How to make the Google+ profile cover smaller again

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 8, 2013
Updated • Mar 8, 2013

So Google introduced these really big header images on Google+ the other day that take up much of the screen estate when you open a profile that switched to the larger header format. While some may like the new aesthetics that the larger profile cover photos bring along with them, others may want to go back to how things were previously. The problem however is that once you start using a larger cover photo on the site, you can't really go back and use the old cover format anymore as Google made the decision to block that path completely.

There is however a trick that you can make use of to reduce the height of the cover photo on Google+ despite that. Best of all, it should not take you longer than a minute or so to do so.

You can use the following trick with your existing cover photo, or a new one that you upload, it should work either way. I used a new photo for that but that is entirely up to you.

When you upload a new photo make sure you do not modify it in any way. Just upload it and select to use it as your new cover photo without any modifications. If you upload a new photo, select Change Cover from the profile page and pick a new photo that you want to use. I suggest you use as large of an image as you can for that though.

google cover photo

Press save afterwards to save the new photo.

Once done, click in to the photo cover area on your Google+ page. This loads the image view mode where users can comment and tag images. You should see an Edit photo link at the top that you need to click on. Note that you need Adobe Flash to work with the photo editor.

Select Crop from the left menu and the rectangle that appears on the photo to select an appropriate new size for your cover photo. You can simply reduce the header here if you like to reduce the overall height of the cover photo on the Google+ profile page.

cover photo edit google

Once you are satisfied with your selection select apply underneath the crop option and then save at the top. Select replace at the confirm photo replace prompt afterwards. This basically replaces the current cover photo with the edited copy.

Go back to your profile page and reload the page once to see the new cover photo on it.

google plus cover photo

It should look a lot smaller than before, provided that you cropped the height of the image in the process. (via Mizine)


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  1. susan said on September 21, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    I don’t think its a bug I think they want us to use big ugly photos. It’s a conspiracy.

  2. susan said on September 21, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    I’ve tried and tried to do this, I seriously do not understand these directions. I’m obviously new to G+ but I click the cover photo and there is nothing that says edit. Where do I find this? I’m so confused and I hate hate hate the stupid big photo. Ugh.

  3. Rob Richards said on September 20, 2013 at 1:52 am

    I have no edit option either… Grrrr!

  4. Daniel said on September 19, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Does this still work? When I go into the image view mode, I have no ‘edit’ anywhere. Have they removed this already to stop people from getting rid of that overly hideous large image?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 19, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      It seems to be a bug, will be back.

  5. José said on August 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    It works wonderfully.
    Thank you very much.

    That giant photo was ridiculous and even worse the fact that they don’t give options to the different users taste.


  6. Rengrrl said on May 6, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I didn’t realize the cover would change size and can’t change it back following your trick. When I click in the photo cover area, it doesn’t do anything. I don’t get the image view mode.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 6, 2013 at 3:49 am

      You cannot modify stock photos that Google provides you with. You can only edit your own uploaded photos.

      1. Rengrrl said on May 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        I found you can also go back to the original, smaller default by uploading your own photo, then deleting it from your google+ photo albums.

  7. Sheli said on April 25, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Genius. Thanks so much!

  8. TechAhead said on April 17, 2013 at 2:12 am

    This is what I have been trying to do this for some time, but failed your tutorial is an easy trick to overcome the massive banner G+ has put

  9. Tricahyo said on April 8, 2013 at 1:07 am

    It really helps me. Thanks alot Martin. You saved my time! :)

  10. Emily said on April 5, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    I’m bummed, all it did for me is stretch it and make it look worse than it was before =\ why oh why did they even do this, it’s stupid!! =\

  11. Dada said on April 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks! :)

  12. wildnessreturns said on March 25, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Thank you!!

  13. Kevin Shea said on March 24, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Nice. Thanks very much.

  14. john holland said on March 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Dear Martin,
    I almost never write comments on people’s blog posts, but this time you earned the extra-effort! THANK YOU :). i have been (discretely) annoyed by this ever since i accidentally switched to the big cover in G+! thanks a bundle for sharing the trick!

  15. GIF said on March 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Is there a way to make this work with a GIF? tried on one, now there’s no movement!

  16. Sop said on March 8, 2013 at 11:17 am

    thank you
    its work! :)

  17. Liz from said on March 8, 2013 at 11:05 am

    You just saved me a ton of time! I went to change my Google+ cover photo and got the big, ugly 480X270 change. After I realized I couldn’t go back, I went into a frenzy and started googling how to make the cover smaller again. Thankgosh I found this post! Thanks for the help – we need more people like you! Interesting that you happened to post this a few hours ago… everything happens for a reason!

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