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How to use a GIF for your Google profile picture

The GIF format is widely supported by desktop image viewers and online image editors, as well as various social media sites. It’s grown in popularity quite a bit but you still can’t use it anywhere and everywhere you want. That said, the right GIF can still be used anywhere, as long as the image format is supported. Google supports the GIF format for profile pictures. If you have the right GIF, and by right we mean appropriate, you can use it as your profile picture. Here’s how you can set a GIF as your Google profile picture.

GIF as Google profile picture

First things first; find a good GIF to use. The GIF being used for this post is not an example of an appropriate GIF. It’s there for instructional purpose only. You can create your own GIF, or you can search online for one.

Once you have the GIF, visit this page. If prompted to, sign in with your Google account. Your profile picture is editable from this very page. Click the camera icon on the picture.

Select the option to upload an image from your computer, and then upload the GIF that you want to use.

Adjust the image if you need to and click ‘Set as profile photo’. That should do the trick and your profile photo should update however, it doesn’t always update immediately. You can wait for the update to eventually happen or you can force it.

To force the update, click the camera button on your profile picture. If the new image hasn’t appeared, you will still see the old one. Clicking the camera button will return you to the same upload photo screen. This time, go to the ‘Your photos’ tab, and select the ‘Profile Photos’ folder. Inside this folder, you will see the GIF you uploaded. Select it, and click the ‘Set as profile photo’ button. Repeat this 2-3 times until the profile photo updates.

The GIF will appear as your profile photo when you send an email and it will play which is why it’s important to have something appropriate and nothing that plays too long.

You can change the profile photo back to your old one, or to something else. The process is the same as it is for setting a GIF as your Google profile photo. All you have to do is use a different image i.e., one that isn’t a GIF when given the option to choose an image. This will update your profile photo across all Google services including YouTube and Chrome. If you want, you can set a different profile photo for Gmail.


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