Your user account image is the user profile picture you see on Windows 11’s login screen, the Start menu, and in Settings. The account image can be whatever you want it to be.
Many users include pictures of themselves or favorite photographs for account images. If you want to do the same, here is how you can change the user account image for both local Windows and Microsoft accounts on Windows 11.
How to Change Your User Account Image for Local Accounts
If you sign in to Windows 11 without a Microsoft account, your user account is a local one. That account will have Windows 11’s default generic profile image unless you select to add a custom image. You can change the image of your user account in Settings like this:
- Firstly, add a suitable account profile image to a folder on your PC.
- Launch Settings (press Win + I), and select the Accounts tab.
- Click Your info to view account options.
- Press the Browse files button.
- Then select the account image from the folder you saved it in.
- Click the Choose picture option.
Now you’ll immediately see the newly selected user account image in Settings and on the Start menu. Sign out of Windows to see it on the login screen. Note that selecting a new profile picture via Settings will also change your Microsoft account image if you sign in to Windows with an MS account.
Alternatively, you can select to capture a photo of yourself for the account picture with your PC’s camera (assuming it has one). Press the Open Camera button to bring up Windows 11s built-in app for capturing photos. Then press the Take Photo option in the camera, and select Done to apply changes.
How to Change Your User Account Image for a Microsoft Account
Windows 11 displays users’ Microsoft account images for those who sign in with their MS accounts. Those users can change their Windows user profile images via MS account settings. The profile picture you choose for your MS account will be visible in all apps utilized with it.
Here is how to change your PC’s user profile image in a Microsoft account:
- Save a user image file on your PC, or capture one with the Camera app.
- Open the Microsoft account site within a web browser.
- Sign in to your Microsoft account if not already logged in.
- Then click the Your info link at the top of the page.
- Click the Add a Photo button.
- Select the Add a photo option.
- Then select the image for your Microsoft account in the folder you saved it.
- Click Open in the folder navigation window.
- Drag the image into position within the circle in the preview box.
- Click the – and + bar buttons to zoom the photo in or out.
- Press Save to add the new image.
How to Change Windows 11’s Default User Account Picture
When you haven’t set any custom local user account image, you’ll see the default blank avatar profile picture in Windows 11. However, you can change Windows 11’s default account picture to a different image of your choosing. There isn’t any built-in option available for changing it, but you can change the default image in the User Accounts Pictures folder. Then Windows will display the new default user account picture in that folder.
First, you’re going to need an alternative profile image to add to that folder. You can find plenty of suitable pictures on the IconArchive website. Type user account image in the search box there, and then select an alternative profile picture; click the Download PNG option, and right-click the image to select Save As. Choose a folder for the picture, and click Save to download.
The profile picture downloaded from Icon Archive will have a default 256 x 256 size in pixels. You’ll need to create five resized copies of that image with alternative dimensions. Those pictures must be resized to and saved with the following pixel sizes and file names:
- user-32.png – 32 x 32
- user-40.png – 40 x 40
- user-48.png – 48 x 48
- user-192.png – 192 x 192
- user.png – 448 x 448
You can resize the profile image with Windows 11’s MS Paint app. Our guide for resizing images in Microsoft Paint includes full instructions for how to do so. When you’ve resized the picture to one size, click File > Save as > PNG Picture. Then enter the file name for the specified dimension in the list above, choose a folder, and select the Save option. Don’t save over the original 256 x 256 image, which you’ll need to resize five times.
When you’ve done all that, you’ll need to move those PNG files into the User Account Pictures folder. You’ll also need to move the original PNG files out to a different directory if you want to preserve them. This is how you can move the PNG files into that folder to change the default user account picture:
- To open Windows 11’s file manager, press the button with the folder icon on the taskbar.
- Next, open the C:ProgramDataMicrosoftUser Account Pictures folder shown directly below by entering that path in Explorer’s address bar.
- Move the user-40.png, user-48.png, user-32.png, user.png, and user-192.png files out of that folder by left-clicking them and dragging them into your Pictures directory on Explorer’s sidebar.
- Then drag and drop the new user-32, user-40, user-48, user-192, and user PNG image files you set up in Paint into the User Account Pictures directory.
- Restart Windows 11 to apply.
Now you’ll see your new default user account picture on the Start menu, in Settings, and elsewhere in Windows 11. That default user profile picture will be applied to all Windows accounts on your PC with no custom image set.
You can restore the original default profile picture by moving the new images you added out of the User Account Pictures folder. Or delete those files instead. Then move the original PNG files back into that folder.
An alternative way to preserve the original profile files is to change their extensions to BAK. You can change those extensions by right-clicking them and selecting Rename. Note that the File Explorer name extensions option also needs to be selected to modify extensions. Then those files would be:
Modifying those files’ extensions will prevent the new PNG images from overwriting them when moved into the same folder. Then you can restore the original default profile picture by deleting the new images in the User Account Pictures folder and changing the BAK files back to PNG format.
Make Your Windows Account More Identifiable With a Custom Image
Changing your Windows user account picture to an image of your choice with those methods will make it more identifiable. You’ll instantly be able to recognize your account with a custom image you’ve added to it. A custom user picture will also give your account a more personal touch.