I'm working on a Word 2013 document containing mailing labels. (Well, actually I'm creating badges for a conference – but I'm using the mailing labels mail merge functionality for that.)

I created a picture and placed in in the background of the mailing label cell content. Now I'd like to replace it with another picture without changing formatting settings, size or position. However – as you can see on the following screenshot – the Change Picture button is missing from the Adjust ("Anpassen" in German) ribbon group on the very left.

I therefore created a custom ribbon group that I called "Bild ändern" ("Change Picture" in English) and added the Change Picture button to that group. (Also visible on the screenshot.)

When selecting my picture, the Change Picture button stays disabled. My question is: Why? And how can I enable it? (Or which other way can I replace my picture?)

Screenshot of missing and of disabled Change Picture button

13 Answers 13


See http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2013_release-word/why-is-the-change-picture-button-missing-disabled/9fe78923-e887-43ca-b0ae-c91431fac180?rtAction=1435134204605

There is now a workaround.

  • Start with a Word 2013 docx document that has the 'No change picture' problem

  • Save as a doc (Word 97-2003) - you may be warned regarding loss of features, but do it anyway

  • Save the document again back to docx with a new name (just in case). Leave the 'Maintain compatibility with previous versions of Word' box unticked

  • If you're prompted re the document being upgrade to the newest document format click OK

The full range of Picture tools including 'Change Picture' should now be available."

  • In my case was the reverse, I have to convert from doc to docx and the utilities appears again.
    – PhoneixS
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 11:20
  • Worked well for me. Thx!
    – AirOne
    Commented May 27, 2020 at 17:58

I have just encountered this problem in Word 2016 in a docx created on a Windows system with no compatibility options checked.

I found the problem: I had drag and dropped the (png) images from Explorer into the document instead of using insert inside of Word. For some reason the images that have been drag-and-dropped aren't able to be changed either.

Inserting the images using the insert tab doesn't have any issues with later changing them.


This works in Word 2016 but should also work for Word 2013.

On your file:

  1. Save as...
  2. More options...
  3. Choose .docx file for the format
  4. Make sure the 'Maintain compatibility..." box is unchecked
  5. A popup stating that the file will be upgraded to the latest file format
  6. Save the file

This will update the file and enable the Change Picture functionality. Simply doing Save as and choosing the .docx format will not upgrade the file format, you have to do it through the more options choice.

Obviously, the file will no longer be backwards compatible with older versions of Word.


Select the Picture; then Right Click and Select "Change Picture" -- it works for me on Office 365 as a .docx file I never could get the Format tab options for change/replace picture available. I tried saving as docx with and without "Compatability".


Same problem here after a recent update of PowerPoint for Mac to version 16.10. It's really frustrating, and it'd be much better if "Change Picture" remained an option upon right-clicking on a picture (or at least as part of the "Picture Format" menu".

Seemed like there are other workarounds, but nothing like consistently getting the good old "Change Picture" back. Until I found this, which really satisfies me: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/e03e9969-740b-4b99-ab88-79173cd4c122/powerpoint-2016-change-picture-command-missing-in-drop-down-after-update?forum=Office2016forMac.

I copy Youlia's answer here for convenience:

Hello evryone,

found the same issue here and the OS update to High Sierra didn't change anything. I was worried since no info or feedback was available. Now I feel less lonely with this issue.

Luckily just found a way to access this command I use all the time (like many of us). You can simply add it to the quick access ribbon. Then :

Go to "QuickAccess Toolbar" section
Select "Picture Tools  Picture Format Tab
Scroll to "Change Picture" graal command add it to your ribbon
Enjoy changing pictures until the issue is fixed

Here's the screen grab of this dialog box

enter image description here

The modified quickacces toolbar looks something like this, with the "change picture" button circled:

enter image description here


Word answered it for me - click File, click Convert, it will change it to the new version and allow you to use all functions of Word2013

  • 1
    (1) What will convert what to what new version?  (According to the screenshot, the OP is already using a .docx file.)  (2) I have Word 2013.  When I click on "File", I don't see "Convert" — what am I missing?  (I.e., what are you leaving out?) Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 4:01

Since I didn't want to mess with the version of the original document:

  1. I opened a temporary word document
  2. Saved the temporary document as a Word 97-2003 format
  3. Inserted the new picture into the temporary document
  4. Copied (Ctrl+C) the inserted picture
  5. Switched to the document to have the picture replaced
  6. Selected (right clicked) the picture to be replaced
  7. Pasted the new picture, being sure to select "Use Destination Theme" from the right-click context menu

Perhaps this is more complicated, but it leaves my original document alone (don't have to save it as a new format or anything).


I found an unexpected alternative, which works in Word 2010 (though my 'change picture' button is also missing):

  • Select the image to change
  • On the Insert tab, select Picture
  • Choose your new image

This replaces the old image with the new one, rather than placing it adjacent to the old one. I'm not sure if this is intended behaviour.


This may be a compatibility problem, but it can be worked around by going to the drawing tools toolbox and using the "shape fill" button to insert a new image as the shape background.


This issue occurs as a result of dragging and dropping images directly from the folder on to the document.

Use Insert-->Picture instead. If you are using multiple images on your document, insert the first image using Insert/Picture, then format the the image as desired.

For the remaining images on your document: First copy and paste the formatted image then right click image-->Change Picture option to change to desired image.


I faced the same issue with a document I had.

I cut the picture out and pasted it back again and after this the issue is fixed for me.

I am using Word 2016 OSX version.


This is my first time attempting to contribute to a question posted on the internet. I hope it isn't too far off-topic to post a solution to something similar-but not the exact same thing. Instead of MS Word 2013, I was/am using MS Word 2010 (the Office Professional Plus version, if that makes a difference), and instead of starting with a .docx file, I was given a 97-2003 .doc file to work with.

But generally, it was the same "where the heck is the change picture button?!?" reaction that brought me to this forum, so hopefully that makes this posting appropriate. I am so new that I do not have the reputation needed to post an image, but it looked just like Hauke P's except English-language version.

Under File > Info, I found an icon to Convert earlier file versions to an updated file format, relative to the software being used (so, for me, an MS 2010 version .docx file). Once I did the conversion, the "Change Picture" icon reappeared, and I was happy. Just wanted to write and share my joy.


I was faced with the same missing "change picture" button issue too. But after following the advices for conversions, here's what I found out:

If you place pictures, whether by dragging it from outside word app or by using the Insert tab in the app, in a .doc word file, the change picture option isn't available. I just kept the photos in the document then converted the whole file into .docx, the formatting of photos changed and the option "change picture" appeared in all of my photos.

I'm not sure if this is clear, but if it is, I hope this could apply to most of you, if not all. If your file is already in .docx format, you can try .docx > .doc > .docx conversion to see if it works.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .