I'd like to make the profile icons in chrome more meaningful.

E.g. a pic of the profile's user, my company's logo for my work profile.

Edit: I've changed the accepted answer to reflect application updates.

  • In my knowledge, there is no way to change the profile icon in Google Chrome. However, you can sync your Google account and it will pull your Google+ profile icon as your chrome profile icon. If you want, you can sync two of your Google accounts having profile pictures you'd like. Currently, that is a work around but I can't put it in answers as it does not specifically answer your question
    – bioinfoboy
    Apr 17, 2012 at 6:15
  • 1
    I just updated the question to specify I'm referring to Chrome browser, not Chrome OS. I set my browser to sync with no result. I'm assuming you're talking about the OS? Sorry for my omission :-P
    – Pete
    Apr 17, 2012 at 15:27
  • Bet to differ. It was possible to put up our own photo as User Icon in Chrome upto 21. From 22 a lot of us are finding it impossible. madmadrasi.net/2012/01/…
    – user206283
    Mar 12, 2013 at 2:46
  • I really need this feature too!
    – zx1986
    Mar 10, 2016 at 13:20
  • Please see my updated solution here superuser.com/a/999696/521064
    – serge-k
    Mar 29, 2016 at 20:09

13 Answers 13


Some of the answers are out of date or more complex than they need to be. Presumably Chrome has added some functionality since the question was asked.

As of June 2018:

First, check that a picture is associated with your Google account. Open GMail and see if a picture appears in the top right. If one shows up, you're good to go.

If you don't have a picture associated with your Google account:

  1. Open Gmail
  2. In the top right, click Settings
  3. In the "My Picture" section, click Change picture

Note: Changing your picture in GMail affects your entire account. This is just a convenient place to do it.

Note: If you have a GMail contact for yourself, any picture attached to that contact may override the picture you see in GMail. It's worth checking to see if you have such a contact, and whether that contact uses the same picture.

To change your image in Chrome, once you have an account picture:

  1. Open Chrome settings (Navigate to chrome://settings/ or via the menu)
  2. Click the user icon near the top left of the page (to the left of your account name)
  3. Select your account image if exists there

If your account image wasn't available, fear not. It just needs to be synced from Google.

  1. From the main settings page click "Sign Out"
  2. Do not choose to delete your data.
  3. Sign in again.

Your current account image will be synced. Repeat the steps in the previous section and enjoy your icon.

  • 2
    This only works if you have a google account for the profile you want to change. Jul 10, 2019 at 13:55
  • Signing out and in again has been the only working solution so far! Thanks!
    – Wizard79
    Dec 4, 2019 at 7:56

This worked for me:

  1. Quit Chrome (ensure you don't have any running).
  2. Find the Chrome application directory (e.g., on Windows, it is %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data, on Mac it's ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/).
  3. Put your new avatar png file into the "Default" subdirectory.
  4. Edit the "Local State" file in a good text editor.
  5. Find the "profile" section; it resembles this:

       "profile": {
          "info_cache": {
             "Default": {
                "avatar_icon": "chrome://theme/IDR_PROFILE_AVATAR_7",
  6. Ignore the "avatar_icon" line - it's not what you want!

  7. Edit the "Default" profile section and add the following lines (I put them in the right alphabetical order amongst the other lines; I'm not sure whether that matters):

                "gaia_picture_file_name": "your-icon-file-name.png",
                "has_migrated_to_gaia_info": true,
                "use_gaia_picture": true,

  8. Save the "Local State" file.

  9. Start Chrome.

If you want to do this for other profiles, just do the above steps for a different directory besides "Default" (for example, "Profile 1").

You may want to star the Chrome issue 91230 http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=91230 to get a proper UI for this type of thing again.

(I also answered this at How do I access/edit the Chrome user avatar images? on Super User.)

  • I had no luck with this method. Version 37.0.2062.124 m on Win7 Pro SP1.
    – Pete
    Oct 13, 2014 at 17:33
  • 1
    This worked for me. I mistakingly used a jpg the first try and the avatar displayed as a pink square. Updating to png, as described in step #3 got things working. Jan 17, 2017 at 7:44
  • 1
    Works on Ubuntu with Google Chrome 79.0.3945.88. I reverted hideous initials used as avatar to nice yellow head by setting: "avatar_icon":"chrome://theme/IDR_PROFILE_AVATAR_7" and setting "is_using_default_name":false. If you want other profile icon just try different avatar numbers. I don't know if setting is_using_default_name to false is required, just copied that value from Windows.
    – shycha
    Jan 8, 2021 at 1:39
  • 1
    So far this works on Chrome 93.0.4577.63 macOS and has survived a Chrome restart. I ensured that use_gaia_picture is true and set gaia_picture_file_name to the filename of an image I dropped into the corresponding profile directory.
    – evan.bovie
    Sep 14, 2021 at 20:39
  • 1
    has_migrated_to_gaia_info seems to be an obsolete property; it's no longer referenced in the chromium source code, and this works on my machine if omitted.
    – evan.bovie
    Sep 14, 2021 at 20:39

This is not possible in current versions of Google Chrome or Chromium.

The Chromium issue tracker has a ticket for adding this feature, which you can follow:

  • By the way, this has been an extremely active issue on the chromium code.google page.
    – Pete
    Apr 18, 2013 at 14:31
  • 3
    Scroll all the way to the bottom of the Issue page and look for the barely noticeable star icon. Click it to vote for the issue. May 2, 2013 at 16:20
  • 6
    The star is also in the top blue header under the search bar to the far left.
    – Brandon
    Feb 27, 2014 at 23:48
  • Frustrating ! A basic functionality and It's been 5 years !
    – Dio Phung
    Nov 20, 2016 at 5:59

I just found a "non-hacky" way to fix this...

  1. Click on the profile name at the top of the browser window.
  2. Select the profile picture, the chrome settings page will appear with a list of avatars to choose from. Close this.
  3. From the list of profiles, select the one labeled "Current". Note: this only works for the profile currently active.
  4. Click "Edit". Your Google Profile Image should appear at the beginning of the list.
  5. Switch profiles and repeat.

Image Showing Steps

Chrome: Version 47.0.2526.106 m

OS: Windows 10 Pro

  • 2
    Thanks. This helped me to add the Google profile picture to an other (non primary) Chrome profile. Sep 21, 2016 at 7:55
  • 2
    Perfect. This should be the accepted answer.
    – kmote
    Apr 28, 2017 at 19:07
  • Step 3 does not seem to exist any longer. Jul 10, 2019 at 13:52

Changing your profile icon is possible with the solution given at https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=91230#c43 with several limitations.


  1. Quit chrome, or kill it with task manager to be sure it's closed.
  2. Open a command prompt or Start Menu->Run
  3. Run the command: chrome --gaia-profile-info


  1. You can only change the primary profile icon with this method, not other profiles.
  2. This method sets your profile icon to match your Google Account profile picture, so you must set your profile picture to the desired icon before-hand.

Hopefully the Chrome team will add proper support for this in the future.


The following command works on Mac OS 10.7.5:

"/Applications/Google Chrome.app/Contents/MacOS/Google Chrome" --gaia-profile-info
  • 1
    What this did is it changed the title for my last opened profile to match my Google account including my profile image that replaced the previous icon. These changes persisted after quitting and reopening the browser without the additional option. Apr 26, 2014 at 9:30

This is just to replace with the Google account image, but is what most people want I guess and is very easy to do.

Tested in Chromium 40.0 and Google Chrome 40.0 in Linux.


set to 'enabled' and restart browser.

  • Then repeat that, and setting to 'disabled', the avatar emoticon is replaced with the Google account image automatically, or that image is available in Settings>People>Edit user.

enter image description here enter image description here

  • I really need this too!
    – zx1986
    Mar 10, 2016 at 13:22

This is probably too simple, but it works: I removed the file "Google Profile Picture.png" from my user directory, and put another file with the desired picture with the same name in the same directory. Worked.

  • 3
    This is at the top level of the profile folder, correct?. I.e., "C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Profile 1\"? I'm not seeing a file named Google Profile Picture.png. I see a "Google Profile.ico" file...
    – Pete
    Oct 13, 2014 at 17:37

This worked for me. Select your account, then Syncing to (your email address), and Manage your Google Account, you can change your profile picture there. To get the new image to display on the task bar, select Syncing to again, and turn sync off and on.


For me, the issue was not being able to Quickly visually differentiate between accounts, since I use similar profile photos across gmail accounts, which is the default image. The solution that worked for me was:

  • Open chrome://settings/people
  • Click "Chrome name and picture":

Image of menu

  • Change name to something short, and choose one of the canned pictures

Image of selection screen


Change Chrome Browser Profile Picture WITHOUT Signing Into Google Account

  1. Using a file explorer, go to C:\Users\your user name\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\
  2. Rename the Avatars file to Avatars2
  3. Create a new Avatars directory
  4. Copy one of the avatars (e.g., avatar_illustration_cheese.png) from Avatars2 to the new Avatars directory
  5. Rename that avatar with a 2 after the .png (e.g., avatar_illustration_cheese.png2)
  6. To change the avatar to a different color, white for example, open that image in a photo editor and change the color
  7. Save that image with the same name but without the 2 (e.g., avatar_illustration_cheese.png)
  8. To change the avatar to a picture, open any photo in an editor, change the size to 192x192, and rename it to the same name as the file saved in step 4 and save it to the new Avatar directory
  9. Restart the browser and the new image will show as the profile icon

as of now you cannot do so directly or indirectly through something like resource hacker. I changed the profile icons (png pictures) in the Chrome.dll which is a file Google Chrome loads. However, in spite of them changed using resource hacker, my new icons do not show up in the settings section of Google Chrome so don't bother trying.


I didnt try any of the above answers. This works already since long time for me.

  1. Create a directory for a personal profile. eg. C:\ChromeProfiles\PRIVATE or C:\ChromeProfiles\BUSINESS .
  2. Place an .ico file with the icon that you wish in above directory.
  3. Create a shortcut on desktop (or other location). Depending on your version of windows adjust the location of the application Target : "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --user-data-dir=C:\ChromeProfiles\PRIVATE
  4. After creating the shortcut, open the properties of the shortcut. Click Change Icon, and browse to the location of your personal profile. e.g. C:\ChromeProfiles\PRIVATE\PrivateIcon.ico
  5. Add the shortcut to Taskbar.

By the way.. When you have a different profile create in the above way, you can then choose any Google-profile-image that you want, associated with you google account.

  • Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question. "I'd like to make the profile icons in chrome more meaningful."
    – DavidPostill
    Jun 21, 2016 at 17:40

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