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Google Gmail

Add Your Own Photo to the Background

SUMMARY: Create a theme in Gmail based on a photo of yourself, spouse, friend, travel destination, or whatever.

While Gmail contains a few themes from which you may choose, what if you would rather have a photo of your spouse, child, pet, or home city in the background? With custom themes you can do just that!

1. Access Gmail's Theme settings. Click on the gears icon and choose "Themes".

2. The Settings - Themes page appears. Underneath "Custom Themes" click the "Light" or "Dark" box, depending on whether you want Gmail's interface to appear light or dark.

3. A "Select your background image" screen appears where you can select from featured images, photos from your Google account, or photos from your phone. You can also select to upload a photo, paste a web address, or choose from recently selected photos. For this tip, click "Upload photos".

Selecting a background image for your Gmail account

4. You can drag a photo to the box, or for the purposes of this tip, click the blue "Select photos from your computer" button.

5. A "File Upload" or similar dialog box will appear depending on your operating system and web browser. Navigate to your desired photo and double-click it. An upload dialog will then appear, and Gmail will change the background theme to fit your photo!

Gmail with a custom NYC theme (with information blurred in this screenshot)

This tip was written on June 19, 2012. Gmail's features and interface are subject to change. Screenshots may also differ depending on your web browser and operating system.

Return to the Google Gmail page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.