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WordPress Profile Picture without Gravatar

I was recently working on setting up a site for a personal project and was surprised to discover that there was no place in the theme to add a custom picture for my user bio. I figured out what I wanted: to set my WordPress avatar without Gravatar. I’d rather not rely on a service like that if I don’t have to. But this wasn’t the WordPress avatar appearance I wanted:blank bio picture in WordPress

I hunted through my user settings page for a while thinking I had to be missing what felt like such a basic feature, but nope! It’s not there, unless you use a service called Gravatar from

A few Google searches later, I learned that this was one of those times that I needed to install a plugin to make it work.  After a quickly trying a few plugins (that reduced the quality of my photo enough to cause some significant blurring), I settled on “Simple Local Avatars” as my WordPress plugin.

Using Our No-Gravatar WordPress Avatar Plugin, in Video

Check out David’s brief explanation of WordPress avatars, and why we use a plugin for it on WPShout:

Step-by-Step WordPress Profile Picture Without Gravatar

  1. From the WordPress Dashboard Menu, select “Plugins > Add New”
  2. Search for “Simple Local Avatars” (in the right had search field).
  3. Click “Install” and “Activate” on the plugin “Simple Local Avatars.” Once activated, your WordPress comment avatar plugin is basically good to go.
  4. To change your personal avatar on that site, you’ll need to edit your profile in WordPress. Select “Users” (from left dashboard menu again).user profile
  5. Click “Your Profile.”
  6. Scroll down until you see a section labelled “Avatar”.
  7. Under the “Avatar” section, you’ll see an “Upload Avatar heading.” In they’re you’ll use the normal WordPress image selection and uploading tools.
  8. To make sure your changes take, you’ll want to click “Update Profile” for you profile image (without Gravatar” to start working.

Go get yourself a cookie because you did it! We using the Simple Local Avatar plugins here on WPShout. It’s great for us, for a ton of small reasons. We find it to be a great WordPress avatar without Gravatar solution. Cheers!

Yay! 🎉 You made it to the end of the article!
David Hayes

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November 18, 2021 11:27 am

Thanks – horrible experience with Gravatar
Happy I could avoid using that stupid thing!

Deborah Mawson
May 17, 2021 1:30 pm

This has been very helpful. Thank you.

June 18, 2021 4:37 am
Reply to  Deborah Mawson

Yes thanks!

June 29, 2020 7:05 am

Is there any way to escape the use of plugins to achieve this?

Grégoire Noyelle
June 4, 2020 10:28 am

Thanks for that. Unfortunately, the plugin do not support retina image for Avatar. It’s too blurry for me.

May 4, 2020 1:54 pm

Hi, you say you’re using this plugin for your avatar… but in the comments section, no profile image is showing? Do you no longer use this plugin?


Joy Dhar
December 31, 2019 12:10 am

Thank you so much 🙂

I know how its feels while changing photo with gravatar.
This helps me a lot

December 7, 2019 1:46 pm

Thanks for the post!
Just FYI: suggested plugin does not work with Elementor. However, you can set a custom author directly in Elementor, but this is for all posts, so not perfect either.

August 13, 2019 4:50 pm

Great post. What would also be helpful would be to find out how to change the Gravatar picture.

I was recently added as a guest user to a friend’s website and discovered I already had a Gravatar icon image of myself already assigned to my account. However it’s not an image I want to use and I don’t remember setting this up. What I can’t figure out is how to change this Gravatar image. If you could write a post telling us how to do this, that would be helpful. A search on Google was not yielding me results on how to do this.

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