Cannot remove profile photo

Platform: Website

Browser: Latest Chrome on Windows 10


Description of problem:

  1. On the website, go to Settings->Profile and you see the Profile Picture settings from the above screenshot.
  2. Click the button Remove Photo - the photo is reverted to the default anonymous silhouette.
  3. Click Save Settings and wait for the “Saved…” message. When you get that message, the picture immediately reverts to the previous one. Visiting your profile confirms that the picture has not been changed.

Otherwise, the Upload New Photo function works, so I guess it’s not a big problem setting an anonymous picture yourself but still it’s a bug :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I have an add-on bug to this. After I have removed my profile photo, my photo still shows up when I search for my name in a search engine, but on other countries’ versions of the iNaturalist sites, such as iNaturalist Guatemala and iNaturalist New Zealand. How can I completely remove my profile photo?

Profile pics might still be cached either by iNat (for up to 15 minutes but usually less) and/or your browser.

@birdobserver I don’t see your profile pic on any of our network sites. Maybe try clearing your browser’s cache or using a different browser?

@exonie right now I see this when I go to your profile:

You’re saying there shouldn’t be any profile pic there at all?

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Hi, thank you for checking your servers! I removed it about 2 weeks ago. It’s not actually on my iNaturalist profile anymore, just showing up in a Google search for my name, under the images that come up. So, my profile photo comes up in the Google image search, and that photo links to here: For a while, there was another photo that linked to my profile at the New Zealand site. If my picture is no longer in my profile, and you don’t have the photo on your servers anymore, maybe it’s a Google search issue and they have it saved or cached somewhere?

Yeah, there’s nothing we can do about Google’s cached results.

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Okay, thank you for checking your servers, I appreciate it!

I set it yellow myself. I removed it again now (still yellow though) and will wait some time to see if it finally changes. The URL for the profile picture has some trailing random number as a URL parameter that changes after a picture change and that is supposed to work around the browser/network cache.
Setting another picture has immediate effect, so I don’t think it’s something about the cache.

It looks like I can contact Google and request removal of outdated content from search results, as long as it no longer resides on the page or the servers :+1: Thank you!

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One hour later, my profile pic hasn’t been removed yet. It doesn’t seem to be a cache problem.

Anyone able to replicate the issue?

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Yeah, I can. My profile pic is still up. I made an issue on GitHub here:


Have you cleared your cache on your laptop?
Have you tried searching incognito?

Just because YOU still see the unwanted image, doesn’t mean anyone else can. Necessarily.

Weirdly it’s working fine for me now in both Firefox and Chrome. @exonie what happens if you try to remove you profile pic now?

Still doesn’t work :confused:

Thanks, we’ll keep looking.

We released a potential fix last night (US time). Are you able to delete your profile picture now? It’s working for me.

No, doesn’t work. Uhh, it’s getting stranger. I tried to change to this PNG photo:
And it didn’t work. Then to this animated GIF:
Surprisingly it worked (but not animated).
Then I tried to remove this last one… and it reverted to my yellow one!
Then I tried to change to this GIF one:
And it reverted to… the animated one (not yellow this time).

I got a pattern!
Somehow the yellow one has become my default PNG profile photo (probably the first PNG i uploaded). So when I try to remove a PNG photo, it reverts to my yellow PNG.

Playing with the GIFs - the first GIF that I uploaded was turned into my default GIF profile photo, so when I remove a GIF profile photo - this animated one has become my default GIF revert profile photo.

When I changed to a JPG it worked. Then when I removed it I finally got the default iNat white-grey anon icon. Which is a PNG as it turns out but is my default JPG revert photo.

Thus I have three default photos (for each filetype) to which iNat reverts according to what filetype was my previous photo. Two of these seem to have been created when I first used the corresponding filetype as a profile photo.

The small mushrooms didn’t work, probably because they are too small (?) and instead get reverted to a corresponding default GIF/PNG/JPG photo.

Very strange, I hope I was able to explain it!

Actually it does not accept any PNG or GIF photos anymore. If i try to set a PNG or GIF - it reverts to the first PNG (the yellow one) or GIF (animated warrior) i used. So the size of the mushrooms was probably not the problem.

So people will not be able to change a profile photo to PNG or GIF more than once, which makes the problem more than just about removing photos.

Last edit: it doesn’t exactly fit even that. Now I can’t even change my photo (can change just to a set of a few I already uploaded). I give up to understand what’s going on.
Could it be just my profile?

I also cannot edit my photo(or delete it). When I hit save it just reverts to old photo that I had previously. Cannot change username either. This is on mac desktop both Safari and Firefox.

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Lol, I just tried to change my photo for the first time in years and it also did not go well.

I tried just adding a new photo and saving, and then it would automatically revert to old photo.

I tried again with just deleting. It “deleted” my photo. I hit save. My profile didn’t have a photo. Then I went back to add a photo and then hit save. The moment I hit save, my old photo reappeared. I did this twice with the same result. I guess I will keep the same photo for more time.


It still is mostly the old profile photo on my account, but it also depends on where I look.

Everywhere on the website, it is my old photo.

On the android app, the header next to my username is my old photo.

But if I go and click on an observation, then it is the new orange profile photo next to my ID on the App (but not webpage)