How to Edit a Twitter Thumbnail

by David Nield
Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

The Twitter thumbnail that follows you around the social network, appearing next to your tweets and direct messages, is a smaller version of the main avatar picture associated with your account. You can change this at any time, but bear in mind that it represents you to the outside world via your Twitter account -- if you want real-life friends to be able to recognize you and find you on Twitter, for example, choose a clear and well-lit photo of your face.

Step 1

Log in to Twitter and click the "Gear" icon, then choose "Settings" from the drop-down menu that appears.

Step 2

Click "Profile" and then "Change Photo" next to your current avatar picture (the "Photo" entry, not the "Header" one). Select "Upload Photo" from the drop-down menu; you can also choose "Take Photo" to take a picture with your computer's webcam.

Step 3

Pick out a new image and choose "Open." The subsequent pop-up window enables you to control the zoom and cropping of your new photo -- unless it is a perfect square, some parts of it will need to be cut.

Click "Apply" when you're happy with the photo. After a few moments, the new photo appears under the following message: "Your avatar was published successfully."


  • It may take a few minutes for your new thumbnail picture to appear on your profile and on individual tweets. If you choose to remove your profile picture completely, it's replaced by the Twitter egg logo used for all new accounts.
  • Photos uploaded to Twitter for use as profile pictures must be less than 2MB in size and saved as a JPEG, GIF or PNG file. Animated GIFs are not supported.
  • If you experience problems changing your profile picture on Twitter, a browser bug is most likely to blame. Upgrading to the latest version of your browser or clearing out its cache and cookies may be enough to resolve the issue. Alternatively, try switching to a different Web browser to make changes to your Twitter thumbnail.
  • Consider your header photo when choosing a new profile avatar. Make sure the header and profile pictures complement each other when viewed on your Twitter page.


Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

About the Author

An information technology journalist since 2002, David Nield writes about the Web, technology, hardware and software. He is an experienced editor, proofreader and copywriter for online publications such as CNET, TechRadar and Gizmodo. Nield holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and lives in Manchester, England.

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