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I updated the image in my Gravatar but my old picture still shows up.

Is this a cache issue?

Do I need to log out and then log back in?

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Answer: Ctrl-F5 –  Benjol Jul 24 '09 at 13:19
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See also meta.stackexchange.com/questions/37986/force-gravatar-refresh/… for an issue with Last-Modified at Gravatar, which (rightly so) confuses browsers. (That issue might not have existed at the time this very question was asked though.) –  Arjan Feb 10 '10 at 22:25
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8 Answers 8

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Jeff Atwood has stated that gravatar images are cached, so if it hasn't been very long, wait and it should change eventually. I do not believe logging in and out would influence this at all, since your gravatar is shown to everyone, not just you. Your logging in and out (of Stack Overflow) should have no affect.

Interesting note: your user page has not been updated, however the image for this question and on the questions page has been. I'm sure the user page will catch up, I just thought it was interesting.

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When I click on my user page, I get the old image. Strange. –  sal Sep 14 '09 at 20:28
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The Gravatar images are cached on gravatar.com –  Brad Gilbert Sep 15 '09 at 18:23
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Yah, I updated mine maybe 3 weeks ago, it still has the default image and isn't updating from gravitar. –  Gary May 7 '10 at 13:49
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Same in my case. None of the advice seemed to work. Not a big deal (StackOverflow is not MySpace), but still annoying, given that it specifically says that pictures are refreshed in 24 hours tops, and somewhat ironic that programming community can't have something simple working 100%. –  Morawski Aug 17 '11 at 19:16
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Same here. Gravatar works fine everywhere but not here. –  Heather Apr 27 '12 at 5:51
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You need to log out of Gravatar.

Gravatar doesn't seem to invalidate its cache until you are logged out. Either by doing so manually, or waiting for the session to expire (on their end).


I have actually prevented the cache from being invalidated, by continuing to visit http://gravatar.com everyday. I didn't realize at the time it was preventing the site from invalidating the cache.

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How long did it take to invalidate the cache once you stopped visiting gravatar.com? –  user143826 Feb 24 '10 at 19:06
    
@Marc The cache was invalidated within minutes of logging out. –  Brad Gilbert Feb 24 '10 at 19:36
    
This is the correct answer. Gravatar is updated as soon as you log out from Gravatar and SOSUSFM –  rlb.usa Jun 8 '10 at 16:34
    
This doesn't seem to be working for me, been repeating it many times unfortunately –  Daniel C. Liem Jul 10 '12 at 18:50
    
Gravatar support let me know that logging of should not matter, @Daniel. (Of course, this might have been true in 2009.) –  Arjan Jul 14 '12 at 18:16
    
Yeah you're right, 10 mins after I posted my comment it worked, thanks for the reply though –  Daniel C. Liem Jul 14 '12 at 21:47
    
The only way I found to fix this issue was to delete the old gravatar –  Matt Ellen Jul 14 '12 at 21:55
    
Logged out of Gravatar, and just like that, the picture updated. Thanks! –  Tim S. May 1 at 9:14
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I've had problems where my browser (Safari) refused to update my Gravatar before, no matter how many times I refreshed. If you haven't, I suggest closing your browser, restarting it, and reloading your profile. If it still doesn't change, try flushing your cache, restarting, etc.

If that doesn't do it, I don't know what will, but it's definitely not StackOverflow's fault. I'd suggest filing a bug report with Gravatar.

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I'm one of the Happiness Engineers working with Gravatar right now. Someone kindly pointed us in the direction of this thread, so I thought I would stop in and just point out a few things.

First, you can always check your Gravatar for any email address at:

http://gravatar.com/site/check/

Enter your email address into the form and you can see how your Grav will appear to a site that requests it, including ratings.

We are currently investigating a caching problem that occurs when a default Gravatar is specified in the querystring of the image request ("d="). We know this is happening and hope to have it fixed soon.

In the meantime, if you need a forced refresh of your Gravatar cache please file a support request and we can do that for you.

If you have any other questions feel free to leave me a message or contact us at Gravatar.

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This problem might be back. See Why do the usercard images change for a specific user while expanding? –  Arjan May 4 at 8:34
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All you have to do is:

This works because Gravatars are not stored on the website you're using - they're stored on Gravatar so you need to refresh your cache there and you're done.

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You need to follow up with gravatar.com , not us.

That said, usually you just need to wait a few days.

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it was a browser cache problem, too bad it doesn't work like any other image, since you can change your picture but never know how it is being displayed. –  Edward Tanguay Jul 23 '09 at 13:09
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i disagree that this isn't a SO issue. SO has made the choice to use Gravatar which has this issue. Seeing as how hosting an image is the full reason for using Gravatar, I'd say the inability to change your picture puts it at about 40% broken. –  zzzz don't use me Feb 24 '10 at 18:53
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And I have my gravatar updating everywhere but not here... –  Heather Apr 27 '12 at 5:37
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The problem for me was that Safari was caching my profile image. It had already updated on Gravatar's site, but even when I reloaded my user profile my image didn't change. I ended up emptying the cache and restarting my browser, and that solved it.

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There are multiple sources for this problem:

  • One is using a different email address. (And note that though for Gmail addresses like johndoe@gmail, john.doe@gmail and john.doe+whatever@gmail are all the same, they are different addresses with different avatars for Gravatar.)

  • Regular caching, in which Gravatar tells the browser to cache for 5 minutes. Just wait.

  • Caching at Gravatar. Wait a bit more. (Some say one needs to log off too?)

  • You might have set some explicit rating, or no rating at all, while Stack Exchange requests PG.

  • Issues with the Gravatar CDN, which (like in July 2012) for some parts of the world might serve images that were actually changed weeks ago. Also, as Stack Exchange uses different formats (profile 128×128, user card 32×32, expanded user card 64×64), some sizes might then be okay, while others are not. Even problems like these might be solved by waiting a bit longer, or maybe uploading some new image might trigger a new synchronization. Regardless if that helps or not: I guess you'll need to contact their service desk, giving the details about the server you're using.

Some technical insight in CDN issues:

Peeking into the Server header in the HTTP response (using something like Chrome's Developer Tools or Firebug in Firefox) will reveal which server you're using.

Like using the Frankfurt EdgeCast server, a two week old 64×64 image might be just fine:

Cache-Control: max-age=300  
Content-Disposition: inline; filename="a80f263bea9df760a7d8932cd415ce3e.jpeg"   
Content-Type: image/jpeg    
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:23:04 GMT 
Expires: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:28:04 GMT  
Last-Modified: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 08:10:29 GMT    
Server: ECS (fra/5950)

Here, Last-Modified: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 08:10:29 GMT is the date the avatar was changed. (For some time, it would use the subscription date, but that was solved.) But for the very same image, the 128×128 version might show a default avatar:

Cache-Control: max-age=300  
Content-Type: image/png 
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:20:34 GMT 
Expires: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:25:34 GMT  
Last-Modified: Wed, 11 Jan 1984 08:00:00 GMT    
Server: ECS (fra/5950)  

Above, Last-Modified: Wed, 11 Jan 1984 08:00:00 GMT indicates it's a default, generated avatar. But for that very same image, the Amsterdam EdgeCast server might give the expected image:

curl --compressed --head \
  http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/a80f263bea9df760a7d8932cd415ce3e?s=128&d=identicon&r=PG

Cache-Control: max-age=300
Content-Disposition: inline; filename="a80f263bea9df760a7d8932cd415ce3e.jpeg"
Content-Type: image/jpeg
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:34:32 GMT
Expires: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:39:32 GMT
Last-Modified: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 08:10:29 GMT
Server: ECS (ams/49DF)

Also, for the very same image but without the rating r=PG, the Frankfurt server might serve the expected image too:

Cache-Control: max-age=300  
Content-Disposition: inline; filename="a80f263bea9df760a7d8932cd415ce3e.jpeg"   
Content-Type: image/jpeg    
Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:40:29 GMT 
Expires: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 12:45:29 GMT  
Last-Modified: Fri, 29 Jun 2012 08:10:29 GMT
Server: ECS (fra/5950)

Like said: report CDN problems to Gravatar.

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