How To Show Profile Pictures Instead of Video on a Zoom Call

There are all sorts of reasons why you may not want people to watch your live video when you’re in a Zoom meeting. Maybe you’re grabbing a spot of lunch or you’re dealing with the kids. The point is that you want a little privacy.

How To Show Profile Pictures Instead of Video on a Zoom Call

So, you turn the camera off.

The problem is that this approach leaves a blank screen with your initials on it. You’d rather other users see your profile picture instead of that blank screen. In this article, we’ll explain how to replace your video with your profile picture.

Show Your Profile Picture Instead of Video on PC

There are three methods you can use to display your profile picture instead of video on Zoom when using a PC:

  • Changing before the meeting starts
  • Setting your profile picture to display all of the time
  • Changing to a profile picture during a meeting

Change to Your Profile Picture Before the Meeting Starts

The steps for changing from video to a profile picture before your meeting are fairly simple. Using this method also gives you a few minutes to choose the right picture so you make a great first impression upon starting the meeting.

First, you need to select a profile picture to display:

  1. Launch Zoom and locate the profile picture icon. It should be in the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Click the link that states your name and your email address to open the “Profile” settings.
  3. You should see either your existing profile picture or a silhouette where your profile picture should be. Drag your cursor over that image to see a pencil icon, which you should click.
  4. Clicking the pencil reveals a drop-down menu that gives you the option to change or delete your profile picture.
    • Select “Choose Files” if you don’t have a profile picture.
    • Click on “Change” if you do have a picture.
  5. Browse through File Explorer to find the picture you wish to use.
  6. Select your picture and click “Open.”

You can use Zoom’s tools to adjust the picture’s size so it displays properly in the image box. Once you’ve set your profile picture, it’s time to deactivate your video:

  1. Open the Zoom desktop app on your PC. You should see the profile picture you selected in the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Click “Turn off my video” when you’re about to start your meeting to display your profile picture.
  3. Alternatively, press “Alt + V” as a Windows user or “Command + Shift” if you’re an Apple user. Both are shortcuts for deactivating or activating your video.

Your profile picture should display in the box where your video previously showed.

Set Your Profile Picture to Display All of the Time

If you prefer to never show footage from your camera during a Zoom meeting, you can set your profile picture to display in every meeting.

  1. Open Zoom and navigate to the “Settings” page.
  2. Click on the “Video” button in the left panel.
  3. Enable the toggle switch for the “Turn Off My Video When Joining Meeting” option.

As long as this toggle stays active, your Zoom should never display your video. Toggling the switch off again allows the app to show whatever your camera streams.

Change to a Profile Picture During a Meeting

Perhaps you’re generally happy to show your video when you’re in meetings. However, something’s come up and you need a little privacy. You can switch to displaying your profile picture quickly while you’re in the middle of a meeting:

  1. Locate your personal video frame in the meeting and right-click it.
  2. Select “Edit Profile Picture” from the pop-up menu to bring up the profile picture window.
  3. Navigate through File Explore to find a picture if you don’t already have one selected.
  4. Click “Save” and exit the “Edit Profile Picture” screen.
  5. Select the “Stop Video” icon at the bottom-left of the screen.

Your video should stop and be replaced by the profile picture you selected. You should also see that the “Stop Video” icon changes to one that reads “Start Video.” Click this icon if you want to reactivate your video feed.

Show Your Profile Picture Instead of Video on Android

You may want to use an Android device to hold your Zoom meetings. Follow these steps to select your profile picture for your Zoom meeting:

  1. Open your Zoom mobile app and tap the “More” icon. This icon is represented by three horizontal dots.
  2. Tap the “Profile” information where you see your name and email address.
  3. Select the arrow mark to the right of your profile picture to reveal two options:
    • Take a new picture
    • Select a picture from your device’s gallery
  4. Choose the option that works best for you. Note that you must grant Zoom permission to access your device’s gallery if you decide to use an existing picture.
  5. Select your image and it should display as your profile picture. Adjust the image to ensure it fits the profile picture box.
  6. Tap “Done” to select your profile picture.

Now that you’ve selected a profile picture, you need to make it display instead of your video when you’re in a meeting.

To do this before the meeting starts, simply choose the “Disable Your Video” option while waiting for the meeting.

If you’d like to deactivate your video feed during the meeting, tap the “Stop Video” icon at the bottom of the screen. You can tap this icon, which changes to “Start Video” once you’re deactivated your video feed, to reactivate your video.

Show Your Profile Picture Instead of Video on iOS

Using an iPhone or iPad is a convenient way to take part in Zoom meetings when you’re on the go. You can use the Zoom app to show your profile picture instead of your video when using an iOS device:

  1. Open the app and select “More.” This icon looks like three horizontal dots.
  2. Navigate to your “Profile” information, which you should see at the top of the “More” icons.
  3. Tap the arrow mark located to the right of your profile picture. The app gives you the option of taking a new picture using your device or selecting a picture from your gallery.
  4. Choose whichever option you prefer. If you want to use a picture from your gallery, you have to grant access to the Zoom app.
  5. Choose your picture and use Zoom’s image adjustment tools to ensure it displays correctly.
  6. Select “Done” to set your profile picture.

With your profile picture selected, you just need to display it instead of your video feed. There are two ways to do this:

  • Tap the “Turn Off My Video” option when you’re waiting to join a meeting.
  • Select the “Stop Video” icon at the bottom of the screen when you’re in a meeting.

If you’re using your profile picture during a meeting, you should see an icon at the bottom of the screen that says “Start Video.” Tap this icon if you wish to replace your profile picture with your video feed.

View Somebody Else’s Profile Picture Instead of Their Zoom Video

Perhaps you want to deactivate another user’s video feed and display their profile picture instead. This is possible as long as you’re the meeting’s host. Assuming you’re the host, you can deactivate any other user’s video with these steps:

  1. Right-click the user’s video feed to display a pop-up menu.
  2. Select “Stop Video” to stop their video and display the user’s profile picture.

Note that doing this takes away the user’s ability to reactivate their video. You have to grant them permission to show their video again. This is a useful trick to use if one of your meeting participants does something inappropriate on camera or forgets to deactivate their video feed themselves.

Showcase Your Profile Picture on Zoom

Having your video feed active during an entire Zoom meeting can be inconvenient. If you’re taking part in a meeting from home, you may have to nip out of the room to take care of your children or handle some other chore. In these circumstances, you can set your profile picture to display so people don’t see anything that’s happening on your video feed. Displaying your profile picture is also a useful way to let people know that you’re not in the room.

Alternatively, setting a profile picture is a good choice for those who don’t want to grant the Zoom app the access it requires to use their video camera. Regardless of your reason for switching to a profile picture, it’s good to know that you have the option.

Have you ever switched to a profile picture instead of using the video feed in Zoom? Do you have any tips for taking a professional photograph to use in the app? Let us know in the comments section below.

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