Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How To Resize Your Google+ Cover Photo

Update September 20, 2013: Google has locked down the web image editor for uploaded cover photos. As a workaround you can use the Picasa Windows program; sync to your "scrapbook photos" album, crop your current cover photo, then let it sync.

Today Google+ rolled out a few updates to profiles and pages. One in particular has to do with profile cover photos; they are now 16:9 aspect ratio and must be at least 480 x 270 pixels (up to 2120 x 1192 pixels). This creates a cover photo that takes up your entire screen. Some users find this to be excessive while other people like it. When uploading a new cover photo you are unable to alter its size from the Google+ profile interface.

Following the below workaround will help you change the size of your cover photo.

1) Go to your profile, click on "change cover", upload a new photo, then click "save". You will need to use an image that meets the minimum pixel requirements. (See note at end of post regarding cropping.)




Your profile will now have the large cover photo.




2) Go to your photos, view albums, and select "Scrapbook photos". Click on your newly uploaded cover photo then "edit photo" at top left. You will be at the below screen. (Update: Instead of going to your photo albums, you can simply click on your cover photo from your profile, then click edit photo. Thanks for the tip Ray Hiltz!) If you prefer to completely remove the cover page click the delete/trash can icon instead of edit.




3) Select "crop" in the left panel then adjust the crop lines. (See note at end of post regarding cropping.)




4) Click save at top right and replace the original photo.




5) Apply the crop.




6) Your edited cover photo is complete. Go to, or refresh, your profile to see the update. You can view mine to see it live.




Note: Cropping in step one and three affects the finished image. Depending on your desired result, and the source image size and ratio, it may take a couple attempts to get it exactly how you want it. I found the best and most predictable results happened when the full image width was used in each crop.

70 comments:

  1. Thanks, I was always hoping they would make this change!!!!

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  2. Thanks a lot for this post. Google is coming up with some really dumb things lately and no way to disable or opt-out. Disappointing.

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  3. Thanks for the post. It's a life saver for business users. Hopefully heads will roll in the G+ development department over this.

    Not the way to encourage business users to migrate to G+ Pages.

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    Replies
    1. Well, actually who benefit the most from the new cover, are Brands.

      They have now a huge banner to display offers and such.

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  4. Thanks for this. The giant banner is causing a few viewing problems on my screen. Will be great to revert back to the former size

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  5. That was very useful and very easy to do with you guide, thanks a lot for your help!

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  6. Thanks for the info here.... my cover photo is now a whole lot smaller and I'm happy once again... :)) I appreciate you help here... much love x

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  7. Thanks for the post but for some reason it didn't work for me.

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    Replies
    1. Craig, were you able to complete each step, or did it fail at some point?

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    2. Hi Dain, it isn't working for me either. I followed your guide which I found simple to do but it still looks the same?

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  8. Thanks but help! Why they make it that big is overwhelming, stop it:((((((

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    1. Yeah -- It's the whole screen! I finally got something in place. But it is useless; can't see the posts? This was a really, really bad design choice, certainly not the first by Google.

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  9. Thanks! but didn't work for me either.
    I agree is far to big.

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  10. Excellent thanks for this quick tutorial!

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  11. Hi again ... just a quick question. I am unable to find where I can change the picture of the map which now appears on the Google+ Local page! I have looked everywhere and can't find an update photo button.

    Are you able to help?

    Cheers
    Sybille

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    Replies
    1. Sybille, I do not believe it can be changed. The map can actually be clicked and takes you to Google Maps.

      Delete
  12. This isn't working anymore. No matter what I do, I can't get it any smaller.

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    1. Deborah, I just retested it and everything is still working. Are you able to complete each step?

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  13. Thanks Dain! I really dislike these big cover photos! I want to read the persons post or get some information but not looking at a big useless picture! As I can't change the display of other peoples cover photos this is a reason to visit Google+ less!

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  14. It didnt do it for me -it sort of cropped it but didn't make it smaller:-(
    https://plus.google.com/u/0/106458818419775705540/

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  15. I just followed your process. When I go to the end and selected replace and applied the crop, the resultant image on my profile was too large.

    The crop selected was the same as what was appearing as my cover image.

    So I went back and replaced the cover photo again and used the last version before I tried your process. All is "OK" again. Anyone who scrolls up just sees blank background.

    I assume I did something wrong on the way through the process, but as I have it "OK", I'll leave it at that.

    Thanks for the hints

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  16. Two days ago, Google has even announced an update to the design of Google+ pages and less than an hour later it had already happened. Who now logged in to his profile on Google Plus provides a new cover page and one or the other is perhaps the question is what is Google thinking?
    Our graphics department has created a cover template for you to download, which we would like to ask all the social media available to designers who want to customize their cover photo yet or need.

    http://www.projectworkers.de/marketingblog/138-das-gibt-arbeit-fuer-social-media-manager-neue-coverfotos-fuer-google-profile

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  17. Works like a dream, Thanks A lot !!

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  18. These are very easy to follow instructions. Thank you!

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  19. Thank you so much for these very useful instructions! I just tried them step by step and received a failure note at the end. Oh...what a pity, I thought, but I still gave it a go to refresh my profile and voilà: the resized cover photo was there! Great! Will recommend these instructions! :-)

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  20. Hi Dain, thanks a lot for the great find! Have you done any tests to discover what the minimum height possible for an image resized in this manner is? Thanks.

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  21. worked great for me i do like to actually see my latest shares

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  22. After several attempts, I can confirm it definitely works best when the final cropped image is the same width as that uploaded.

    One sneaky way to overcome the problem: on your own computer, create a banner image with your desired aspect ratio. Now open up the canvas size option, and select a new canvas height that's width divided by 1.77777 (or if you prefer, width * 16 / 9) - don't forget to resize all layers. Save, upload as your profile photo (including the large blank area), then follow the trick to get rid of the blank area.

    Incidentally, on my computer the profile photo appears about 1040px wide. When it was using a 16:9 image, the bottom section initially displayed was about 400px high; now it's displaying about 235px of the 353px (the source image is 2048x690).

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  23. Thank you SO much. This was invaluable. Too bad Google even made this post necessary. Thanks again!

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  24. Thanks, Before seeing this I did much the same thing via PhotoShop. I didn't want to have people scroll to see the full picture. It would have been nice if Google had issued some style guidelines with the change to give us all a hint as to how to size the cover image, both full size and cropped to fit what appears normally on screen.

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  25. Replies
    1. In step two, instead of clicking edit, click delete (the little trash can).

      Delete
  26. I followed you steps going to scrapbook photos and cropping and it still doesn't change the size. I want to make a narrow and long image. My image is large and you have to scroll to see the title. Why doesn't it change? I posted the image and it was the exact size I wanted. Any suggestions?

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  27. Very Helpful! I just wish I wasn't playing catch up constantly!

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  28. this didnt work for me, no matter how narrow i cropped the image google just enlarged the image to be a big cover ?

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    Replies
    1. Brett, are you cropping as above, or cropping someplace else and re-uploading?

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  29. Good tips. Unfortunately this un-animated my GIF cover. I'll probably have to use GIMP or Photoshop to turn it into a banner. Works well with any still images though.

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  30. Also didn't work for me. I always see the big image where i need to scroll up to it completely. I definitely was able to complete each step.

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    1. Here my site: https://plus.google.com/105051484664330593375/posts :(

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    2. Daniel, can you provide screenshots of the crops in step 1 and 3?

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  31. Hi Dain,

    I followed all of the steps, without problem, but my cover photo hasn't changed sizes. It's still massive. I know there have been a few other people who have experienced this problem, and you asked if they were able to complete each step. Do you have any other suggestions?

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    1. Blake, please provide screenshots of the crops you completed in step 1 and 3. Thanks!

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    2. Hi Dain,

      Here's step 1: http://screencast.com/t/PuaL8xlTYBVb

      And, step 3: http://screencast.com/t/ZVjEhHVVjB

      Thanks!

      Delete
    3. Blake, try it by cropping less in the first step; get it to go as wide as possible. Then, in the third step do your final crop.

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    4. That worked! Thanks Dain!

      Delete
  32. Go raibh maith agat (Irish) :)

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  33. Love it!! I've been struggling with cover photos for several pages, this is a HUGE help.

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  34. OMG! This worked! Thank you so much!!

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  35. Pity the image shown when you hover over your name is distorted. (That is, it is unconditionally shown as a 16:9 aspect ratio.)

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    Replies
    1. I agree Mark! The trick is to use an image that looks OK after the cropping.

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  36. Hi, Dain; thanks for laying this out so nicely. Too bad Google+ - with so many resources - was unable to build a simple user interface. If they did so, there'd be no need for detailed explanations. Too bad, eh? If Google is listening to us all, maybe they'll consider making some simple customization options (like a chance to have a Cover Photo that doesn't dominate the entire display). Anyway, since they made it so complicated, I thank you for making it do-able!

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  37. Well, this will help, but...

    Now how do we get rid of those stupid circles around the profile picture?

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  38. Dain, a visitor to my site was looking for "how to" fix here Google+ cover photo. I'm sending her to you! And... if you're interested, put in your vote (for or against) the new cover photo size here: http://ronvanpeursem.com/2013/03/vote-on-the-google-plus-cover-photo-size/

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  39. Hey! That's me - Many thanks to Ron for sending me here, and many thanks to you for these excellent instuctions....

    It's Worked - though it added blank grey to the narrowest version so I had to go a bit wider. No doubt I'll mess about with it again. As you say, you have to experiment with the proportions.

    Evidently, the silly circle is a whole 'nother story......

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  40. thanks for your info. this is great. many thanks

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  41. Terrible, just a terrible terrible thing from Google. The overlay is horrific. It's absolutely horrible and ruinous.

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  42. I'm currently attempting to save the image and then apply it as a profile image...You wouldn't believe that could be a hard task could you??? And I'm in I.T! Google + is a joke!

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  43. Thanks... just managed to work through all these steps, and works fine, although your note about keeping the image the same width as your original picture became pertinent!

    I'm not sure where Google and Facebook have got the idea that people want these big, big images at head of their pages... it's actually a trend that started appearing in Tumblr themes a while ago, so I suspect it's something that's coming out of a trend among web-designers (or graphic designers doing web work) rather than an actual user desire.

    (It's the complete OPPOSITE of the old web-design wisdom that anything below the "fold" was worthless. It's as if we can't debunk one piece of definitive nonsense without rushing completely to the exact opposite!)

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  44. Just in case anyone is wondering, this procedure is still the same, after the recent G+ page redesign.
    (at least until they change it AGAIN!)

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  45. Did everything you said and it didn't work one iota. Resized everything after clicking on the scrapbook photo, applied the crop and saved everything. Replaced the cover photo, went to the cover page and "Voila"! Nothing. I need some help here.

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    1. Al, your last sentence says you replaced the cover photo. Doing that wipes out all the cropping you just did. Please try the steps again and let me know how it goes.

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  46. Thank you!
    Still found it a very annoying process. It took me 1/2 hour to change my photo to something it was reasonable big. In a word, it is Ridiculus :-)

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  47. Thank you, this helped me so much! I was dreading changing my cover photo because I knew it meant it would be huge, but I had to update the photo. I like that I can choose the size now.

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