How to Size Your Facebook Profile Picture & Thumbnail

Facebook Profile Photo SizeUpdated February 20, 2014 with the latest instructions!

If you’ve ever tried to change your Facebook profile picture, whether for your personal profile or fan page, you know how frustrating it can be. On top of Facebook’s technical glitches, which leave you wonder if you’re permanently stuck with that question mark of doom, the thumbnail never seems to look right.

On your personal profile thumbnail, you’re either a tiny speck in the distance or you’re showing off your left eyebrow. On your fan page, your brand’s logo is cut off. Here are some fan pages that still haven’t gotten it quite right:

how to size your facebook profile picture

Facebook recommends that profile pictures should be 200px wide. They height can vary up to three times the width. However, they don’t make it clear how the thumbnail that Facebook uses is generated from this picture.

You’ll find that Facebook crops images when generating a thumbnail, losing information around the edge. You can edit the thumbnail to drag it to a different part of your picture, but you cannot expand the thumbnail selection. So when you create your profile image that’s 200px wide, allow a 12 pixel border around crucial information such as a brand name or logo to allow for automatic cropping.

facebook-profile-image-size

Also remember that Facebook thumbnails are always square, regardless of the shape of your profile image. So when designing rectangular profile pictures, make sure to keep your desired thumbnail imagery within a square boundary. Then you can edit the thumbnail selection accordingly.

How to create a profile image with the correct dimensions

Your profile image will appear as a 160 x 160 pixel box. However, if you attempt uploading a picture that small, you will see an error message. Intuitive, right?

Create an image that is 200 x 200. The minimum upload size is 180 x 180, and the profile image will appear as 160 x 160, but I always create the image as a 200 x 200 file so it’s easy to know what border size I have to work with. Next, create a 12 x 12 border around the edge of your image. This will be the area that is cut off by Facebook in your thumbnail image. To make this easy for you, I have created a photoshop template that has a layer for this border.

facebook profile photo photoshop template

Click here to download the Photoshop file: Facebook Profile Picture Template.

How to update your Facebook page profile image

Go to your Facebook page and click the Add Profile Picture next to your blank profile picture. If you already have a profile picture, hover over the image to reveal an Edit Profile Picture button instead.

Add Facebook Profile Picture

Click Upload Photo in the dropdown menu that appears. Then find the image on your hard drive.

Upload Facebook profile photo

How to edit your fan page thumbnail

After the photo uploads, as long as you sized it correctly, you won’t need to take this extra step. However, if your thumbnail is at all off-center, you can make a simple correction. Mouse over your profile picture and click Edit Profile Picture. Then click Edit Thumbnail.

Edit Facebook Profile Picture

Next, drag the little image until the main part of the profile image is within the thumbnail box. When you’re happy with the way it looks, click Save. That’s it!

Resize Facebook Profile Picture Thumbnail

For a complete, step-by-step walkthrough on how to create and optimize your Facebook page, download the eBook Stand Out on Facebook.

Stand Out on FacebookIn this eBook, you’ll learn how to:
  • Create a beautiful Fan Page that looks sleek and professional
  • Get more likes with a like-gated content offer strategy
  • Develop and maintain a Facebook fan engagement strategy
  • Build a content schedule to keep fans coming back for more

Comments

  1. says

    Many marketing companies state only 30% or less of tweets get read and many individuals are ignoring web pages
    they become fans of on Facebook. This is a good hassle free way of forwarding
    off Facebook to Twitter. at Tweets, because the 2nd instance, both you and ones large organizations are on a 140 character types
    for every tweet.

  2. Ahnika says

    Hey I need help. I use LR…and not very smart with photoshop. My image is all stretched out when I place it and stretch it to fit in that box. Is there a certain file I should use to? Thanks.

  3. says

    Hi Diana. (My sister’s name is Diane)
    I’m not very Hi-techwhen it comes to androids, itabs, iphones etc..I know now what an “app” means and download for free. But that’s about as far as I got. If I may trouble you for a request, I’d like, (just for fun), know how, when I open “Facebook” thing, I notice that some people have a large picture and a smaller “inset” picture, (is that the picture you called thumbnail ?). Is it difficult to achieve this. I’ve been cracking my head trying to figure this out. Please, if I’m not asking too much, help me find the right glue to mend these cracks.
    Thanks a bunch.
    p.s.(Oops, by the way, sorry but you’re cute). No offense

  4. Brian Forbes Colgate says

    This seems like a lot of work … it’s a lot simpler.
    1. Create the 200×200 image, allowing the border per your instructions.
    2. Go to your Timeline and hover over the Profile, click on Edit Profile Picture when it appears, then click on Upload Photo.
    3. Select the image created above.
    Done :-)

    • Flower says

      I followed your advice and I finally got our business page’s logo to look good. I was cutting the picture to 185×185 and kept wondering why FB was cropping the edges. I just used our free picture software, Irfan, to crop. Easy peasy. Thanks!

  5. says

    Big thanks! Your helpful webpage was a savior. A frustrating experience until I happened upon your site. Your profile picture template was sooooo helpful.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Facebook-sivun otsikkokuvan merkitys kasvaa myös. Siinä missä sivun profiilikuva tuli aiemmin mukaan kun tykkäsit jostakin yrityksen sivusta, nyt mukaan tulee myös otsikkokuva. Otsikkokuvan suunnitteluun kannattaa tästä lähtien kiinnittää erityistä huomiota. Edustaako otsikkokuva tuotettasi/palveluasi parhaalla mahdollisella tavalla? Myös profiilikuvaan ja sen sijoitteluun on tulossa pieniä muutoksia, joten voit jo nyt rukata aineiston valmiiksi. Onpahan sitten valmiina kun uudistus ehtii meille saakka. Profiilikuvan mitoituksesta voit katsoa päivitetyt ohjeet vaikka Diana Urbanin kirjoittamana U Stand Outin sivulta. [...]

  2. [...] This is the little picture on the lower left hand side of your Facebook Cover.  Create a graphic at 200 px by 200px. Facebook will not accept any picture smaller than 180 px wide and they will shrink it to 150px by 150px. I had to readjust mine several times to get it to fit nicely.  I found a really nice Facebook Profile Template for Photoshop to use on U Stand Out, a website devoted to Facebook Fan Pages. http://ustandout.com/facebook/size-facebook-profile-picture-thumbnail [...]

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