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How to Disable Gravatars in WordPress (Step by Step Tutorial)

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Do you want to disable Gravatars in WordPress?

WordPress uses the third-party Gravatar service to display user profile photos. This allows users to have the same profile photo on different websites.

Gravatars are very useful, particularly in WordPress comments. However, some users may not want to use Gravatars at all.

In this article, we will show you how to easily disable Gravatars in WordPress. We will also show you how to use local avatars instead.

Disable Gravatars in WordPress

Why Disable Gravatars in WordPress?

Gravatar is a third-party service that allows users to add a profile photo to their WordPress website and use it across the internet.

Basically, you create an account and then upload your profile photo.

Managing Gravatar profile

After that, whenever you use that particular email address on a website that supports Gravatar, it will automatically show your profile photo from the Gravatar website.

To learn more, you can see our explainer on what Gravatar is and why you should use it.

However, some website owners may not want to use Gravatars for several reasons.

For instance, they may want to turn it off to improve website performance and speed. Similarly, some site owners might not want to use Gravatar due to privacy concerns.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily disable Gravatars in WordPress. We will show you how to disable Gravatars completely and how to replace them with local avatars:

How to Completely Disable Gravatars in WordPress

WordPress makes it super easy to customize or turn off Gravatars on your website.

First, you need to log in to the admin area of your website and then go to the Settings » Discussion page.

From here, you need to scroll down to the Avatars section and uncheck the box next to the ‘Show Avatars’ option.

Turn off Gravatars in WordPress

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

WordPress will now disable Gravatars across your website. You will now see a generic user icon in the admin toolbar instead of your Gravatar image.

User profile photo disabled

Similarly, Gravatars will no longer be shown alongside comments.

If you go to the Comments page in your WordPress admin area, then you won’t see the Gravatars anymore.

Comments page without Gravatar images

The same is true on your website’s front end.

WordPress will stop showing Gravatar images in the comments area under the posts and pages on your WordPress blog.

Comments without Gravatars

How to Replace Gravatar With Local Avatars in WordPress

Some users may want to disable Gravatar but still display profile photos under author bios and other places.

This allows you to keep the avatar functionality in WordPress and enables users to upload their own profile photos. At the same time, it disables Gravatars and prevents your website from making any requests to the Gravatar website.

To do this, you will need to install and activate the Simple Local Avatars plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit the Settings » Discussion page and check the box next to the ‘Local Avatars Only’ option.

Allow Local Avatars Only

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Save Changes’ button to store your settings.

The plugin will now block any requests to while allowing you to keep avatar functionality.

To upload profile photos, your users will need to add their own images on their user profiles.

They will simply go to the Users » Profile page. From here, they can use an image from the WordPress Media Library or add a new image by uploading it to the Media Library.

Adding a Local Avatar

Don’t forget to click on the ‘Update Profile’ button to save your changes.

WordPress will now use custom profile photos instead of Gravatars. For all unregistered users, it will show the default avatar image you have set in the settings.

For all registered users, WordPress will use the custom avatar image that the user uploaded. If a user hasn’t uploaded their custom avatar image, then the plugin will use the default avatar image.

Once a user has chosen a local avatar, their Profile page will offer buttons to select a different image from the Media Library or remove the local avatar.

Changing or Removing a Local Avatar

Our Best Guides for Using WordPress Gravatars

Now that you know how to disable Gravatars and add local avatars, you might like to see our other tutorials on using Gravatars and avatars in WordPress:

We hope this article helped you learn how to disable Gravatars in WordPress. You may also want to see our guide on how to add additional user profile fields in WordPress registration and our comparison of the best WordPress page builder plugins.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

19 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

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  2. Jiří Vaněk says

    I also banned gravatars only because I was trying to limit all wordpress functions that are not necessary and that have to download their resources from foreign servers. When I measured the speed of the site, a lot of these services slow down the loading of the site, and then one can very easily get worse numbers in the metrics.

  3. Mike says

    Agree with Dave:
    Gravatar still calls home. You can see this when you use Ghostery – and a Gravatar tracker is still active. This does not comply with GDPR in my opinion.

    How can Gravatar completely disabled and ripped away from a wordpress blog???


  4. Steve says

    Very helpful advice and it works. But still leaves my name on the page below where the gravatar used to be. Any solution?

  5. Alex says

    I have successfully disable gravatars, but would like my gravatar to be displayed in the author info box. How can I accomplish this?

  6. Wil Ransz says

    Instead of dabbling with PHP, you could simply hide the avatar by adding the following CSS at the end of the stylesheet:

    .comment-author .avatar {
    display: none;

    • WPBeginner Support says

      That’s possible. However, the gravatar will still be visible to crawlers. One reason that some users may not want gravatar could be that they are building something where they simply don’t need it.


  7. Zimbrul says

    Is that possible to replace the Gravatar with another generic icon when the person commenting has got no Gravatar?

  8. Dave Navarro says

    This disables WordPress from showing Avatars, but it does NOT disable Gravatar. On the back end, it still calls home to Gravatar slowing your site down.

    What’s needed is the ability to rip Gravatar out of WordPress.

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