Recently I've noticed that if you have a picture associated with your Google account, and you send an email using your Gmail account to someone using the Gmail mobile app. That picture will show on the email instead of a circle with the first letter of their name (see pictures below).

Sent from non-Gmail account:

enter image description here

Sent from Gmail account:

enter image description here

The first picture above is what the recipient would see if I was to send an email from a non-google (no picture) account.

The second is what the recipient sees if I send the email from my Gmail account.

My question is:

Is there a way to set a display picture for all other "non-Gmail" accounts that I have associated with the Gmail mobile app?

For example if I was to use the Gmail app to send an email with my Hotmail account, the recipient (if they're also using the Gmail app) would see the my display picture instead of just a coloured "P" in a circle.

  • This is about the Gmail app on Android rather than the web app, isn't it? As such, this really belongs on Android Enthusiasts.
    – ale
    Oct 15, 2015 at 21:22

2 Answers 2


The only way you can get a profile image for your alias email account is if you make it a Google account and then create a profile. So, does your email alias account has a Google/Google+ profile? (FAQ)

If not sign up at (https://accounts.google.com/SignUp), click on "I'd rather use my own email address". Follow the procedure, finish the sign-up. After you set up your non-Gmail address Google account, sign into it, click on the name at the top right, then "View Profile", and then the image silhouette to pick your profile pic. After that, your display picture for all other "non-Gmail" accounts that I have associated with the Gmail mobile app (whatever you want it to be) will be shown.


Try this!

It worked for me - although the email address I used was a forwarded business email address (eg. [email protected]) forwarded to my [email protected] account - but it might work with your hotmail account too.

With this method, it will always show the SAME profile photo, what you set for your gmail account.

  1. Use your Desktop computer / Laptop.
  2. Go to https://myaccount.google.com (or in Gmail, click on your profile photo and click MY ACCOUNT
  3. Click on YOUR PERSONAL INFO (Under the Personal Info and Privacy Header)
  4. Click on the EMAIL cell (or on your email)
  5. ADD Your Business / Alternate / New email to the ALTERNATE EMAIL cell (You might need to click on ADVANCED OPTIONS button, if you can't see the ALTERNATE EMAIL tab).

That's it. From now on, when you send from your Alternate email in Gmail, it should show the same profile photo as the one set for your gmail account.

  • this is the simpler approach if you already deliver your alternate email to your primary gmail inbox Dec 27, 2016 at 9:35
  • You helped me fix this on my wife's birthday and she said, "This is the best birthday present ever" Sep 18, 2018 at 5:28
  • This worked, but it took about 15 minutes for the icon to appear after confirming the alternate email.
    – alex
    Nov 28, 2020 at 22:51

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