I've been trying to find the location of a profile picture I've taken for a while now. I took the picture as I was setting my profile so it hasn't been saved to the Photos directory.

I tried looking for articles that can help but those are all for older versions of macOS.

  • 1
    I tried looking around and there's quite a few places it could potentially be, but this command worked to obtain my user profile picture that was saved to the desktop. Just enter the following command in terminal dscl . -read /Users/john JPEGPhoto | tail -1 | xxd -r -p > ~/Desktop/pic.jpg and it should paste the profile pic that you assigned in Users & Groups settings for your user account. NOTE: Where it says john in the command, change it your user account name, i.e. if your user account is max then enter dscl . -read /Users/max JPEGPhoto | tail -1 | xxd -r -p > ~/Desktop/pic.jpg
    – AVelj
    Aug 3 at 9:57
  • @AVelj Why not make it an answer? Why a comment?
    – Redarm
    Aug 3 at 15:46
  • @Redarm didn't have time to make a proper answer that would require me to format it correctly and such.
    – AVelj
    Aug 4 at 0:27
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    @AVelj I would have thought the community formats it for you, if you don't have the time or inclination.
    – Redarm
    Aug 4 at 16:19
  • Thank you @AVelj , it worked!
    – Big oof
    Aug 11 at 9:30

1 Answer 1


It should be possible to search for it in Terminal (one can find Terminal via Spotlight, or in /Utilities):

sudo find / -name "AAProfilePicture*" 2>/dev/null

Various places come up with the profile picture, e.g. a couple here:


Once found, the search (find) can be interrupted with ctrlC / or ^C

Another option:

Directory Utility (to be found via Spotlight, or here: /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/Directory Utility.app) also shows the user's picture under the "Directory Editor" tab with the user selected and it can be copied from there. You may have to authenticate first.

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