How to change your profile picture in Facebook Messenger

Who I am
Matthew M. White
@matthewmwhite
Author and references

One of the most important parts of your Messenger account is your profile picture. It represents your first chance to make a good impression on other users who may not have visited your Facebook page. This is why it is important to have image quality. Poor and outdated images need to be changed because they don't do you justice, but how can you do that?

In this entry, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to change your Messenger profile picture. With this knowledge, you will be able to keep your profile up to date and prevent poor quality images from ruining your chances of interacting through the app.



Can you change your Messenger profile picture without Facebook?

Unfortunately, changing your profile picture without a Facebook account is impossible if you are using the latest version of Messenger. Before 2022, this feature was accessible, but the developers removed it.

Even though this has irritated a lot of Messenger users, there is still a way to update your profile picture. You will need to make the adjustment from your Facebook account.

Therefore, people who have not created a Facebook account will need to create one. Likewise, users who have deactivated their accounts will need to reactivate them for the time being. Once they update their profile picture on Facebook, it will automatically change on Messenger.

That said, you might be able to upload a new profile picture to your Messenger account even if you don't have Facebook. This feature is only available if you are using an older version of the app. Here's how the process works:

  1. Launch Messenger.
  2. If you are not logged in, enter your account credentials.
  3. Tap your profile picture in the upper left of the screen.
  4. Tap "Edit" below the image. You should now see several options, including "Change Profile Picture" and "Change Name."
  5. Choose "Change Profile Picture".
  6. Select a new image from the gallery or capture a new one.
  7. After choosing a profile photo and customizing it, tap "Use Photo" to save your changes.

Your Messenger profile picture should now be updated. However, doing this on an older version is not recommended. These applications do not have access to all necessary features and may even compromise the stability of your account. Therefore, update your Messenger and the following sections will tell you how to change your profile picture in the conventional way.



How to Change Your Messenger Profile Picture on an iPhone

As mentioned earlier, changing a Messenger profile photo requires access to your Facebook account. If you don't have one or if you deleted your account, install the app and/or activate or reactivate your account and follow the steps below to update the image:

  1. Tap the menu button represented by three horizontal lines at the bottom of your screen.
  2. Tap your name and profile photo.
  3. Choose the “Select a profile photo or video” option.
  4. Select your image or add a new frame.
  5. Hit the "Save" button once you are happy with the changes. For best quality, the image should be at least 320 pixels high and 320 pixels wide.
  6. Open your Messenger to see your new profile picture.
  7. If the image does not appear, restarting the app should fix the problem. To do this, go to your phone's "Settings", followed by "Applications" and "Messenger". Tap on “Storage” and “Clear Storage” option.
  8. Open Messenger and you should see your new picture.

You may also consider editing the photo before sharing it on Facebook and Messenger. This option allows you to showcase your images in the best light, increasing the chances of more social interactions.

Here's how to change your profile picture before uploading it to Facebook and Messenger:

  1. Go to the top of the News Feed and click on the Photo/Video symbol. It should be below the question "What do you think, (name)".
  2. Choose the image you want to share.
  3. Hover over the image and press the pen edit symbol. If you selected multiple photos, click "Edit All", navigate to your new profile picture and press "Edit".
  4. Select your editing options on the left side of the screen. The list includes adding captions, tagging friends, rotating image, cropping image, and adding alt text.
  5. After making your settings, press the “Save” button.
  6. Tap the left-pointing arrow and choose your audience.
  7. Select "Publish" and your profile picture should be updated.
  8. Launch Messenger to check your new profile picture.

How to Change Your Messenger Profile Picture on an Android Device

Changing your Messenger profile picture on an Android shouldn't be a problem for you either. The conditions remain the same: you must have an official Facebook application and an active account.



If you meet both conditions, you can update your profile picture:

  1. Open your Facebook app.
  2. Go to the “What are you thinking (name)” box and tap your profile picture to access your profile. You can also tap the menu symbol that appears as three horizontal bars on the right side of your screen and choose your ID.
  3. Tap your ID name.
  4. Tap your profile picture to access several image-related settings.
  5. To change the image with one from the gallery, you will have to press “Select profile image”.
  6. Select a photo from the gallery. You can also change the image in this menu. Your options include adding frames, creating avatar profile photos, selecting profile videos, and adding designs.
  7. After selecting your image, you will be able to edit it. The process is the same for Android and iOS users.
  8. Once you are happy with your changes, choose "Done".

Your Messenger profile pictures should now be updated. But sometimes the app may not show your new image. There is a simple solution to this problem:

  1. Go to your home screen and navigate to the "Settings" section.
  2. Scroll down and tap on the "Applications" window.
  3. Find the Messenger app and tap on it.
  4. Choose the “Storage” option.
  5. Tap "Clear cache" and "Clear data".
  6. Open your Messenger and check if your profile picture has been changed.

If the solution does not work, you can try the following methods:



  • Restart your device – This might be a cliché solution, but it fixes a lot of issues with your apps. Restarting your phone might do the trick.
  • Removing recently installed third-party apps – Downloading certain apps may interfere with other programs on your device and cause them to malfunction. If you recently installed a third-party app, remove it and it may allow Messenger to download your new profile picture.
  • Factory reset your smartphone – As a last resort, reset your device to its factory settings. This will restore your software to its original version, but it may allow Messenger to change your profile picture.

How to Change Your Messenger Profile Picture on PC

If you find that your Android or iPhone screen is too small to update your Messenger profile picture, you can use your PC. To do this, you will need to use your browser:

  1. Launch your browser and navigate to the Facebook website.
  2. Enter your login credentials.
  3. Go to the top bar and tap your profile name. You will now access your profile page.
  4. Hover over your profile picture to bring up the “Update Profile Picture” option. Click on it and you will see a window with several settings.
  5. Select "Upload photo" if you want to use an image stored on your PC. Your other option is to scroll down and choose an image you've already uploaded to Facebook.
  6. Once you locate your favorite image, click on it.
  7. Start dragging the image to adjust it. In this way, you will be able to change the position of the thumbnail according to your preferences. Moreover, you can crop, add effects, edit the image and make it a temporary Facebook profile picture.
  8. After making all your customizations, press "Save" in the lower right part of this window.

Your profile picture should now be uploaded to Facebook and Messenger.

Additional FAQs

Why can't I update my Messenger profile picture?

There can be several reasons why you cannot change your Messenger profile picture. For example, you cannot do this directly through the app because Facebook has disabled this feature on the most recent version. You can only do this on older versions of apps.

But you can only adjust specific settings on Messenger, such as delivery settings, privacy, notifications and sound, and phone contacts. To edit your Messenger profile (eg profile information and photo), you will need to use your Facebook account.

Can you have different profile pictures on Messenger?

Unfortunately, you cannot have a different profile picture on your Messenger than on Facebook. They will both be identical. The main reason is that Facebook is connected to Messenger and the apps have a common database.

However, other apps allow you to use a separate profile picture, even if Facebook owns it. WhatsApp is the best known example. The platform has its own database, allowing you to upload a different profile picture.

Step up your Messenger game

Like any other app with profile pictures, Messenger doesn't limit you to just one picture. You can change it at any time to enhance your profile and let others see your best side. The only problem is that you can't do this directly from the app – you'll have to use your Facebook account. Fortunately, the process is a walk in the park.

How often do you change your Messenger profile picture? What version of the app are you using? Tell us in the comments section below.

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