How to Remove Your Profile Picture on Facebook: The Ultimate Guide

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Do you cringe every time you see your old, outdated Facebook profile picture? Maybe it‘s a blurry selfie from 10 years ago or a photo you no longer identify with. We‘ve all been there!

Your Facebook profile picture is often the very first impression people will get of you online. That‘s why it‘s so important to keep it fresh and up-to-date.

In this comprehensive guide, you‘ll learn how to delete or temporarily hide your current Facebook profile picture in just a few easy steps. I‘ll also provide tips to help you choose a new fabulous photo to show off the best version of yourself.

Here‘s what we‘ll cover:

  • Why You May Want to Remove or Update Your Profile Photo
  • Step-by-Step Instructions to Delete Your Current Picture
  • What Happens When You Remove Your Profile Photo
  • How to Temporarily Hide Your Profile Picture
  • Expert Tips for Choosing a Great Profile Photo
  • When You Should Change or Refresh Your Profile Picture
  • Privacy and Security Considerations
  • Troubleshooting Issues When Removing Your Photo
  • The Importance of Profile Photos for Your Personal Brand

Let‘s start by looking at some reasons why you may want to take down your existing profile photo…

Why You May Want to Remove or Update Your Facebook Profile Picture

Your profile photo is one of the first things people notice about you on Facebook. It accompanies your name anytime you post comments, share content, and interact with friends.

An unflattering, outdated, or inaccurate profile picture can give people the wrong impression. Here are some common reasons to remove or update your current photo:

  • It‘s an old picture from years ago – Frequent profile picture updates show you‘re active on social media. If your current picture is more than 1-2 years old, it‘s time for a change.

  • You look different now – If you‘ve lost weight, changed your hairstyle or appearance dramatically, your profile photo should reflect your current look.

  • The picture quality is poor – Blurry, pixelated, or badly lit photos don‘t do you any favors. Low-quality pictures get compressed on Facebook too.

  • It doesn‘t reflect the real you – Be sure your profile photo aligns with how you want to portray yourself professionally or personally.

  • You want a consistent look – Having the same profile picture on all your social media accounts helps people recognize you.

  • You‘re concerned about privacy – Some prefer generic avatars over real photos for anonymity.

According to a 2022 survey by Dimensional Research, around 37% of Facebook users change their profile picture at least once per month. Nearly half update it every six months or less.

Regularly updating your profile photo keeps your identity current. Don‘t be afraid to hit delete on that old, unflattering pic!

Step-by-Step Instructions to Remove Your Facebook Profile Picture

Ready to take down your Facebook profile photo? Thankfully the process is quick and painless. Here‘s how to remove or delete your current profile picture in just a few taps using the Facebook mobile app:

1. Go to Your Facebook Profile Page

  • Open the Facebook app
  • Tap the hamburger menu (3 horizontal lines) in the bottom right
  • Select "See your profile"

This takes you to your profile page where your profile photo and cover image appear.

2. Tap Your Profile Picture

  • Tap directly on your current profile picture

This opens an overlay menu with options like "View Profile Picture," "Select profile picture or video," "Add Frame," etc.

3. View Your Full Size Profile Picture

  • Choose "View Profile Picture" from the overlay menu

This displays your profile photo enlarged so you can preview the entire image.

4. Tap the Three-Dot Menu

  • Tap the three dots in the top right while viewing your full size profile picture

This opens a drop-down menu for editing the photo.

5. Select "Delete Photo" to Remove Your Profile Picture

  • Choose "Delete Photo" from the menu
  • Confirm deletion if prompted

Deleting the photo removes your profile picture instantly. You‘ll now see the default gray silhouette avatar.

And that‘s all there is to it! Just a few taps and your old profile pic is history.

Now let‘s look at what happens next…

What Happens When You Remove Your Facebook Profile Picture?

When you delete your profile photo in the Facebook app, it automatically gets replaced by the generic gray silhouette icon on a blue background.

This default avatar shows you don‘t currently have a custom profile picture set. It‘s the same placeholder image new Facebook users see before adding their first profile photo.

According to Facebook‘s documentation, the dimensions for this default silhouette are 180 x 180 pixels.

If you want to upload a new profile picture right away after deleting your old one, simply tap on the silhouette icon. Then select "Choose Photo/Video" to pick a new picture from your device camera roll or Facebook photos.

Otherwise, your profile will continue showing the plain gray avatar until you actively change it by uploading a new picture. There‘s no requirement to have a custom profile photo – the generic avatar works just fine if you prefer it!

How to Temporarily Hide Your Profile Picture

What if you want to remove your current profile picture but don‘t necessarily want to delete it forever? No problem! You can easily hide your existing photo from public view:

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above to pull up your full size profile picture
  2. Tap the three dots and select "Edit Privacy" or "Edit audience"
  3. Change the audience setting to "Only me"

This makes your profile picture private so that only you can see it. Everyone else will see a blank space or the gray silhouette instead – even your Facebook friends.

The benefit of hiding versus fully deleting your profile pic is that you can always change the audience setting back to public in the future to restore the original photo.

So if you just feel like swapping it out temporarily, limiting visibility is a handy option. You get to keep the picture in your Facebook history but avoid any embarrassing explanations for removing it entirely.

Expert Tips for Choosing a Great Profile Picture

Ready to upload a new fabulous profile picture after deleting your old one? Consider these pro tips for choosing an ideal photo that puts your best face forward:

  • Use a clear, recent photo of your face – A headshot or upper body pic where your face is clearly visible works best. Make sure it reflects your current look.

  • Smile naturally – Warm, friendly smiles photograph best. Avoid awkward forced grins or closed lip smiles that look uncomfortable.

  • Wear something that reflects your personality – Consider apparel and styling that communicates your personal or professional brand.

  • Choose flattering lighting – Soft, natural lighting flatters most faces. Avoid harsh shadows or overly bright backlighting.

  • Check the background – Solid, neutral backgrounds help keep the focus on you. Make sure nothing distracting is visible.

  • Take it horizontally – Landscape photos show your full head and shoulders. Vertical shots may get cropped.

  • Enlist a friend‘s help – Having someone else take a few candids of you often yields better results than forced selfies.

  • Use photo editing tools – Quick touch-ups to adjust brightness, contrast, cropping and color can significantly improve any picture.

Following these best practices will ensure your new Facebook profile photo does your fabulous self justice!

When You Should Change or Refresh Your Facebook Profile Picture

Wondering how often you really need to update that profile photo? Here are some general guidelines:

  • At least every 1-2 years for casual users
  • Every 6-12 months if you‘re an active social media user
  • Whenever you get a new hairstyle, tattoo, piercings or make a significant appearance change
  • When your current photo is outdated or no longer an accurate reflection of you
  • When you change jobs or want a more professional-looking photo
  • When you feel like refreshing your look or personal branding
  • After major life events like engagements, weddings, having a baby, etc.

While there are no hard rules here, updating every year or so ensures people see your latest look. More frequent changes can help you express different sides of your personality over time too.

Privacy and Security Considerations for Profile Photos

Profile pictures, like anything posted on social media, have associated privacy and security risks. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Your profile picture is visible to all Facebook users by default unless you limit the audience. Never post anything you want to keep private.

  • Once you upload a profile photo, it remains in Facebook‘s server records and image archives even if you delete it from public view later.

  • Although unlikely, a data breach hypothetically could expose your profile pictures along with other account info.

  • Profile photos are used by Facebook to improve facial recognition capabilities and AI training.

  • Scammers or catfish accounts sometimes steal profile photos to impersonate real people.

  • There can be professional reputation risks if questionable photos are associated with your name.

While low, the privacy and security risks of posting profile pictures on Facebook are worth considering. Use your best judgment when determining what to share publicly.

Troubleshooting When You Can‘t Remove Your Facebook Profile Picture

Frustratingly, you may sometimes run into issues trying to remove your Facebook profile photo. Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Close and restart the Facebook app – this often resolves temporary glitches

  • Check your internet connection – you‘ll need a stable connection to update your profile

  • Turn your phone to airplane mode briefly – this forces the app to refresh

  • Install any available Facebook app updates – bugs may be fixed in newer versions

  • Try viewing your profile on a desktop computer – mobile app issues don‘t always affect the desktop site

  • Report the problem to Facebook – technical support can further investigate and fix unresolved app issues

In most cases, simply force closing and reopening the Facebook app will allow you to remove your profile picture with no problems. But if issues persist, contacting Facebook support is your next best step.

Why Your Profile Photo Matters for Personal Branding

Choosing a fabulous, fitting new profile picture isn‘t just vanity – it‘s strategic personal branding. Here‘s why your Facebook profile photo matters:

  • It‘s often the very first impression people will get of you online. An unflattering or sloppy photo can negatively impact how people perceive you.

  • Profile pictures accompany your name and comments as you interact on Facebook. An old, inaccurate or weird photo undermines your credibility.

  • Consistent profile pics across social media platforms help people easily recognize you and reinforce your personal brand.

  • Photos give hints about your personality, values, interests and how you want to be seen professionally.

  • Regularly updating it shows you‘re an active, engaged user who cares about your social media presence.

A 2021 study by PRAC found 61% of consumers admit judging someone based primarily on their social media account and photos. So your profile picture definitely matters!

Your Facebook profile picture leaves a lasting first impression on everyone who interacts with you online. That‘s why it‘s important to keep it updated and put your best face forward!

With Facebook‘s mobile app, removing your old profile picture takes just a few simple taps. Just open your profile, select your current photo, choose "Delete," and confirm to replace it instantly with a clean slate.

Taking down outdated or unflattering old photos preserves your personal brand and public image. Don‘t let a bad profile picture from the past sabotage how people perceive you now!

Choose a new picture that reflects the real, best version of yourself today. Your social media contacts will appreciate the refreshed look.

How often do you update your Facebook profile photo? Have any tips for capturing the perfect one? Share your thoughts below!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.