How to Add Pictures to Contacts on your Android Mobile

Mobile Contacts

Here is a look at how to change the picture of a contact in Android to something that makes them easier to identify when chiming in.

Adding pictures or a photo to a contact on your Android mobile is a convenient way to see who is calling you quickly. This is especially important if you have vision problems and find it hard to read the name displayed. My recommendation is to add pictures to the contacts to see them easier when you go to dial or receive a phone call.

By default, Android puts a generic block letter for a person not established as a contact for their image. And, depending on who the person is, you might want to change the picture to something that makes them easier to identify when chiming in.

Note: For this article, I’m using stock Android 8.0 Oreo on a Nexus 6P. The steps may vary slightly depending on the version of Android and other software the handset manufacturer puts on your device for managing contacts.

Add Photos to Android Contacts

Step 1

Launch the Phone app, find the contact you would like to change the picture for, and tap it to open the contact card. Or, if you have multiple accounts linked on your phone, it might be easier to open the Contacts app and the account the person is linked to.

If you have multiple accounts linked on your phone, it might be easier to open the Contacts app and the account the person is linked to.

Android Contacts

Step 2

Once you select the contact, enter Edit Mode first. Otherwise, you might trigger a call by tapping their picture. In Oreo, tap the edit icon in the lower-right corner of the screen. Once in Edit Mode, tap the person’s image, and then you should get the option to either take a picture or choose one.

Edit Android Contact

Step 3

Edit the picture to your liking, and make sure to save the changes when finished.

Edit Contact Photo Android

Usually, I will change a contact’s picture on the fly. I can open the Phone app to the recently called list and tap the vertical ellipsis on the upper-right corner of the icon to go into Edit Mode and choose a different picture.

Recent Call List Android

Again, steps will vary depending on your device. Still, the idea is mostly the same on all versions. For example, everything looks completely different on my HTC One but knowing what to look for it’s easy to figure out.

If you have a different version of Android or software specific to the manufacturer, let us know what I might have left out in the comment section below.



  1. Vadim

    mrgroove the android!!!! I knew he was a robot!

    • MrGroove

      Indeed… I’ve been working out. ;)

  2. Ahmed

    thanks….but what is the privacy??….if I use a picture for my Dad contact, and sync it with gmail…will my other friends be able to see that picture?

  3. sm

    this works when the contacts are saved on phone and does not work when they are stored on SD Card. Pl. clarify how to add pic to contacts stored on SD Card. I have a Samsung Galaxy Y SCH-i509 CDMA handset with Gingerbread 2.3.6

  4. Lou

    Sounds like you are more technically ahead of the game than I am so can you tell me how to transfer photo s from my p.c. to my android phone?

  5. panks

    While adding contact picture it goes to Google+ instead of step to crop the picture. What is happening ? please help.

    • dereklowe

      dear sir i am having problems trying to add photo from phone to contact but with no success as i have tried to follow the instruction as stated on your web site as my phone is a galaxy s3 mini mode gt 1800n,or whether i have to go to my local Vodafone store for advice.
      Yours Faithfully
      Derek Lowe

  6. bhawesh

    After following the above process my phone is unable to do so and instead it shows that no picture on phone memory although Pictures are available.

    • Lezli karp

      I agree totally. Most of my questions are never answered in any way I understand. And I’m a far cry from stupid!!! I would appreciate any help u can give. Most of my minutes are used for this.

  7. Jane

    My Huawei Y625 does the opposite – when I select the picture then select “Add to contact”, it tells me I have no contacts, even though I have many … In the Contacts list, you can edit everything BUT the picture.

  8. Ellie Scadden

    My phone is a Hauwei Y635 which I got on my birthday some of the contacts I added then and now it wont ket me add a profile picture for them.

  9. Anum tariq

    How to add picture to a contact in QMobile Z9 ??? There is no option of photo in contact????

  10. fatin batrisya

    I want this contact photo

  11. Jim Shunamon

    Thanks for the great article Brian. :-D

    I set all my Contacts photos directly from the Google Photos app.

    Upload the photo to Google Photos (or set the app to automatically backup all photos on your device). Open Google Photos, select a picture then select the overflow menu (three dots in upper right corner of screen). You will see something in the list that says “Use as”. If you select this it will open up a list of choices and one of those choices is to use the photo as a Contact. Select that option and follow the steps your device provides for selecting the proper contact. Make sure to save the Contact again after you add the new photo.

    This has worked for me in all versions of Android from Kit-Kat up through Nougat. I don’t have Oreo (yet) so I can’t say if it would be the same but many of you who are having troubles seem to have either older devices or versions of Android below Oreo so i hope that this advice might work as well for you as it has for me.

  12. Khalid

    Looking for help
    I saved all my contacts in google account. Most of my contacts are saved with pictures but now when i open a contact my phone disply small picture. On place of big image it shows a rough sctech. What should i do to desply large image

  13. Pam

    My Android phone is an Alcatel, it won’t let me choose a picture from the above instructions, please help

  14. Yoganand

    This worked well for me. thanks for the help.

  15. Junalie

    How about Samsung j2 prime I don’t know how to put picture in the contact.

  16. Dave

    What’s really annoying, is that almost all my contacts have photos in whatsapp and facebook, however android won’t sync them. I’m not going to save, edit, upload and attach photos to every contact! Why not show the photo you already have by default!?

  17. Van

    The only way to add picture to your contacts in Android 9 is:
    1.Transfer all your contacts from SIM to Phone.
    2.Open a contact to which you want to add picture.
    3.Push “Edit”, on top of the screen, left you will get 2 choices – Phone and Sim.
    4.Chose “Phone” and push the colored circle under it with camera picture.
    5.From the screen that will open, chose “Gallery”, chose a picture from the “Gallery” that you want to add.
    6.Resize the picture or chose “Done”.
    7.Than, on the new screen that will open, chose “Save”.

    • Jim Shunamon

      That’s Interesting. What phone are you using? I have a Samsung Galaxy S19e running Android 9 (Pie). I can still do it using Google Photos as well as the ways you describe. Also, my contacts are all saved to my Google account through gmail. When I get a new phone the photos are always there. I don’t like the idea of having pics stored on my sim or phone just in case.

      • Jim Shunamon

        Sorry, Galaxy S10e

  18. jerry

    My telephone is a Hauwei Y635 which I got on my birthday a portion of the contacts I added then, at that point, and presently it wont ket me add a profile picture for them.

  19. Tainsha Binnez

    How ’bout this?

    I moved from an iPhone to Android. On the iPhone, I can favorite several phone numbers so when I look at my favorite list, I see a favorite for (for example) home and cell. Can’t be done on Android.

    So I created a separate entry for the cell number. But the picture came from the iPhone during the switch so I have no idea where it is so the new (cell) entry had no picture. Finally, I had to…

    Delete the new “Cell” entry.
    Export the contact (with all personal info).
    Import the contact telling it I wanted to keep both, I did not one or the other updated as that was the default.
    Delete all personal info from the new, duplicate contact except for cell number. I could have left it in there but I didn’t want confusion. Now the home contact has address and work info, birthday, email, etc., while the cell entry has just the phone number and the same picture as the home entry.

    Hope this helps.

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