Is anything being done to address user's lost avatars? Avatars are a bit like signatures. I don't want a new pink avatar thanks very much; I want the original green one I had for my first two years on the site. What's being done about this problem?

  • It's a problem? Did you check on meta.SE? (it's probably a sitewide issue not particular to ELU).
    – Mitch
    Sep 28, 2016 at 13:02

2 Answers 2


At @Araucaria's request I'll repost an answer that I originally wrote here:

Can I get my other icon back or will I be stuck with this new one?

Maybe. If you've been using any Stack Exchange site long enough that you've grown attached to your identicon, there's a good chance that it's cached or archived somewhere even if you don't have it yourself.

The tool that worked best for me was Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. I used it like this:

  1. Navigate to your profile page on your favorite Stack Exchange site. This is the page with the large version of your identicon (even though it's the wrong one). Copy the URL for your profile page. The URL will be of the form: http://site.com/users/youruserid/yourusername?tab=profile

  2. Paste that URL into the Wayback Machine and cross your fingers that there's a copy. You'll likely get a calendar showing the various dates on which your profile page has been archived. Click one of the dates and see if your old identicon is there. If yes, download the image.

  3. Go back to your profile page (the current one) on your favorite Stack Exchange site. Click the identicon to edit it, and upload the image that you just saved. Click the Save button at the bottom of the page when you're done.

  • 1
    +1 Thanks for giving this answer. Respect. Sep 28, 2016 at 21:48

An MSE question from 20 August identified this as a problem with Gravatar. It's not a Stack Exchange problem: their provider is experiencing difficulties.

There is nothing stopping you generating your own Gravatar-like image — or even something completely different like mine — and uploading it as a custom avatar. That avoids Gravatar and their difficulties altogether.

However, I'm not sure how you can recover your green icon in order to use it in your profile. You may be able to find it if you search for your posts in the Internet Archive.

  • Good answer on the linked-to question. Bingo! Sep 28, 2016 at 13:21
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    @Araucaria And you're green again :-)
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Sep 28, 2016 at 13:24
  • Yes, thanks for that! It was definitely worth asking this question! Sep 28, 2016 at 13:32
  • @Araucaria Was it to extract your old gravatar from the wayback machine and load it as a custom avatar?
    – Lawrence
    Sep 28, 2016 at 13:45
  • @Lawrence Yes, and it was very easy too. There were loads of old pages there. Took less than 5 mins. Your old avatar, for example, can be found here! Sep 28, 2016 at 14:10
  • That's my question on MSE! There are several duplicates across different child metas, including this question on this meta (it may only reference chat, but it is undoubtedly the same bug).
    – Laurel Mod
    Sep 28, 2016 at 18:03
  • @AndrewLeach Thanks. I asked Caleb to give an answer here on ELU Meta because I think it's very useful. Otherwise would have accepted your answer, of course. Thank you. Sep 28, 2016 at 21:43
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    @Araucaria Thanks for digging that up for me! It's good to see it again. I'm not sure whether to switch back, but I've saved a copy just in case :) .
    – Lawrence
    Sep 28, 2016 at 22:56

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