How to Change the Photos Tab Image on your Facebook Timeline Fan Page

Facebook photos tab iconOn Facebook’s timeline fan pages, you can edit the icon of your “tab” pages to fit your page’s design… unless it’s a standard Facebook app! In that case, the option to edit the custom tab image is missing. This has frustrated many Facebook page admins who would like to have full control over the design of their page.

But like anything else, there’s (almost) always a workaround.

The photos tab image will always be the most recent photo you’ve added to your Facebook page. This could be:

  • A photo you’ve added to a photo album
  • A photo you’ve posted to your timeline
  • A cover photo you’ve just uploaded

Knowing this, you can add the photo you want to appear as the tab image, so it looks all pretty:

Facebook photo tab image

But then the next time you upload any photo, your customized photo will be replaced:

The wrong Facebook photo tab image

So here’s the workaround to make sure your customized tab icon is always the image that’s displayed. You’ll need to do this every time you add photos to your Fan Page, unless you want this icon to reflect your most recently-uploaded photo!

1. Size the photo correctly

Whether you want to always have the same customized image in this Photo tab space, or you’re ok with this image changing based on your most recently-uploaded photo, you should size your images correctly so that the tab image isn’t cropped awkwardly.

The icon size is 111 x 74 pixels. If you don’t want your photo to be that small (and you probably don’t), it should be a multiplier of those dimensions:

  • 111 x 74 pixels
  • 222 x 148 pixels
  • 333 x 222 pixels
  • 444 x 296 pixels
  • 555 x 370 pixels
  • 666 x 444 pixels
  • …and so on.

2. Upload your customized photo

In the status update box, click Photo/Video, and then Upload Photos/Video. Then click Choose File to upload your photo from your hard drive.

Upload a photo to your Facebook page

3. Make sure nobody can see this photo in your timeline

If your were to publish this photo now, your Facebook fans would be see this photo appear in their news feed. That’s less than ideal — it’s not exactly the type of post that they’ll want to “like” or share. Also, you might need to update this Photos tab icon several times a week, so you don’t want people seeing the same story in their news feed over and over again.

That’s why you should use the Targeting feature to limit exposure of this story to, well, basically nobody. Here’s how.

First, click Public to the left of the Post button.

Facebook - target the photo update

Then select a really random country and language combination, like so:

Choose a random country and language

This means that only your fans who live in Madagascar and also happen to speak Norsk will see this photo appear in their news feed.

Facebook post that nobody can see

4. Add your custom photo to this album whenever you add a new photo to your page

If you want this image to consistently be your photos tab icon, just follow these steps each time you add other images to your fan page! Should only take a couple minutes, and is an effective workaround to Facebook’s custom Photos image limitations.

One important thing to note: only people in Madagascar who speak Norsk will be able to see this photo on their news feed, but EVERYONE will be able to see this story if they visit your Facebook page. A very small percentage of your existing fans will visit your Facebook page — most interactions happen on individual stories within their news feed, not on your timeline. So this is a decision you’ll need to make — do you mind that this photo consistently appears in your Timeline? Or would you prefer to customize the Photos app tab image? It’s up to you to decide which is more important!

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  1. Stacey says

    I am having some difficulty. The basic uploader is not visible/available.
    When I post a photo to the timeline, this photo becomes the cover of the photo tab.

    • says

      Hi Stacy,

      Are you trying to add the photo via your timeline, or via creating a new album? These instructions specify that you need to click on your Photos app tab, then click Add Photos on the top of that page. Then you’ll see the option for the basic uploader. Let me know if that works for you.

  2. says

    Stacy, I had the same problem. Things in the FB world seem to change from week to week. I had to upload the photo and then HIDE it from the timeline. The idea of a specific folder for this kind of photo, and moving to the end of the photo albums still makes sense, tho.

    • says

      Unfortunately no; there’s no way to change the tab image for the standard Facebook apps (including Photos; the instructions here are a just a clever workaround!). Hopefully Facebook will enable tab image customization on these standard apps soon.

    • says

      Hi Joanne,

      The video tab is for one of Facebook’s default apps, which do not let you customize the image at this time. The Photos tab is the only one with a workaround.

    • says

      Its a real great walk-around. Thanks a ton Diana.

      As for the absence of ‘Basic uploader’ I found two walkarounds. One is as suggested by Tim in the comment section of this page. Upload the photo and then hide it from the time line. In that case it will show up on your fans page (I am uploading pic to a fan page) but as soon as you hide it from the timeline it gets removed from the fans home page also.

      -Thanks to Tim for this idea.

      Second is upload the pic and when it gets uploaded you will get a page saying say something about this album. Dont do anything and just close the browser window. It will showup on the Photo Tab but will not be visible on the timeline or in the fans home page.

      You can see the sample on my page at

      Hope that helps

      • Marie S says

        “Second is upload the pic and when it gets uploaded you will get a page saying say something about this album. Dont do anything and just close the browser window…”
        Worked great for me! Thank You :)

  3. says

    Thanks for the help,
    This is so weird you cannot choose a photo from those you have uploaded to be the default one.

  4. lisa says

    What about when people tag you in a photo. Whatever was the last photo someone tagged me in, automatically becomes my photo tab image. I can add new pictures of me all day long, and it will never replace the last photo someone else posted that tagged me as the photo tab image. I dont necessarily want to untag myself from the photo, i just dont want it to be the photo tab image. but it looks like theres no way around that unless i untag myself from the photo since adding new photos doesnt affect it at all. :(

  5. Leah says

    I don’t believe the “Hide” option works anymore either. I clicked “Hide from Page” when right-clicking on the post which removes it from the page but it still shows up in the newsfeed of my profile and other fans were clicking “Like” on the new photo. Any suggestions?

  6. says

    Hi there, please help me if you can?

    When you click on photos on a facebook fan page, you see three pale blue tabs at the top which say ‘Photos of…’ “Photos” and ‘albums’. These go dark blue when you hover over them. How can i change the 3 tabs so there are only 2 tabs? I would really appreciate an answer on this as I’ve been googling for ages but just can’t find out how to do this. Many thanks in advance!

    Frustrated, Clapham

  7. Philip Harding says

    So you’re saying that EVERY time I upload a photo to my ‘wall’ I have to upload my favorite pic once again. Doesn’t that seem a bit ridiculous to you? The designers at Facebook are a bunch are either idiots or smoking something. At the very least they do not care much about what the end user wants.
    I wish their stock would collapse and somebody who knew what they were doing would buy them out.

  8. niksy says

    Thanks for the post. I’m actually trying to find out how I get my timeline to display 9 images from an album, so that it looks like a tile, rather than the one large image at the top, then 3 smaller ones. Please can you help.

    Thanks so much in advance

  9. Marty Irlbacher says

    How do I change the names of people tagged in the photo? I wanted only the first name of someone & it auto attached the name of someone else.

  10. says

    Thank you so much for you advice about customizing photo tabs in Facebook. You made the steps sooo easy!!! I’ve tried other steps, but didn’t work.

    Thanks again!

  11. Eduardo says

    This is not working anymore, right? I think Facebook doesn’t allow you to use the “basic uploader” anymore :(

  12. candace says

    When I am looking at my timeline and I click the photos tab it says no photos found do you know why it does that also is there a way to upload photos without putting them on my timeline if there is can you give me some directions on how to do that

  13. says

    Hi everyone! I just updated this article with the latest instructions. This new workaround provides a much more simple way to customize your photo tab app icon, and should save you a bunch of time. This is thanks to the targeting feature that Facebook added since I first created this post a couple years ago. Enjoy! :-)

    • SjiekeWielie says

      Hey! Thanks for the info but I can’t seem to find the public button next to boost. Has there been a recent update that has removed that option? I would love to use your workaround but am struggling, hope you can help!

      • says

        It might have something to do with how many fans you have — I just revised these instructions a couple days ago so the feature hasn’t been removed. How many fans do you have?

      • says

        Oh, that wouldn’t be it then. They used to have a rule where you couldn’t create a vanity URL if you have less than 25 fans, so I thought it might be related to that. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t see that setting, it exists on all fan pages I’m an administrator of.

      • says

        First, go to Edit Page -> Edit Settings. Then you must turn on “Post Privacy Gating”. Now if you try to upload your picture to your timeline or anywhere, the button ‘Public’ will appear.

  14. Bill says

    The targeting idea is a good one and it APPEARS to work – BUT – only when the admins or managers see the page. Everyone else will see the last photo uploaded.

    If you log out and look at the page you’ll see what I mean (make sure you clear the temp internet files.) Or log in as another user that’s NOT an admin or manager. You’ll see what I mean.

    I did come up with a work-around that works but it takes a lot of steps and time. When I figure out a shorter and better one I could share it with you – BUT – you have to stop deleting my posts and trying to block me simply because I point out your errors.

    • Kelsey says

      You’re right!!
      This only shows the favorite picture to the admin!

      Any other person would see the latest pic uploaded.

  15. says

    If you postdate the photo, Facebook gives you a “Hide from news feed” checkbox option, you can see a screenshot here:

    This helps a little bit, and should prevent most fans from seeing any update at all. If a fan is subscribed to “Get Notifications,” and their “Receive Updates” setting is set to “All Updates” they will likely still get a notification, though it still shouldn’t appear in News Feed.

  16. Robin Bayne says

    Hello–I deleted the timeline/cover photo on my author page (fan page)–and can’t find a way to upload one there again. I have another fan/business page and can no longer access a way to change that cover photo. any ideas?

  17. says

    Diana, it looks like you really know what you’re doing. We may need to talk about me hiring you, but in the meantime I have a quick question. Right now I have 3 custom tabs made with Pagemodo on my site. If someone “likes” the page that isn’t the main timeline page, does it “like” just that page or the entire fan page? Thanks!


    • says

      Hi Bruce, as soon as someone clicks the “like” button on your page, they’ll like the entire page, no matter which custom tab they’re on.

  18. says

    One important thing to note: only people in Madagascar who speak Norsk will be able to see this photo on their news feed, but EVERYONE will be able to see this story if they visit your Facebook page. A very small percentage of your existing fans will visit your Facebook page — most interactions happen on individual stories within their news feed, not on your timeline.

  19. h3rb3rt says

    Diana, maybe you can comment on this, I just can’t seem to find any help with it. How can I change the way an album is presented in the timeline? I added more pics to an album the other day but the timeline preview (highlighted/stretched) will only show the 3 pictures I uploaded the first day.

  20. says

    every time I try to change the image on my tab it tells me “The image you are trying to upload has invalid dimensions. Please change your image to match the required upload dimensions and try again.” How do I change the size of my pic so it will fit there?