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Deleting Community Avatars - What happens?

When we opened our site we provide two sets of avatars but only wanted to include one. We want to remove the second set but are scared... if we do this does anyone with an avatar from the removed set show a broken image instead?

Looking into Atlas I found a few posts but they are dated and give the impression that users will end up appearing with a broken image. 

  •  January 2014, "If an avatar or collection is deleted, it will show as broken because the reference to that asset(s) no longer exists. If you're just changing the avatar collection users using the old avatars will keep them until they or an admin/mod manually change it, but the old collection will no longer be available for selection." (source)
  • February 2021, "Thanks for this documentation, when you delete an avatar that a member is using does the system automatically assign a new one based on those still available?" (source)
    • This Q didn't receive any response 😥

To recap....

If a community offers two collections of avatars, and one is removed, what happens?

Do users with the removed avatars show up with a broken image, or will the original avatars in the removed collection remain, thus preventing broken images, but new members can no longer select it? 

I'm crossing my fingers and toes its the latter and testing in Staging appears to indicate this but could this be caching?!?! 

For something this impactful I can't go on a assumption and need 100% confidence on the end result.

8 Replies 8

Bummer, the avatar was cached so this results in a broken image 😥

Deleting the avatar is not the solution here - the older topics are still accurate. 

Based on this it looks like restricting via the 'Assign To:` role feature found in Studio > Community Style > Asset Library > Avatars is the only option? 

To verify if this is the solution I've setup my test account to use a avatar from a collection that is now restricted to a new role (which no one has, or will have). After 24 hours my hope is that my test account avatar isn't broken since the asset exists - it just can't be selected again, or used by 'new members' 

Source; Limit an avatar collection to a specific role

If this works I'll be sure to tag a note on the Delete an Avatar topic so others are aware. 


Hey I can share the outcome of what happened after I didn't get a response to the post your referenced above. 

We only had about 3 avatars we needed to delete. So what we ended up doing was we took 3 avatars that wasn't being deleted and then renamed the file to match the files we planned to delete and then uploaded them to Studio. So effectively we swapped them using existing ones. This was less than ideal as we ended up having the same 3 avatars appear in 2 different collections. 

There is really no elegant solution beyond this I know of other than developing some kind of script that is able to identify which accounts are using the avatars planned for deletion and then reassigns them an available one after deletion. Or if you want to remove an avatar then replace it and accept a level of duplication if it's not a large amount of avatars.

Senior Community Manager | Strava
Khoros Oracle

@tyw the assign to option still requires a user to select an avatar from the collection and will not apply one automatically. So long as an avatar exists it should work.

It looks like I'm late, but deleting any avatar will result in anyone using it showing a broken icon / no avatar (depends on how the browser handles broken images). If you're in a pinch and have broken avatars, Support can restore them by reverting that specific change to bring them back.

Usually at that point customers either retain the filename and upload a new image, or identify all users by API with a specific avatar and then bulk change them by API script.

Kris S.
Senior Manager, Technical Support


Don't tell me you're getting rid of the candy collection @tyw ?!?! (kidding, we put in branded defaults too) but it was prior to launch so this is a good one to know.

Manager, Community Engagement @ Workday

@KrisS wrote:

@tyw the assign to option still requires a user to select an avatar from the collection and will not apply one automatically. So long as an avatar exists it should work.

Thanks Kris!

I think this is the best approach for us to take to stop folks from getting the old avatars  going forward.

I'll look into the API as a learning opportunity so I can find members with the avatar we want to remove so we can replace it. 

Thanks for your feedback here too @elbranscomb! I've made sure to note the filenames in case we do remove them but I'm hoping to the role option can provide a solution. 

@Kerri ...ahhh memories 😄  

eek wish i would have known this. We removed the Monsters Avatars(../t5/bizapps/bizappspage/tab/community%3Astudio%3Acommunity-style%3Aavatars?collection=monsters&style=asset) that comes with Khoros and now a portion of our users have a broken avatar. It's time to do away with some of the monster avatars.


Not sure how I'm going to fix it as I don't know yet if I'll have to get a download zip of all the monsters images so I know what to replace and then create my own replacement images with the same file names but with some more abstract pictures.  Can anyone provide me a ZIP of their Monster library?



We went live with the change to remove our 'old' avatar which in our case was setting the collection we didn't want members to use anymore to a new role that isn't assigned to anyone. 

New members are being assigned the right avatar collection now and those who had the old avatar still have it appear - yahoo! 

So for our situation this was the solution: Limit an avatar collection to a specific role

If you're not in this specific situation the guidance provided by @KrisS above provides some good insights/options. 

@MarkAtTruth , I really want to learn this so I can go in and find members with the old avatar and update it to the new avatars. If i make any progress I'll be sure to share - do you mind doing the same? Shared learnings FTW! 😄 has all of the default avatars incase you delete them. Except Monsters. I've linked all the names here until someone can download and share the monsters zip with me. 

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