How to Add a Mac Contact Picture without Photo Stream or Faces

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Frustrated at trying to figure out how to add a photo as a contact’s profile picture (i.e. how to set an avatar) for someone in Contacts on your Mac? Here’s how to easily add an image to a contact card when the picture is not in your photo stream, Faces, or the default images.

Let’s say that we want to add Jenny’s picture to her contact information in Contacts. You already have a contact created for her.

jenny in contact list

And you want to add her photo to her contact.

how to add contact image mac jenny

You would think that when you edit a contact in the Contacts app, and when you click on “Add photo”, that it would give you an obvious option to, you know, add a photo.

how to add contact - add photo does not work

However, the options with which you are presented are Defaults, My Photo Stream, Faces, and Camera, none of which are the option to simply add an image that you have on your computer.

add photo in contacts defaults my photo stream faces camera

We can only imagine that this is because the good folks at Apple assume that you are a lemming, and will be using their Photo Stream or Faces function, like all of the other good Apple lemmings. (Make no mistake, we are Apple fanbois and fangurls here, but we still think for ourselves when it comes to computing and technology.)

Fortunately, the hard-to-find solution is actually easy to do.

Open Contacts to the contact to which you want to add the image. You don’t even have to click on “Edit”.

jenny contact entry

Now, find the image that you want to add as the profile picture for this contact.

contact picture in finder

Now, drag the image to the contact picture circle.

drag the image to the contact card

jenny to contact picture

Click “Done” when you are done, and that’s all there is to it.

jenny contact with picture

Now the picture that you have assigned to your contact will show up everywhere that it should.

new message to jenny

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2 thoughts on “How to Add a Mac Contact Picture without Photo Stream or Faces

  1. Andreas said it all. Thanks for saving me so much more wasted time. Should have remembered the KIS principle.

  2. Hi Anne,

    oh yes, this little trick is worth a “THANK YOU SO MUCH.”

    It really drove me nuts to get confronted with the lemming style Apple uses here.

    Anyway, it helped to read your post.

    Take care.
    Many regards


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