So, I have never actually made a gravatar account or changed my gravatar. I've always used the default icon I got when I created my SO account, because I liked it and didn't want to change it.

However, when I logged in today to SO it had changed! Which is strange, because I did nothing to change it. It is even more odd because it has not changed on any of the other SE sites I participate in--on meta, EL&U, and Area 51, it is still the same image as it was when I created my account. It looks just fine.

The only thing I can think of that happened recently is that I gained over 1k rep on SO yesterday. I don't see why that would have changed my gravatar, but it's the only thing that's recent and different from my other SE accounts.

Does anyone have any idea what happened?


2 Answers 2


You don't have an email associated with your SO account. When no email is present, a hash of your ip address is used to generate the gravatar.

You must be browsing from a different ip, causing the change.

Your other accounts are unaffected because they have an email listed, so the ip isn't being considered.

  • Hmmm....I had mine change this morning somehow and I had an email address. Additionally, mine changed for ALL SE groups. I had previously had my gravitar for about 6 years.
    – mdpc
    Sep 2, 2016 at 17:15
  • 2
    @mdpc Note that this question is over 4 years old. The issue described here has no relation to what's going on with Gravatar-based images now.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Sep 3, 2016 at 16:32

What happened is that your profile is displaying an Identicon. It is a visual representation of a hash value of your IP address.

You can easily be switch back to Gravatar like this:

enter image description here

  • When mine changed this morning, I only had the selection for the Identicon and not my original Gravatar. Would have liked to have kept my Gravatar but switched to a small pix.
    – mdpc
    Sep 2, 2016 at 17:16
  • @mdpc just tick mark the gravatar and it should do
    – user271510
    Sep 2, 2016 at 17:33
  • What I am saying is that the "gravatar" item does not even exist when I press the Change Picture box.
    – mdpc
    Sep 2, 2016 at 19:44
  • But but but....I have not changed my email address in about 6 years.
    – mdpc
    Sep 2, 2016 at 22:21
  • @mdpc try checking other sites on the network
    – user271510
    Sep 3, 2016 at 10:43
  • 2
    This isn't entirely correct. We still base identicon requests to Gravatar on email addresses when available. They are served by Gravatar, but they're not the same as a gravatar (when someone creates an account on gravatar.com and uploads an image to be associated with a particular email address).
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Sep 3, 2016 at 16:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .