Your TikTok Profile Picture: Size, Background, And More

Your TikTok Profile Picture: Size, Background, And More

Looking to change that TikTok profile pic for something that people notice and instantly recognize? Here are some tips on your TikTok profile picture size, preferred backgrounds, angles, and more. You know, to get that ideal TikTok profile image.

TikTok management tool for teams

TikTok management tool for teams

Schedule your TikToks and manage TikTok comments (organic and ads) from one place – with an all-in-one social media tool designed for teams.

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Why bother about your TikTok profile picture?

If you’re anything like me, you might be getting ready to (finally!) get out there on TikTok with some content for your brand. And the first thing to nail down (other than the whole list that’s coming up and that includes a content calendar and actual content lined up to post) is:

your TikTok profile picture.

And just as on any other social media image, there are some rules to follow. That is, if you want to get all the benefits of a good TikTok profile image, which include:

  • Building a brand image on TikTok that stays with your TikTok followers
  • Being instantly recognizable as people scroll through their FYPs or through the comments on your TikTok videos
  • And making a good first impression when people check out your profile for the first time

So, let’s take a quick look at how to prepare your TikTok profile pic so that it works in your favor and helps people quickly recognize you and your content (and your TikTok comments, too).

What is the correct TikTok profile picture size?

TikTok requires a minimum size of 20 x 20 pixels for your profile picture. And though it might be enough, the recommended optimum size is 200 x 200 pixels, letting your TikTok profile pic look crisp and clear on all kinds of devices. 

So, it’s best to have a slightly bigger version that TikTok will fit into the correct profile picture size.

Also, don’t upload photos that are too big – they might get compressed and lose quality as a result. 

To resize your photo, use any image editing app on your phone or computer. 

Tips for creating a great profile picture on TikTok

Now, it’s not just about any profile picture. Your TikTok profile picture is something people will get used to and instantly recognize you by – if it is clear and stands out, that is. Which won’t be the case if you upload things like:

  • Blurry/pixellated photos
  • Your entire silhouette that will become so small it’s impossible to see who it is
  • Or a shot that’s dark/low contrast/with a super busy background, etc.

So, let’s take a look at what you should do to create a TikTok profile picture that stands out.

TikTok management tool for teams

TikTok management tool for teams

Schedule your TikToks and manage TikTok comments (organic and ads) from one place – with an all-in-one social media tool designed for teams.

Try NapoleonCat for free

14-day trial period. No credit card required.

Make whatever’s in your TikTok profile pic big enough to see

If you’re setting up a TikTok profile for a brand, make sure your logo is not too tiny for the small space you have, making it illegible. 

Here’s an example from the clothing brand Elementy:

tiktok profile picture size - elementy tiktok
Elementy’s TikTok profile picture

You can see that the font here is so small and thin it easily gets lost in the smaller sizes, like on their TikToks, not to mention in the comments.

tiktok profile picture size - elementy post
The same logo as seen on a TikTok video

Here, on the other hand, is a good example from the Washington Post, with the colors in the background actually making the profile photo pop, making it instantly recognizable.

tiktok profile picture size - washington post profile pic
Washington Post’s TikTok profile picture

Or this one – super plain but easily recognizable wherever you see it.

tiktok profile picture size - kitchn profile pic
The Kitchn’s TikTok profile picture

If you want to add a photo of yourself, make sure you include a headshot (the whole silhouette will probably end up too tiny), with preferably a clear/plain color background. 

Here’s the headshot I use for reference:

tiktok profile picture size - karolina profile pic
My profile picture on TikTok

And here is another good, clear example from the king of all things chocolate (#iykyk):

tiktok profile picture size - amaury profile pic
Amaury Guichon’s TikTok profile picture

Here, on the other hand, is an example of what the whole silhouette looks like, especially in the comment section (and especially against a busy background):

tiktok profile picture size - riviera profile pic
A TikTok profile picture with the entire silhouette 
tiktok profile picture size - email me
And the way it appears in the comments section

You basically can’t see anything. So remember to see what your TikTok profile pic looks like not just on your profile itself but also:

  • on your TikToks in the right-hand side menu, 
  • and in the comments.

Avoid busy backgrounds

Speaking of background. You don’t necessarily have to have a completely plain background (the Washington Post example above is a good example of how a slightly busier background might work great when it comes to standing out). 

But know that the busier it gets, the harder it will be for your face (or logo) to stand out.

For example, this photo doesn’t have a plain background but still does a good job and stays recognizable:

tiktok profile picture size - busy background
@candaceabroad’s profile picture against one of her TikToks

(Don’t forget, your profile image will appear against your TikToks, which can be super busy, so it should be distinguishable enough.) 

The background in this one is anything BUT plain but does a good job of standing out, even as a small thumbnail in the comments, making you think of the creator if you know them. 

Adding a pop of color or an eye-catching pattern WILL help the profile picture stand out (provided it doesn’t obscure your face or logo.)

tiktok profile picture size - healthy competition

And here’s Alicia Keys’ obviously professional photo that still looks clear, even if the background is not just one plain color.

tiktok profile picture size - alicia keys
Alicia Keys’ TikTok profile photo

The key here? (Pun intended.) The key’s in the next section.

Consider the lighting and contrast

A professional photographer/graphic designer can probably solve that for you (as you can see in Alicia Keys’ photo above). But if you’re taking a selfie or just creating a TikTok profile photo by yourself, don’t forget about the lighting.

If possible, take your photo during the day in a well-lit space or use photo-friendly lighting, for example, a ring light. 

tiktok profile picture size - casey profile pic
Using natural light in your TikTok profile picture

You can also go for a moody photo, too, like in this example – just make sure it remains clear as per all the previous tips.

tiktok profile picture size - jesse profile pic

Or you can even go for cartoon characters like in this example – in which case you don’t really have to worry about the lighting (but still need good contrast and clear background).

tiktok profile picture size - justin profile pic
A cartoon character in a TikTok profile pic

Find a good angle

You don’t necessarily have to face the camera when you’re taking your profile photo – but again, you need to appear clear in it. So, play around with the angles (since profile images on TikTok are round, you don’t really need to worry about aspect ratios). You can take several photos if you like and then choose the one you like best.

Here are a few examples for inspiration:

tiktok profile picture size - prince of germany
A front-facing photo example
tiktok profile picture size - alexandra profile pic
A selfie from a slight angle
tiktok profile picture size - smac profile pic
A side-looking photo example
tiktok profile picture size - james profile pic
And another one

Hope that’s enough to inspire you! 

Also, browse TikTok a little bit (you might be doing it anyway ;)) focusing on profile pictures on TikTok of the creators showing up in your feed – and pay attention to which pictures actually grab it. That might be a good indicator of what works. 🙂 

Looking for tools to help you manage your TikTok account?

Obviously, a TikTok profile photo and its size is just one thing to worry about. Once you’re out there creating TikToks and building your community, TikTok’s going to take more and more of your time (or your team’s time, if you’re lucky to have a team.)

And when that time comes, look into TikTok management tools for business like NapoleonCat to make the whole thing easier and less time-consuming, including:

  • Scheduling your TikTok videos in advance
  • Managing and responding to TikTok comments (organic and ads) in one place
  • And including TikTok in your content creation and customer service workflows along with other social media platforms.
how to pin comments on tiktok - tiktok responses
Managing TikTok comments in one view

We highly recommend you test NapoleonCat for free here – no credit card required during signup 😉

TikTok management tool for teams

TikTok management tool for teams

Schedule your TikToks and manage TikTok comments (organic and ads) from one place – with an all-in-one social media tool designed for teams.

Try NapoleonCat for free

14-day trial period. No credit card required.

TikTok profile picture FAQs

How to change your profile picture on TikTok

To change your profile picture, open the TikTok app, tap your Profile on the bottom right, and tap Edit profile below your TikTok profile pic.

Then tap Change photo and choose whether you want to take a photo or upload a photo you prepared before.

Note that you can also choose to add a profile video – people will see it instead of your photo when they go to your profile. 

Why can’t I change my profile picture on TikTok?

There are no limitations to changing your photo (as there are to changing your username), so if you can’t change your TikTok profile pic, you might be dealing with an app glitch. You have a few options here:

  • Wait it out to see if it goes away.
  • If it persists, report a problem to TikTok.
  • Or try reinstalling the app (remember that you’ll most likely lose your saved TikTok drafts if you have any.)

How to change TikTok profile picture on a PC

To change your TikTok profile picture on your computer, log in to your TikTok account in the browser, click your profile picture in the top right corner, and click View profile:

tiktok profile picture size - change pic from pc

Then click Edit profile next to your profile picture to change your photo. (As you can see here, my TikTok profile picture size is obviously suboptimal, as it’s gone a little blurry on desktop. I probably uploaded a pic that was too big, and it got compressed, losing some of its quality – so don’t be like me.)

tiktok profile picture size - karolina 2

How to get a TikTok profile picture in full size

Go to your profile and click on your profile picture. This is what you’ll see:

tiktok profile picture size - full size

Then tap on the photo again to get a full-sized profile picture.

You can also use this free online tool to download other users’ profile pictures in full size.

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