[Tutorial] Set account pictures and videos in Windows 10

Account Pictures Settings

When you are sharing a PC with your family, everyone tends to personalize the computer with a few touches here and a few tweaks there. The first mark is set even before the desktop as the login screen is clattered with user accounts, each with its own unique picture that sets it apart from the rest. Changing that picture (or video) is a very simple process, especially in Windows 10.

A couple of notes

When you are using a local account, changing the picture does not affect any other apps or services because the change is applied to your PC only. When you change the picture of a Microsoft account, however, the new photo will be applied across all Microsoft services and synced to all of your devices. Before you set a picture of yourself mooning to scare your friends, consider the fact that your friends, family, colleagues, and anyone else that knows your Microsoft account might get a glimpse of your extracurricular activities.

Account pictures and videos are saved in three different locations in Windows and you are free to access and edit anything in those folders.

Account Pictures Folder

The locations are as follows:

  • Default Pictures for User Accounts: %ProgramData%\Microsoft\User Account Pictures
  • Current User Account Picture: C:\Users\Public\Public Account Pictures\AccountGUID
  • Recent User Account Pictures: %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\AccountPictures

To quickly access these locations, you can just paste them into File Explorer’s address bar, paste them into your Start menu, or launch them via the Windows Run box (WinKey + R).

Change your account’s picture via Settings

The Settings app in Windows 10 lets you change pictures for both local and Microsoft accounts.

1. The easiest way to get in the appropriate Settings menu is to open the Start menu, click on your user account at the top left corner and select the “Change account settings” option.

2. Once the Settings app opens, look for the section marked as “Your picture”. In that section you will see the default user account picture or any photo that you had previously set as your account’s picture. To change it, you have two options:

2a. Click on the Browse button and navigate your computer to find and import a picture. The feature supports a multitude of formats so you will have no problems finding a picture that works.

Account Picture Settings Browse

2b. Click on the Camera button to quickly snap up a picture or video. You can change between the camera and video modes from the buttons on the right side. To start recording, press the camera/videocamera buttons. Note that the video will appear in the login screen like an animated GIF picture and it will not show up in any other areas of your PC.

Account Picture Camera

Change your account’s picture online

I already told you that your Microsoft account automatically syncs your profile picture to every other service of the company. This also means that you can change the picture online via your account’s settings.

1. Go to Microsoft’s Account Profile page.

2. Click on the “Add a picture” or “New Picture” options.

Account Pictures Microsoft Account

3. Find a suitable picture in your computer and add it.

4. Resize the picture until it fits perfectly and click on the “Save” button to continue.

5. To remove the picture, head back to the previous menu and click on the tiny “Remove” option in the bottom right side of the screen.