By which I mean the files which are referenced as chrome://theme/IDR_PROFILE_AVATAR_X

I have identified the icon used as being %APPDATA%/Local/Chromium/User Data/Profile X/Google Profile.ico

But what I'm looking for is the image used in the top left.

  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
  3. Put your new avatar png file in the "Default" subdirectory.
  4. Edit "Local State" 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").

I had run chrome with the --gaia-profile-info switch before I tried the above, so you may need to do that first, but I'm not sure.

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.

  • 1
    It seems that it is necessary to enable Gaia profile info, however (at least in Chrome Canary) you can now do this from chrome://flags rather than having to run the app with the dipswitch on the command line. Also, on OSX the path looks more like this: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome Canary/Default/Preferences – Jon z Sep 8 '13 at 15:24
  • Is this not working anymore? – laggingreflex Jul 20 '14 at 16:52
  • It works for me. – awe Aug 31 '16 at 7:39

The icons are in the file C:/Program Files (x86)/Chromium/chrome.dll

You can use an application such as 7-Zip to browse the contents.

(You may need to close Chromium before you can access the file - or create a copy.)

Go to chrome.dll/.rsrc/BINDATA/ and you will see a bunch of numerically named files.

Files 6167 to 6192 are the avatar icons, in PNG format.

Unfortunately 7-Zip doesn't seem to support putting changed files back into the DLL, so need to find other software to do that...

Warning: modifying the chrome.dll does change the image, but also appears to stop keyboard shortcuts from working...

  • Would you happen to know where they are located on MAC? – Joseph Marikle Dec 31 '12 at 15:21
  • Editing the binary dll would possibly cause all kinds of unexpected behaviour. Stopping keybord shortcuts is a minor thing. There might also be more hidden stuff that is not working, like security issues etc... – awe Aug 31 '16 at 7:45
  • The aswer by mtd is the best way, as this just tweaks configuration for supported functionality. – awe Aug 31 '16 at 7:47

Answer 1 totally does work. However, there are caveats.

  1. It puts a strange square around your image. I can deal with that but it's not as nice as the ones in the .dll.
  2. It stretches the image vertically. You'll have to "squish" it a bit to get the correct proportion.
  3. You'll have to go back into "edit" to select your new image
  4. Bob's your uncle. I'll attach a picture below so you can see the results.

You can see the results here:

enter image description here

  • Here's your +10 - Nice Answer! – G Koe Mar 13 '14 at 21:20

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