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Where is my user icon / photo stored?

12533 Views 25 Replies Latest reply: Apr 18, 2014 9:49 AM by soriram RSS
  • Tony T1 Level 6 Level 6 (8,125 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 24, 2012 9:22 AM (in response to SsquaredplusA)

    I have tried looking through my time machine back ups


    Not sure how you browsed the TM backups, but if you haven't already, try:


         In Time Machine ⇧⌘G then enter ~/Library/Images/iChat Recent Pictures/

  • NickGains Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2012 5:28 AM (in response to Rasuul)

    I had a similar problem that my user account picture vanished when I upgraded to lion and became a default Apple icon - some boring butterfly.   Thanks to Tony, I found it in







  • softwater Level 5 Level 5 (5,370 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2012 6:51 AM (in response to Rasuul)

    I found mine in




    with the name




    If it still exists you can find it with EasyFind. Download it for free from here:



    In EasyFind's searchbar, type




    Select 'All Volumes' if you want it to search TM too.


    In the left panel,  check these options


    Only Files


    Ignore Case

    Invisible Files


    If that doesn't find it, try just searching for




    and sort it by 'Where' in the columns so you can rule out all the obvious ones at a glance. You can use 'Quicklook' in EasyFind too. Just click on any entry you want to check and hit spacebar.


    EDIT: BTW, I'm assuming you took this picture when you did your set up. If you took it later it could be in Photo Booth; check out


    ~/Pictures/Photo Booth Library


    Control click on Photo Booth Library and choose 'Show Package Contents', then navigate to 'Originals'.


    Message was edited by: softwater

  • razzintown Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 26, 2012 1:19 PM (in response to softwater)

    Looks like the answer has been found. It's not saved as an image file. It must be extracted with terminal code:


  • PRINCPN Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 18, 2012 3:14 PM (in response to Rasuul)

    I just put images into one of the existing folders in Library/user picture (like animals).  Close out of system settings first, then when you open up to your account and click on the picture to change it, your custom picture should be there.

  • NewRogue13 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 25, 2012 2:07 PM (in response to Rasuul)

    What I've found is that in Mountain Lion 10.8.2 the recent images are stored at ~/Library/Containers/ s/Recent Pictures/


    From your desktop click on "Go" then "Go to Folder" then type ~/Library/Containers/ s/Recent Pictures/


    You can find and/or delete recent images here. If your goal is to clear recent images make sure to immediately restart the machine after deleting the images or else the thumbnails will reappear in the recents list.


    I found this in trying to clear recent images showing up in Skype, Users & Groups, etc.

  • Guiorlle Calculating status...
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    Apr 14, 2013 8:18 AM (in response to NewRogue13)

    Thank You!

  • John-Paul May Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)
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    Sep 25, 2013 8:20 AM (in response to NewRogue13)

    THAT was clever.  Thank you very much!  One of the most interesting questions on the site!

  • inte_moto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 1, 2013 7:00 AM (in response to Rasuul)

    Same question, but for OS 10.7.5


    Where would the user profile pic be stored in this OS version?

  • mfernandez7016 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 6, 2013 11:38 PM (in response to Rasuul)

    Under Mountain Lion I found it in the user library. Here is the file path.


    ~/Library/Containers/ Pictures/


    Basically it's in the user library within the user library.

  • soriram Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 18, 2014 9:49 AM (in response to Rasuul)

    You can easily find the photo by going to Library

    Press Alt (Fn + Option) while clicking the Go menu in Finder.


    Search by Kind : Image within Library

    I found mine in Library/Container/com...recent/Data/Library/Images/

    Apple will keep changing these locations with every revision of Mac. So, the best bet is to use the neat search tool

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