This issue seems to be different from others reported previously in the Meta SE (and I have looked at them all). These things I identify in this message.

Without having changed my profile (or email address) in since I have been a SE member (about 6 years), my gravatar (which I grew attached to) disappeared and something else popped up apparently called an Identicon from my readings here. I have used my common profile on all SE sites all had identical email addresses.

I understand from reading other meta SE entries that gravatar and identicon apparently are different. The Gravatar uses email addresses, and the Identicon uses IP addresses. I can assure you that I have used a fair quantity of IP addresses over the years to access the site for periods of time but the avatar assigned to my name never changed (till now). Thus I would have expected the Identicon to have changed over these periods of time.

I tried to select my original gravatar under the profile picture option. As was posted in another Meta SE posting to no avail. The gravatar was not available as an option when attempting to change it. The Identicon option was present however. This is for ALL SE sites not just a single one. As the postings of the Meta SEs seem to have this isolated to one site being different from another.

The lack of a gravitar under the selection seems puzzling since I have had the same email in my common profile without change. So one question is why I don't have a gravitar selection but to have an identicon selection under my profile conditions?

I'm confused as my (valid) email address has been previously used in a couple of SE communications and again has not changed since I created my initial Server Fault account over five years ago. This issue was listed in yet another Meta SE posting but not true.

I tried to set the email address to the same thing that I had it, but the gravatar did not return.

Because I could not return my Gravatar, I uploaded a cute picture until I could get a resolution.

What am I missing here?

NOTE: Remember the question...how can I get it back within the SE framework?


  • No, I have read all of these in the meta SE. They do not seem to describe the same situation that I am encountering.
    – mdpc
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:34
  • I think you will be wise to reference that Q&A at the beginning of your question and explain why you think it is not another manifestation of the same problem.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:36
  • I have added more comments indicating that I have looked and examined previous postings.
    – mdpc
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:40
  • Both identicon (this is still an image provided by gravatar.com) and gravatar work off of the email address for logged in users (assuming there is an email set). If Gravatar stopped returning the expected result... that's on them, not us. We haven't made any changes on our end. What did your avatar look like before? Can you describe it?
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:43
  • Ahhhh....which "them" are you referring to? Wish I had an something with the old one. But it was yellow with jaggies in it. BTW, I have had an email set on for over 5 years and all SE sites use my common same profile.
    – mdpc
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:44
  • Another question, why don't I see a Gravatar being available when attempting to change my profile picture....I see the Identicon but NOT the Gravatar.
    – mdpc
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:51
  • 1
    Here it is. As the OP of the linked question, I assure assure you this is certainly a duplicate.
    – Laurel
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 22:58
  • 1
    If you don't give any reasons for believing this is not a duplicate of @PolyGeo's link, then it's not an explanation, just an assertion, which doesn't help us at all. Anyone can make an assertion, and it proves nothing if there's a countering assertion. Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 23:07
  • Different from PolyGeo's link: (1) use a common profile not different ones on different sites, (2) used the same email address for 6 years, all identical never changed, (3) used different IP numbers over 6 years however no change than now and (4) I cannot select the old Gravaton on the pix dropdown for profile picture change, I see only the Identicon. I think that there are enough differences.
    – mdpc
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 23:17
  • Final note -- the question that I asked remains -- how do I get it back?
    – mdpc
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 23:29
  • @Laurel -- thanks for the reference. I never knew about that before.
    – mdpc
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 23:31
  • 1
    @mdpc Some insider info here (again, I'm the OP of the linked question): (1) Same (2) Same, except I'm newer (3) Same (4) SAME! What is your argument here against the duplicate? This is a bug with Gravatar BTW.
    – Laurel
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 23:55
  • 1
    @mdpc "them" as in Gravatar.com. They started serving different avatars for different avatar sizes recently... we (Stack Exchange) unfortunately have no control over that. What you describe does sound like an identicon (automatically generated geometric-looking image that comes from Gravatar based on your email address), so I'm fairly confident the duplicate closure is correct here.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


Of course the answer is to copy the original one from the TimeMachine and paste that into the profile picture.

My whole goal in writing my problem was to try to get this back using the mechanisms within SE. The Gravaton was never a selection on the profile change but the Identicon was.


I understand why the Identicon would change, but not my Gravaton and why it would not be available to me since it should not have changed, my email has remained static for over 6 years.

  • 1
    Your answer seems to avoid the actual problem - so it's a workaround. The past this is very much a duplicate of explains the actual issue.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Sep 3, 2016 at 0:48

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