Working out image sizes for Facebook often isn’t as easy as it could be. I have a more comprehensive Facebook photo size guide that covers a bunch of different places where images are used on Facebook. But here, I’m focusing specifically on Facebook profile picture size.
|Desktop/Laptop web browser||132 pixels|
|Feature Phones||36 pixels|
In mid-2020, Facebook began rolling out a new, cleaner layout for the desktop site (Mark Zuckerberg had announced it a year earlier, but they took their time rolling it out). It’s designed to update the look and bring it closer to the mobile version.
In the old version (which they’re now calling Facebook Classic), the profile picture was to the left of the cover photo when displaying your Facebook Page in a web browser. In the new layout, the Facebook profile picture displays under the bottom left corner of the cover photo, with a slight overlap.
It has a thin white line around it that’s applied automatically—you can’t remove that or control it.
The good news is that you don’t have to upload a circular image, something that would be a bit of a pain to create. Instead, you can upload any regular rectangular or square image. Whatever shape the image is that you upload, it will be cropped to a circle when it is displayed.
Facebook Profile Picture Display Sizes
Desktop/laptop web browser. In a regular Page view, such as when someone is checking out your profile, it displays in a desktop’s web browser as a circle with a 132 pixels diameter. That’s a bit smaller than the Facebook Classic size, which was 170 pixels.
Phones. The size the profile picture displays on mobile phones varies by type of phone. On modern smartphones, it displays as a circle with 128 pixels diameter. On older phones, it displays at 36 pixels diameter.
When up select a photo to add a profile picture, you’ll get the option to move the focal area around (assuming it’s not square) as well as zoom in and out (so long as it exceeds the minimum resolution).
The profile image that appears next to your name on comments and posts in the timeline is the same image and is still a circle, but it’s automatically scaled down to a diameter of 40 pixels.
Size Requirement for Facebook Profile Picture
Because it displays so small, you’re unlikely to run into an issue with image sizes. So long as your image is at least 170 pixels on its shortest size (which is pretty tiny), you should be good to go.
How to Add or Change a Facebook Profile Picture Using a Web Browser
When you’re logged into your Facebook account, go to your main page. Click on the small camera icon at the bottom right of the profile picture–as you hover, it will overlay to a “change image” link.
You can then select from photos you’ve already uploaded or from something new you want to upload.
Once it’s uploaded, you can reposition which part of the image to use. Simply drag the circular part to the section you want to use.
The circle part stays put, but the background moves.
If you want to zoom in, use the slider at the bottom:
When you’re done, click the blue
New Layout vs. Facebook Classic
In mid-2020, Facebook began rolling out their new layout. It’s an incremental layout, so some users are seeing it before others. And for now, you can switch back to the old layout, which they’re calling Facebook Classic.
The profile picture upload process is a more streamlined approach. That’s a nice way to say that some features are missing compared with Facebook Classic’s profile picture upload window. At least for now–these might well be added later. Specifically, these are:
- Skip Cropping link
- Edit button to apply filters
- Make temporary button
But during this transition period, it’s possible to switch back to Facebook Classic and use these features. So I’m leaving these in for now.
In the Facebook Classic profile picture upload window, you can also make some basic edits to the image, like applying filters or text, by hitting the Edit button under the image.
You’ll get a popup like that, where you can use the menu at left to choose from applying filters or adding text or stickers. You can also add ALT Text, if you like, which is useful for sign-impaired users relying on screen readers.
There’s one other thing you can do, which makes the display of the profile picture temporary. This is useful in cases where you might want to show support for a cause, celebrate an occasion, or just mix things up a bit.
To do it, click on the Make Temporary button at the bottom left.
From the popup, you can choose the duration to display the temporary profile picture before it reverts back to the original.
You’ll notice in the screenshots above that there’s a “Skip Cropping” link. That’s gone in the new layout’s profile picture upload window.
Things Worth Knowing
If you find that your resulting profile picture, after it’s downsized on Facebook, is blurry, try uploading an image twice the size of the downsized image (that is, an image that is at least 264 by 264 pixels). I’ve found that in many instances, that can give a sharper result.
Unlike the Facebook cover area, you can’t use videos or animated GIFs.