear/settings button at the top right of Gmail.

    Turn off Gmail conversation view
  2. Pick Settings from the options.

    Turn off Gmail Conversation View
  3. In the General tab, scroll down to the My picture section and click the Choose a picture link.

    The General Settings menu with the
  4. You'll go to your About Me page for all of Google's services. Click the camera icon in the center of the photo space near the top of the page.

    A Google About me page with the profile pic icon highlighted
  5. A window will open with the pictures you've uploaded to your Google account. Click one of them to select it, or click Upload Photo to find one on your hard drive.

    Photo picker for a Google profile with
  6. If you upload a new photo, navigate to its location on your hard drive and highlight it, and then click Choose.

    Browsing for a new Gmail profile pic, with the Choose button highlighted
  7. Scale and move the new photo until it looks how you want, and then click Done.

    Your profile picture must be a square. If you upload one with a different aspect ratio, you'll have to crop it before you can use it for your profile.

    Image formatting window for a Google profile pic with the Done button highlighted
  8. Google will update your profile picture throughout its services.