My gravatar has suddenly changed. I know this question has been asked before. However the only answer I found is that it could be due to a change in e-mail address or if I accessed my account from a different unusual location.

However, I did not do any of these, so I was wondering what might have caused this sudden change.

Added by Arthur Fischer. I have looked at the email addresses associated with the user's "my logins" here (all the same), taken the MD5 hash, and then passed it on to Gravatar to see what results, which was this:
enter image description here
(Gravatar URL). This matches the original Identicon (and that given on the user's other SE accounts). I have no idea how the current Identicon is being generated.

  • $\begingroup$ The email address connected to your Gravatar is, I believe, the one associated with your OpenID provider (not the one in your user profile). Has this changed? $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Sep 21, 2013 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ But both the email-ids are same. I use the same email-id with OpenID as is there in my user profile. And like I said, I did not change anything.' $\endgroup$ Sep 21, 2013 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ I have absolutely no idea, then. $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Sep 21, 2013 at 15:51
  • $\begingroup$ Just out of curiosity, if you log in to a different Stack Exchange site (say, MathOverflow) does your Gravatar change there, too? $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Sep 21, 2013 at 16:52
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the Work. Yeah, that is my original gravatar. @ArthurFischer $\endgroup$ Sep 23, 2013 at 3:45

1 Answer 1


A fairly recent article on ArsTachnica, regarding how using Gravatars can leak an email address has prompted us to make some changes to how we produce the gravatar hash (under certain circumstances).

Looks like this happened here.

  • $\begingroup$ So this "new" technique is more secure? And does it mean that my Gravatar will keep changing periodically from now on? $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2013 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Vishal - not more "secure", but we salt before hashing, meaning that the hash no longer directly corresponds to the email address that was used to generate it. We will not be changing the salt either, so the gravatar should remain as it is. $\endgroup$
    – Oded
    Sep 24, 2013 at 8:37
  • $\begingroup$ Ok. But is there any way I can have my original gravatar back? I really came to like it. $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2013 at 10:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Vishal - sorry, but we can't change things on a person by person basis. $\endgroup$
    – Oded
    Sep 24, 2013 at 11:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Vishal: If you just want to use the same picture, copy the URL of the image I added to the question above, and use it as a "custom (gr)avatar". (Even copying the Gravatar URL should work.) $\endgroup$
    – user642796
    Oct 19, 2013 at 14:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Has Gravatar thought about doing something like this again, to move to a secure hash algorithm like SHA256? Even salted md5 can be inverted now. $\endgroup$
    – nomen
    Nov 20, 2019 at 21:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ did something like this happen again now? My gravatar just changed without me doing anything $\endgroup$
    – glS
    Apr 27, 2020 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ It is possible, if you changed your email address. Look at your settings. I haven't worked at this company for over 2 years now, so no clue if anything changed. $\endgroup$
    – Oded
    Apr 27, 2020 at 12:22
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have permission to suggest an Edit to this post, so I'll note that people should read this 2013 announcement and this 2023 announcement for context and updated details, respectively. $\endgroup$ Feb 12 at 19:29

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