How To: Change Your Profile Picture & Display Name for iMessage in iOS 13

Change Your Profile Picture & Display Name for iMessage in iOS 13

For quite some time, popular messaging apps such WhatsApp and Skype have let you set a profile picture along with a display name to make you more instantly identifiable to loved ones and colleagues. Apple has finally caught up with this fad in iOS 13, so you can set a profile photo within iMessage to quickly view who's messaging you at a glance.

The latest iOS not only lets you set photos as profile images, but it also gives you the ability to use custom Memojis and Animojis for more variety. Paired with the ability to set a display name, the app's new features will help ensure you stand out even more amongst contacts. These new features work no matter what iPhone model you have, as long as it supports iOS 13, it's good.

Step 1: Access the iMessage Profile Settings

There are two ways to access the options for your profile picture and name on iMessage — either through the Settings app or within the Messages app itself.

  • For the Settings approach, select "Messages," then "Share Name and Photo."
  • To set a profile within Messages, tap on the new ellipsis (•••) button at the top of the conversations view, then select "Edit Name and Photo" on the action sheet that appears at the bottom.
From the Settings app (left) and within Messages itself (right).

Step 2: Change Your iMessage Display Name

Whichever method you chose above, you'll now be able to change your name. It should already be whatever your name is associated with your Apple ID, but you can change the first and last name by deleting what's there and inputting your desired moniker instead. Note that you do not need both fields filled out, so you can have just a first or last name. You can also leave the name alone if you want to show the one that's already displayed.

Step 3: Change Your iMessage Profile Picture

Tap on the image that says "Edit" right next to your name to change your profile image. From there, you have multiple options to choose from:

  • Edit Current Photo: Tap the photo already set as your profile image, tap "Edit Color," and apply a filter.
  • Take New Photo: Hit the Camera button if you'd like to snap a new photo. Snap it, follow the on-screen prompts to center and scale the image, then hit "Choose."
  • Choose Old Photo: Select "All Photos" to pick an image from albums in your Photos app, follow the on-screen prompts to center and scale the image, then hit "Choose."
  • Choose Initials: Pick a monogram (your initials in a circle), then pick a color.
  • Use Animoji or Memoji: Choose an Animoji or Memoji from the list under Animoji, strike a pose, snap your expression, follow the on-screen prompts to center and scale the image, hit "Choose," then select a background color. Note: if you came from the Settings app, you can only choose Animoji, not Memoji.
  • Take New Memoji: Select the plus (+) button under Animoji to create a new Memoji. It's just like making a Memoji the regular way, but iOS 13 has more customization options than iOS 12 and under. Note: if you came from the Settings app, you cannot create new Memojis — it's available only from the Messages app.

If you set a new or old photo for your profile, you can tap on it, just like when editing the old photo that was there, to get the "Edit Color" option to apply vivid filters. Also, if you set an Animoji or Memoji, you can tap it to bring up the "Edit Color" option to change the background shade. When completely done, hit "Done" in the upper right to save your profile image. If you're not satisfied, you can always back out with "Cancel."

Changing a profile picture from the Settings app.

Step 4: Share Your iMessage Display Name & Profile Picture

Once you've changed both your display name and image, be sure to tap the toggle next to "Share Name and Photo" to turn it on, if not already enabled. By default, it's disabled. Besides that, select how you want your image and name automatically shared in the Share Automatically section.

By default, "Anyone" is selected, so everyone who has iMessage will see your profile information. If you only want to share it with people in your Contacts list, check "Contacts Only" instead. The third option, "Always Ask," will display a permissions prompt within each conversation's thread, where you can select "Share" or hit the (x) to keep it hidden. Hit "Done" to exit the settings when ready.

While your display name stays within the Messages app itself, your profile image applies across the board, so it will appear in other apps like Settings and App Store where your avatar is displayed.

Cover image, screenshots, and GIFs by Amboy Manalo/Gadget Hacks

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