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?


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 '16 at 17:15
  • @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 Sep 3 '16 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 '16 at 17:16
  • @mdpc just tick mark the gravatar and it should do – Switch Sep 2 '16 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 '16 at 19:44
  • @mdpc meta.stackexchange.com/questions/245966/…. – Shadow9 Sep 2 '16 at 20:14
  • But but but....I have not changed my email address in about 6 years. – mdpc Sep 2 '16 at 22:21
  • @mdpc try checking other sites on the network – Switch Sep 3 '16 at 10:43
  • 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 Sep 3 '16 at 16:27

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