Currently, chat loads s=16 and s=32 gravatars for chat messages, which look blurry and bad. For directly uploaded avatars (the stack.imgur-hosted ones), chat uses s=128, which the browser then downscales to the correct size, making them sharp and good. Compare the following two:

blurry and bad sharp and good

Left is what's current visible in chat, on the right I manually changed the s=16 and s=32 to s=128 in the gravatar URL.

Can this please be the default? Because apparently my browser is better at downsampling than gravatar. This also applies to the avatar shown in the lower-left corner (which apparently uses a s=64 sized gravatar).

(Side note: I'm not using the direct-to-SE (stack.imgur-hosted) upload method because of a problem with transparency when the image is resized.)

  • Its a shame I can't upvote this more than once.
    – Borgleader
    Jan 10, 2016 at 1:26
  • Investigating a bit more, there's some weirdness going on. Looking at the image URL directly shows the images sharp and clear, even at that small size. Viewing chat in IE also shows them sharp. Might actually have something to do with FF...
    – Xeo
    Jan 10, 2016 at 1:41
  • For some years now we can choose to have a custom profile picture, not only gravatar - such custom pictures are hosted by imgur. Jan 10, 2016 at 8:23
  • @ShadowWizard: I know, I mention why I don't use it in the question. And further, this is a problem specific to gravatars, so that edit was wrong.
    – Xeo
    Jan 10, 2016 at 9:07
  • You mean imgur scaling is fine? So I fear it will just be rejected with "if you want to have it sharp in smaller scales, just upload custom picture, or ask gravatar to fix their bug" Jan 10, 2016 at 9:09
  • @ShadowWizard: No, I mean that chat loads a larger picture when it's hosted on imgur (s=128 pixel) as opposed to when it loads from gravatar (s=16 or s=32 pixel). And again, I mention why that doesn't work for me - the transparency breaks when imgur resizes the image. The problem also doesn't really seem to come from gravatar after all, see my first comment. Something is weird with displaying it in certain browsers. I asked around a bit in the Lounge, and some people see the sharp version, while others see the blurry version. That seems like something fixable on SE's side.
    – Xeo
    Jan 10, 2016 at 9:14
  • And since this is 'fixable' anyways by just loading larger pictures and letting the browser downscale them, I didn't completely overhaul the question.
    – Xeo
    Jan 10, 2016 at 9:16

1 Answer 1


I've created a userscript that makes this happen. It may be something to do with your browser, but higher resolution images may also solve that.

Be aware: higher resolution images are also larger files. This isn't a massive increase, but be aware of it if you're on a metered connection.

SourceInstall (Grease/Tampermonkey) — Install (native)

Enjoy your crisp new images!

  • This is nice, but my problem is that I want my image to be crisp for others. I want them to easily identify it. :/
    – Xeo
    Jan 10, 2016 at 13:31
  • @Xeo call it a workaround, then, that relies on others having it too. Userscripting can't solve that one :)
    – ArtOfCode
    Jan 10, 2016 at 13:32

You must log in to answer this question.

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