Windows Vista Tutorial

Change your user account picture in Windows Vista

User account pictures in Windows Vista Whenever a user account is created in Windows Vista, a picture, or avatar, is automatically associated with the user profile. This process is random, and you may not like your user account picture; fortunately, Vista makes it a snap to switch to another profile picture of your choice.

Windows Vista ships with 12 such profile pictures, from which you can pick one; but you can also use a custom picture for your profile, using a photo from your computer, or an image found online. This tutorial explains how to customize or change your profile picture in Windows Vista.


Access your user account profile in Windows Vista

Load the user accounts control panel in Windows Vista Start by opening the User Accounts screen.

To load the user accounts for Windows Vista on your computer, click on the Start Menu, and type "User accounts". At least one of the results displayed by the Start Menu displays an icon with two users: click on it to open the Control Panel's User Accounts screen.

If you are using the Classic Start Menu in Windows Vista, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > User Accounts.

Change your user account picture to another Windows Vista image

Change profile photo in Vista Under the Make changes to your user account section, locate and click on the link labeled "Change your picture". This will load the "Choose a new picture for your account" screen, which displays your current picture, as well as twelve other account images that ship with Windows Vista. If your current account picture is one of the 12 built-in account pictures, this is because your account can have any picture, not just the ones with which Vista. (In other words, you see 13 images displayed, one of which is your current user account picture.)

Windows Vista built-in user account images and photos
Notice that your current user account picture is highlighted (in blue by default, unless you customized windows' colors). If your current profile picture is one of Vista's 12 images, you will see it appear in duplicate: this is normal, as we'll why later in this tutorial.

Pick a different profile picture

To pick one of Windows Vista's built-in images, select the image and click Change picture: your new profile picture will now be displayed instead of the old one on the Start Menu, Windows' login screen, etc. If you are happy with your new profile photo, you can close the Change Your Picture window.

Use a personal photo or online image as user account picture

Pick a user account picture from your computer Windows Vista doesn't restrict you to the 12 pictures we mentioned: to change your profile picture to a photograph of yourself, or another image on your computer, click the Browse for more pictures link, displayed below the 12 built-in pictures: the Open dialog will open, displaying the content of your profile's Pictures folder (what used to be called "My Pictures" in Windows XP). You can pick an image in your Pictures folder or navigate to another folder and double-click on the image you want to use for your profile.

Using a new profile picture for your user account As soon as you have chosen a new profile picture, Windows Vista returns to the User Accounts screen, and displays your user account information with the updated picture (and you can change the picture again by repeating the steps we outlined earlier in this tutorial).

Use an online image (photo from a website or web page) as user account picture

To use an image your found on the internet as picture for your Windows Vista user account, you can right-click on the picture, save it, and use the procedure above to make it your default profile picture.

Using an online picture for your Windows Vista profile Alternatively (easier), you can right-click on the image, click Properties and copy the image path (in Internet Explorer) or right-click on the image and choose Copy image location (in Firefox). In the Open dialog that appears after clicking the Change picture button, instead of navigating through folders of pictures on your PC, just paste the URL (internet address) you just copied, and hit Enter. Windows Vista will fetch the picture from the internet, create a local copy of it on your hard drive, and use it as your new user account picture.

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