How to update your Gmail picture

Change your Gmail mugshot with these few easy steps

When you send an email to a fellow Gmail user, a small picture of yourself accompanies the message. It’s important that this picture be professional, particularly if you’re sending email to potential employers.

Performing this seemingly simple task of updating that photo in Gmail should be easy, but it isn’t as straightforward as you might think. The trick is that Google stores two different photos of you — one for Google Plus and another for Gmail.

The Gmail photo is used exclusively for email, while the Google Plus photo is used for Hangouts and a few other Google services. This can get confusing, so let’s run through changing both pictures, just to cover all your bases. To start off, here’s how to change your Gmail picture.

How to change your profile picture in Gmail

Step 1 — Log into Gmail on your desktop or laptop. Click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of your Gmail inbox, then click Settings.


Step 2 — You will start in the General tab of the settings pane. Scroll down until you see the section called My Picture and click the blue Change picture option when found.


Step 3 — Click Choose File to browse your computer for the perfect profile picture. 


Step 4 — Find the photo you want to upload and double-click it. From there, you’ll be asked to crop the photo. Once you’re satisfied with your handiwork, click Apply Changes. That’s it, you’re done!


How to change your profile picture in Google Plus

You might notice, after changing your Gmail profile picture, that your profile picture hasn’t changed in Google Hangouts and other Google services. This is because Google uses your Google Plus profile picture for these services. This is particularly confusing for Hangouts, which is tightly integrated with Gmail.

If you update your Google Plus profile picture, however, you can ensure your picture remains the same across various Google services. Here’s how.

Step 1 — Head to your Google Plus profile page and click Edit profile.


Step 2 — Click your current profile picture.


Step 3 — Choose a picture from among your Google uploads, or click Upload to grab a file from your computer. Afterward, click Set as profile picture in the bottom-left corner. Google will then automatically apply the changes across its various services!