How to Remove Profile Picture on Facebook Without Deleting

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How to Remove Profile Picture on Facebook Without Deleting

Nowadays, when you create a Facebook profile, you are obligated to add a profile picture before completing the setup. Also, the profile picture has to be a photo of a human, so users often feel forced to upload a photo that may not even be to their liking.

After setting up, you may want to change or remove the photo as a profile picture but find that it is hard to do so without deleting the photo entirely as a post on Facebook.

But, many Facebook users sometimes wish to remove their profile picture without actually deleting the photo as a Facebook post. This is especially difficult when you do not have another photo posted to your Facebook timeline that you can choose as your new profile photo.

This is a default Facebook setting that, even though it is not written outright, tries to force users to have a picture that would let others identify them. So, it seems that if you wish to remove your profile picture, you would have to lose it entirely.

Can You Remove Profile Picture on Facebook Without Deleting?

You don’t necessarily have to delete your photo as a post if you want to remove it as a profile photo. Thankfully, even if you don’t want to have any profile picture at all, you can upload the No Profile Picture silhouette as your profile image and still keep your former picture rather than delete it as a post.

Alternatively, you could just upload another photo from your gallery and use it as your new profile photo. That way, you get to remove the former photo as a profile photo without losing it entirely from your Facebook posts.

If you are not able to do any of the above, the last resort would be to actually delete the profile photo as a post.

In this article, we have provided steps on how to perform each of the above actions so that you can choose the one that works best for you.

How to Remove Profile Picture on Facebook Without Deleting

There are 3 main ways to remove your profile picture on Facebook. The method you choose depends on your intentions and privacy concerns.

Apart from these methods, you could also simply hide your profile photo from the public and even from friends altogether. We will explore all the methods below.

1. Upload a Default Photo

The default photo on Facebook is the placeholder silhouette that Facebook places automatically as your profile picture when you delete your existing profile picture. The silhouette of course depends on your gender if you specified your gender when creating your account.

However, you could also upload this silhouette as your new profile photo without deleting your existing profile photo. To do this, please follow the steps below:

On Web (PC)

1. Click on your profile

2. Click on photos

3. Under your Photos, click on Add photo/video

4. Select the default Facebook profile photo silhouette from your gallery and upload it

5. Select edit profile

6. Select Edit next to profile picture

7. select the Silhouette from the photos on your PC and click save to use it as your new profile picture

Note: This default photo will appear as a post on your timeline. You will want to delete it immediately so that it doesn’t come across as weird.

1. To do this, go to your timeline

2. Click on the 3 dots next to the photo

3. Select move to recycle bin

This way, the photo is preserved as your profile picture but removed from your timeline as a post.

Even after deleting it as a post on your timeline, it will still show that you updated it as your profile picture on your timeline. If you want to remove this completely:

1. Go to your timeline

2. Click on the 3 dots next to the post that says you updated the silhouette as your profile picture

3. Select Hide from Profile

This way, you have successfully removed your profile picture, preserved it as a post, and not come across as weird or fishy to users and to Facebook algorithms.

On Facebook app:

1. Open your Facebook app

2. Tap the Menu icon (3 horizontal lines top right)

3. Tap on See Your Profile

4. Tap on your profile picture

5. Tap on Select Profile Picture

6. Select the default Facebook silhouette from your phone and upload it

It becomes your new profile picture while keeping the former as one of your uploaded photos.

2. Choose Another Profile Picture from Your Gallery

If you do not want to use the blank silhouette as a profile photo, you may choose another photo from your gallery as a profile photo instead. Please follow the steps below to do this.

On Web:

1. Click on your profile photo and select See Your Profile

2. Click on your profile photo again

3. Select update profile picture

4. Select upload photo

5. Select the new photo you want to use as a profile picture from the location on your PC

6. Click save

On Mobile app:

1. Open your Facebook app

2. Tap the Menu icon (3 horizontal lines top right)

3. Tap on See Your Profile

4. Tap on your profile picture

5. Tap on Select Profile Picture

6. Select the new photo you want to use as a profile picture from the location on your phone and upload it

If, after uploading a new profile photo you want to restrict who can view the previous profile photo as a post on your Facebook page, please follow the steps below:

On Web:

1. Click on your profile photo

2. Select See Your Profile

3. Select the Photos tab

4. Select the former profile picture you want to restrict views on

5. Select the globe or people icon under your name at the top right

Select any of:

  • Public – this means that everyone (people on Facebook and off Facebook) gets to see the picture
  • Friends – this makes the picture visible to only your Facebook friends
  • Friends except – this allows you to decide the friends you want to exclude from being able to see the photo
  • Specific friends – this allows you to select the only friends you want to be able to view the photo
  • Only me – makes the photo visible to only you
  • Custom – allows you to create lists of people you want to be able to view, and people you want to exclude from viewing the photo

This way, when you remove the photo as a profile picture you decide who gets to see it on your page if you do not want to remove it entirely.

On Facebook app:

1. Open your Facebook app

2. Tap the Menu icon (3 horizontal lines top right)

3. Tap on See Your Profile

4. Scroll down to Photos

5. Select Uploads

6. Click on your former profile picture

7. Select the 3 dots at the top right of the screen

8. Select Edit Post Privacy

Select any of:

  • Public – this means that everyone (people on Facebook and off Facebook) gets to see the picture
  • Friends – this makes the picture visible to only your Facebook friends
  • Friends except – this allows you to decide the friends you want to exclude from being able to see the photo
  • Specific friends – this allows you to select the only friends you want to be able to view the photo
  • Only me – makes the photo visible to only you

The Custom option is not available on the mobile app. After making the changes, the former profile picture becomes visible only to whom you choose.

3. Just Delete the Picture

If you do not want to upload the default Facebook silhouette or use another photo as your profile photo, the only other option you have is to delete your profile photo completely as a post.

Until recently, you were able to hide your profile photo and decide the audience that got to see it such as the public, friends, friends of friends, and so on. Now, however, your profile photo is compulsorily visible to everyone on Facebook.

You can only limit the audience of those who see your profile photo as a post on your profile. You can also limit those who see your other photos, the people and pages you follow, your friends, likes, comments, and some of your profile information.

Therefore, if uploading an alternative photo or the default Facebook photo is not an option for you, you would simply have to delete your profile picture as both your profile picture and as a post.

This would, however still leave the default Facebook silhouette as your profile picture. To do this:

On Web:

1. Click on your profile photo

2. Select See Your Profile

3. Select the Photos tab

4. At your profile picture, click on the pencil next to it and select Delete Photo

5. Confirm Delete

On Mobile App:

1. Open your Facebook app

2. Tap the Menu icon (3 horizontal lines top right)

3. Tap on See Your Profile

4. Scroll down to Photos

5. Select Uploads

6. Click on your profile picture

7. Select the 3 dots at the top right of the screen

8. Select Delete Photo

9. Confirm Delete

The photo is now deleted both as your profile photo and as a post on your Facebook page.

4. Use an Avatar

Another great alternative to having a blank profile picture or being forced to use a picture that you do not want to use, is to create an Avatar profile picture.

An avatar profile picture allows you to style your avatar with the facial features, hair, and outfits of your choice. It is a cool way to reflect your personality without revealing your face.

Please note that the avatar gender will be according to your chosen gender while setting up your Facebook account.

To create your avatar profile picture:

On Mobile App only

1. Open your Facebook app

2. Tap the Menu icon (3 horizontal lines top right)

3. Tap on See Your Profile

4. Click on your empty profile picture. If you already have a profile picture, then click on the camera icon instead

5. Select Create Avatar Profile Picture

6. Select Get Started

7. Select the skin tone you want from the displayed options

8. Select your desired hairstyle

9. Select the hair colour of your choice

10. Next is to select your face shape

11. Next select Face Marking, then Face Lines

12. Next, you can select the eye shape and colour

13. If you are satisfied with the design, you can tap Done at the top. If not, keep scrolling the icons to the left to complete styling your avatar, then click Done.

14. Select to Save Changes

15. Click Next

16. Select Done to use your avatar as a sticker in the comments

17. Select to save your avatar as your profile picture. You can change the pose and background using the options provided at the bottom of the screen

18. Click Save when you are satisfied and wait for your avatar to load as your new profile picture.

After doing this, you could either preserve or delete the former picture you had as a profile photo.

Briley is a freelance writer and has been writing for over 10 years. The former journalist now content writer currently writes for Techzillo and focuses on consumer tech in general. His main interests include video games and consumer technology. He also writes for websites such as Lifewire, and Digital Trends. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.

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