Messenger Profile Picture Not Updating? (7 Reasons Why)

Messenger Profile Picture Not Updating

If you want to keep your Facebook profile up to date, the first thing to do is to post a recent picture of yourself. When you change your profile picture on Facebook, it usually updates quickly and published a new status for you saying that you’ve just updated your Facebook profile picture.

Facebook Messenger is a Facebook-owned application that allows you to message your friends and family. When you send a message on Messenger, your profile picture shows in a small icon next to your message.

Sometimes after updating your Facebook profile picture via the Facebook app, the profile picture on the FB messenger app doesn’t update with it.

If you don’t like your old profile picture, this can be frustrating because you won’t one other people seeing it in Messenger. There are a few things you can do when FB Messenger won’t change your profile picture on your iOS or Android device.

Facebook Messenger Shows Old Profile Picture

When messenger or Facebook shows your old profile picture, it’s usually down to messenger taking too long to update or you having no internet connection. Luckily, you can update the app and fix your internet connection to get the profile picture updated.

Sometimes your profile picture shows for you, but it might not show for some of your friends. There are a few reasons why this happens below.

Why Can’t I Change My Profile Picture on Facebook?

1. No Internet Connection

Because of a low or no connection to the server, you are not being allowed to change your profile picture. If you’ve already attempted to refresh but it’s still not working, there is probably an error with the server’s connection to the network.

There are a few ways to fix a bad internet connection. You can relocate and find a better network to connect to, or you can reset your current network or connection. One of the ways to do this is to unplug and replug the router, or follow the instructions on your router’s manual.

You can also contact your internet provider or find their online support instructions. You can also try restarting your device and giving it a few moments before reattempting to connect to the network.

2. Glitch

A glitch on the website or system might not be allowing you to change your profile picture. Try refreshing your browser, and if that doesn’t work, try logging out and in of your account.

This will refresh your page and account, which will hopefully get rid of the glitch. If the glitch continues, you might want to try contacting Facebook support through their online help desk.

3. App Out Of Date

Your application might be out of date and needs an update. Check the app store to see when the most recent update was and make sure you’re on schedule. If you’re not, just click the ‘Update’ button right next to the app icon.

This will update your application and you should be able to change your profile picture if that was the issue. Give it a few minutes’ time, refresh and try again through your app or browser.

4. Uploading the Wrong Format

Facebook only takes certain formats for uploading photos or videos. These formats include either JPG or PNG. Make sure you’re using the right ones. Here are the formats and sizes that Facebook can take;

Since Facebook profile photos are set as squares to upload an image in any size, Facebook will crop it to a square. Profile pictures are always displayed in circles, so make sure that the important content in your picture will be contained in the circle. 

Once you upload your profile picture, your audience will see it at approximately 170px by 170px on a desktop, 128px by 128px on a smartphone, and 36px by 36px on most mobile phones so keep this in mind as you look for the image to set as a profile picture.

If you have a logo or text in your profile picture, consider uploading it as a PNG file rather than JPG because it will appear much clearer. 

Facebook may be refusing to upload your file because of the formatting. To fix this, you can reformat the picture or find another image that is in a matching format. The reformatting feature usually comes with every computer, so reformatting any image you’d like to either JPG or PNG should be easy. Be careful though, this could severely harm the quality. 

Once you have your image formatted or you get an image of the correct format, you should be able to change your profile picture.

5. Facebook/Messenger is Down

Facebook or messenger might be down. There may be a system maintenance routine happening or a system wide shutdown. Check other forms of social media such as Twitter or Instagram, or Google search to see what news is happening with the Facebook servers. Usually the server or system is back up and running before 24 hours. Having a little patience and waiting it out could go a long way.

If the issue continues past a few hours or a day, contacting Facebook at their online support website is advised.

6. File Too Large

The file is too large to upload. As I mentioned, having your image be at 170px by 170px on a desktop, 128px by 128px on a smartphone, and 36px by 36px on most mobile phones is the most effective image sizes for the Facebook application and website. You can always resize the image using an editor tool, either pre-installed or from the app store. 

Usually, Facebook will resize the image to be able to use it as a profile picture, but if it doesn’t it might truly be too big of an image. Finding another similar image resized is possible, or forgoing that one and finding one the right size might be better.

You can google search the image with the desired dimensions and the perfect image should show up. This way you can avoid the ‘File Too Large’ issue.

7. You’re Using a VPN

Facebook doesn’t allow third party applications. This is for security reasons. So although you may have a VPN specifically to keep your browsing history secure, Facebook does not allow this in case the third-party app is for nefarious reasons such as hacking or stealing someone’s information. You will have to turn off your VPN while using Facebook if you want access to certain features. 

How to Change Group Photo in Messenger

Group chats on messenger are handled differently from individual chats. Group chats on Messenger come with their own personable chat names and set group picture. This can be changed by anyone in the group, including you. This is how to change a group profile picture for messenger on iOS;

1. Open up your Facebook on a browser or through the app.

2. Log into your account. 

3. Look to the right and find the messenger options. 

4. Open a group chat, and tap the name at the top twice. 

5. You’ll now be able to change the picture by adding a picture from your camera roll. All your friends in the chat will see the new photo.

To change a profile picture for android; 

  1. Open up your Facebook on a browser or through the app.
  2. Log into your account. 
  3. Look to the right and find the messenger options. 
  4. Open a group chat, and tap the name at the top twice. 
  5. You’ll now be able to change the picture by adding a picture from your camera roll. All your friends in the chat will see the new photo.

Once you change the messenger group photo, it should be visible to everyone in the chat.

Why is My Messenger Picture Different From Facebook

Your messenger picture should update as soon as you update your Facebook picture. Facebook has it set so your messenger picture and profile picture are always the same without exceptions. There are multiple reasons why it might not be updating as it should;

1. It Hasn’t Had Enough Time to Update

It just hasn’t had enough time to update. Give it a few minutes and refresh the page a few times and your messenger profile picture should update. If it still doesn’t show up after some time, you might want to try the other steps in this article. Especially if it doesn’t show up after a few refreshes, you might want to contact Facebook support.

2. There’s A Bug

There might be a temporary bug or glitch keeping you from uploading the profile picture. You should try refreshing the browser or exiting out of the app and coming back and retrying.

This should give the system some time to refresh and it should work on your second attempt. If this persists, contacting the help desk online might be your best option.

Why Can’t I Change My Profile Picture on Messenger?

FB messenger won’t update to your current Facebook profile picture because Messenger is showing you an old cache which means that it hasn’t updated its cache since you changed the profile picture.

The cache is a collection of data stored about Facebook and the cache is update every so often. When your cache updates, you should be able to see your new profile picture on Facebook Messenger.

How to Change Profile Picture on Messenger

If you’re unable to change your profile picture on Messenger due to troubles, then there are a few things that you can do that will allow you to change it if you’re unable to.

If you’re not even sure how to change your profile picture on messenger, you need to go to the Facebook app, tap on your profile, tap select profile picture or video, then chose what you want your profile picture to be. If you’re not seeing the changes reflect on Messenger soon after, you need to do the following:

1. Clear FB Messenger Cache

The first way to troubleshoot this problem is to clear the FB Messenger cache files so that it can create a new one. Since your FB profile picture has already been changed, when the cache files are cleared, a new one is created and this one will have to correct information about your profile picture.

To clear Messenger’s cache on your Android device: Go to Settings > Click Storage > Other Apps > Click Facebook Messenger > Click Clear Cache. After visiting the app again, the profile picture should update to the one you uploaded to Facebook.

To clear Messenger’s cache on your iPhone or iPad: Open Facebook > Click More in the lower-right corner > click Settings then Account Settings in the drop-down > Click Browser > Click Clear Data.

2. Update Messenger

If there’s a bug in Messenger that stops it from displaying the correct profile picture, you can try and remove the glitch by updating the app. Glitches are more prevalent in old versions so if Messenger is currently running on an old version, you need to go into the Store and update the app. Once the app is up to date, you should check if the profile picture has been updated.

3. Re-install Messenger

If clearing the cache didn’t work out for you, you can remove FB Messengers data from your device and reinstall it again. Since Messenger won’t change your profile picture to the one on Facebook, clearing the app’s data from your device then re-install it again might get Messenger to show to correct profile picture.

4. Switch from WIFI to Data

If there’s an issue with your WIFI or data connection, it can stop Messenger from updating. If your internet speeds are too slow, things within the app may not function properly. If you’re using WIFI, you’ll need to switch to data vice versa. From here, you’ll need to restart the app and check if your profile picture has been updated.

5. Change Profile Picture

change facebook profile picture

If you’ve tried to troubleshoot the Messenger app and it still won’t update your profile picture, you can go back to the Facebook app and change the profile picture again. You can change the current profile picture to the same picture to see if this will trigger the fb Messenger app to update the profile picture to the once you’ve just changed it to.

6. Restart Phone

If all fails and Messenger is still showing you your old profile picture, you can restart your device. There may be a bug within your device that’s causing problems with FB messenger.

When you restart your phone, the operating system is refreshed and troubleshot for any bugs that could be causing issues within the device. Once your device turned on, you can open Fb messenger again and check if your profile picture has been updated to the one you changed on Facebook.


Your profile picture might not be showing up for several reasons. A lot of the time, it has to do with cache. This is because there is too much visual data happening at once and the network and website get overwhelmed.

This can be easily cleared and then your page or app should run smoothly. You can also attempt restarting your app, device or website to see if it’s an issue that will go away by refreshing. Other reasons why may be bugs, glitches or network errors.

These all have simple solutions, which all start with refreshing the page or resetting the network. 

If you’re still having issues finding the root of the issue or the solution, you might want to check the Facebook help resources at which has articles relating to all issues encountered on Facebook or to contact their help desk through their website.

We also have plenty of articles relating to Facebook issues and how to navigate them on our site as well and we will continue to update on Facebook issues as it continues growing.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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