Change your Google profile picture to a more exciting one

How long have you had your Google profile picture or avatar? Five years? 10 years, longer? Guilty! It is about time you updated it. Use the profile picture editor to create a great custom image.

I have had my Google profile picture for so long that if you passed me in the street, you probably would not recognize me because I have changed so much. Hmmm, maybe that is a good thing.

Using a photo of yourself is not compulsory, and you can use any image you like for your profile picture or avatar. It is the image that people see in their contacts, emails, shares, and other services where you are logged in with a Google account.

You can upload a photo from your computer or phone and use it as your profile picture, but there is a fun profile photo editor that you probably didn’t realize existed. It enables you to create fun illustrations and set them as your profile image.

Let’s see how to choose a new profile picture and customize it. It can be done in any web browser, like Chrome or Edge, on a Windows PC or Apple Mac. It doesn’t really matter what you use.

Open the account panel

Your Google account panel in Gmail.
Show your Google account panel

Go to any Google service in a browser, like Gmail, and click your picture in the top right corner of the page. Do not click your picture in the browser toolbar, click the one in the page and the Google account panel is displayed. Click the little camera icon on your current profile picture in the top left corner of the panel.

Change your account picture

Your Google account picture and options to change it.
Your Google account picture

A large version of your account picture is displayed and below it is a Change button. Click it to change the image for something else.

Browse the profile images

Illustrations in the Google profile editor.
Browse the profile illustrations

Three tabs enable you to browse illustrations, choose one of your images in Google Photos or upload an image from your computer. Before you select anything, scroll the illustrations panel because there are many more than are shown here.

Explore collections of illustrations

Google profile illustration collections,
Scroll and browse the image collections

As you scroll, collections of illustrations are displayed, like Racing, Natural wonders, Headwear, Solo sports, Birds, animals, hobbies and many more. Click one of these collections and then browse the images it contains. There must be hundreds of images in total.

Edit a profile ilustration

Edit the Google profile image.
Edit the Google profile image

Click an image that you would like to use in your Google profile and a larger version is displayed. A strip of thumbnails below it enables you to select different color schemes and to crop and position the image. This is the magic wand tool in the toolbar at the bottom and there are paint, crop and rotate tools.

Customize the profile photo colors

Customize the profile image colors.
Customize the profile image colors

Click the tilted paint pot icon in the toolbar and the color of some elements of the image can be changed. You cannot change all of them, only some of them. In this rally car image, there are options to change the trees and the car. Click one of the color circles.

Change the colors in the Google profile illustration.
Customize the illustration colors

Other images have different options, but usually it is the foreground object and background that can be recolored. Click and drag around the color wheel to change the colors in the illustration. Press Done when you have finished editing the image.

Change the visibility of the profile image

Finishing up the new Google profile image.
Finishing your new Google profile image

The image is finished and you can click Save as profile picture, but there is one more thing you can do and that is change the visibility. At the moment, it is set to be visible to anyone, but clicking this enables you to change this.

Set your Google profile image visibility.
Set your profile image visibility.

Who do you want to be able to see this new Google profile picture? It can be anyone or just the people that you interact with. Select an option, click Done and when you return to the previous screen, save it.

Profile pictures don’t have to be of you, and they don’t have to be dull. Select an exciting illustration, crop and zoom, and customize the colors. Have fun with it!

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