How to Remove the Account Picture from Your OS X User Account

The main advantage of using separate OS X accounts for different users is it allows you to keep your personal files, data, settings, etc. separate from other users. Most people use their names as usernames for each account, but some also take the additional advantage of choosing a different account picture for each OS X account.

The generic account picture, used for guests in OS X, is a grey silhouette on a darker grey background as we’ve shown in the screenshot below:

Now, you might know that this icon is only used for guest accounts, while all other user-created account are assigned a random picture from the provided account icons. In the “Users and Groups” section of “System Preferences,” you can change this account picture to a different built-in one, or you can also use a new photo altogether (including taking a photo via the iSight camera).

However, there is no default option to remove the image altogether, which might be needed in some situations. Luckily, this can be done in Terminal,

Whenever an account picture is set for a user, the image is stored as a setting within OS X’s system directory services. If you change the image, this setting will only be updated, but you can also remove this setting via Terminal and force the system to use a generic user account icon. To do this, follow the steps outlined below:

1. Open Terminal via Spotlight or by navigating to “Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal”.

2. Enter the following command into Terminal. Note: You first need to replace “USERNAME” with your account’s short name. Once you run this command, you’ll need to enter your password, and after that, the account picture should be removed.

sudo dscl . delete /Users/USERNAME jpegphoto

Tip: The account short-name can be found in System Preferences -> Users & Groups. Click on the “Lock” icon in the lower-left corner and enter your password. Once done, right click the account’s name and click on ‘Advanced Options.’  Here, you’ll find the account short-name/username.

Some systems may not perform this change due to there being no generic icon on that particular system. Also, some of you might not want to use Terminal to do this, as it can be a bit complicated for some. Alternatively, you can use the method below:

Remove Your Account Picture Using A Generic Icon:
An alternative to the above-outlined method is to simply use a generic account image. A lot of these can be found online, so once you have an image that you would like to use, follow the steps below:

1. Open up System Preferences via the Apple Menu or Spotlight.

2. Click on ‘Users & Groups.’

3. Select the account whose icon you would like to change from the left-hand pane.

4. You’ll see your current account image here. Drag the generic account image onto your current image, and your account icon will change.

Many people want to delete their account picture, either for privacy reasons or to use a generic photo instead. The two tips mentioned above should help you with removing the account picture from your OS X account.