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Universal avatar makes it possible to fetch/generate an avatar based on the information you have about that user.

12 days ago

<Avatar> Build Status npm downloads version npm bundle size (minified + gzip) npm type definitions

Universal avatar makes it possible to fetch/generate an avatar based on the information you have about that user. We use a fallback system that if for example an invalid Facebook ID is used it will try Google, and so on.

React Avatar component preview

For the moment we support following types:

The fallbacks are in the same order as the list above were Facebook has the highest priority.


Check it live!


Install the component using NPM:

$ npm install react-avatar --save

# besides React, react-avatar also has prop-types as peer dependency,
# make sure to install it into your project
$ npm install prop-types --save

Or download as ZIP.

Note on usage in Gatsby projects

Users of Gatsby who are experiencing issues with the latest release should install [email protected] instead. This is an older version (v3.7.0) release of react-avatar that still used [email protected].

If you'd like to use the latest version of react-avatar have a look at #187 for a workaround and #187, #181 and #198 for a description of the issue.


  1. Import Custom Element:

    import Avatar from 'react-avatar';
  2. Start using it!

    <Avatar name="Foo Bar" />

Some examples:

<Avatar googleId="118096717852922241760" size="100" round={true} />
<Avatar facebookId="100008343750912" size="150" />
<Avatar githubHandle="sitebase" size={150} round="20px" />
<Avatar vkontakteId="1" size="150" />
<Avatar skypeId="sitebase" size="200" />
<Avatar twitterHandle="sitebase" size="40" />
<Avatar name="Wim Mostmans" size="150" />
<Avatar name="Wim Mostmans" size="150" textSizeRatio={1.75} />
<Avatar value="86%" size="40" />
<Avatar size="100" facebook-id="invalidfacebookusername" src="" />
<Avatar name="Wim Mostmans" unstyled={true} />

Manually generating a color:

import Avatar from 'react-avatar';

<Avatar color={Avatar.getRandomColor('sitebase', ['red', 'green', 'blue'])} name="Wim Mostmans" />

Configuring React Avatar globally

import Avatar, { ConfigProvider } from 'react-avatar';

<ConfigProvider colors={['red', 'green', 'blue']}>
        <Avatar name="Wim Mostmans" />



classNamestringName of the CSS class you want to add to this component alongside the default sb-avatar.
emailstringString of the email address of the user.
md5EmailstringString of the MD5 hash of email address of the user.
githubHandlestringString of the user's GitHub handle.
namestringWill be used to generate avatar based on the initials of the person
maxInitialsnumberSet max nr of characters used for the initials. If maxInitials=2 and the name is Foo Bar Var the initials will be FB
initialsstring or functiondefaultInitialsSet the initials to show or a function that derives them from the component props, the method should have the signature fn(name, props)
valuestringShow a value as avatar
altstringname or valueThe alt attribute used on the avatar img tag. If not set we will fallback to either name or value
titlestringname or valueThe title attribute used on the avatar img tag. If not set we will fallback to either name or value
colorstringrandomUsed in combination with name and value. Give the background a fixed color with a hex like for example #FF0000
fgColorstring#FFFUsed in combination with name and value. Give the text a fixed color with a hex like for example #FF0000
sizelength50pxSize of the avatar
textSizeRationumber3For text based avatars the size of the text as a fragment of size (size / textSizeRatio)
textMarginRationumber.15For text based avatars. The size of the minimum margin between the text and the avatar's edge, used to make sure the text will always fit inside the avatar. (calculated as size * textMarginRatio)
roundbool or lengthfalseThe amount of border-radius to apply to the avatar corners, true shows the avatar in a circle.
srcstringFallback image to use
styleobjectStyle that will be applied on the root element
unstyledboolfalseDisable all styles
onClickfunctionMouse click event


colorsarray(string)default colorsA list of color values as strings from which the getRandomColor picks one at random.
cachecacheinternal cacheCache implementation used to track broken img URLs
initialsfunctiondefaultInitialsA function that derives the initials from the component props, the method should have the signature fn(name, props)
avatarRedirectUrlURLundefinedBase URL to a Avatar Redirect instance


import Avatar, { ConfigProvider } from 'react-avatar';

<ConfigProvider colors={['red', 'green', 'blue']}>
        <Avatar name="Wim Mostmans" />


This class represents the default implementation of the cache used by react-avatar.

Looking to implement more complex custom cache behaviour?

cachePrefixstringreact-avatar/The prefix for localStorage keys used by the cache.
sourceTTLnumber604800000 (7 days)The amount of time a failed source is kept in cache. (in milliseconds)
sourceSizenumber20The maximum number of failed source entries to keep in cache at any time.


import Avatar, { Cache, ConfigProvider } from 'react-avatar';

const cache = new Cache({

    // Keep cached source failures for up to 7 days
    sourceTTL: 7 * 24 * 3600 * 1000,

    // Keep a maximum of 20 entries in the source cache
    sourceSize: 20

// Apply cache globally
<ConfigProvider cache={cache}>
        <Avatar name="Wim Mostmans" />

// For specific instances
<Avatar name="Wim Mostmans" cache={cache} />

Avatar Redirect

Avatar Redirect adds support for social networks which require a server-side service to find the correct avatar URL.

Examples of this are:

  • Twitter
  • Instagram

An open Avatar Redirect endpoint is provided at However this endpoint is provided for free and as such an explicit opt-in is required as no guarantees can be made about uptime of this endpoint.

Avatar Redirect is enabled by setting the avatarRedirectUrl property on the ConfigProvider context


In order to run it locally you'll need to fetch some dependencies and a basic server setup.

  • Install local dependencies:

    $ npm install
  • To test your react-avatar and your changes, start the development server and open http://localhost:8000/index.html.

    $ npm run dev
  • To create a local production build into the lib and es folders.

    $ npm run build

Implementing a custom cache

cache as provided to the ConfigProvider should be an object implementing the methods below. The default cache implementation can be found here

set(key, value)Save value at key, such that it can be retrieved using get(key). Returns undefined
get(key)Retrieve the value stored at key, if the cache does not contain a value for key return null
sourceFailed(source)Mark the image URL specified in source as failed. Returns undefined
hasSourceFailedBefore(source)Returns true if the source has been tagged as failed using sourceFailed(source), otherwise false.

Reducing bundle size

Webpack 4

When using webpack 4 you can rely on tree shaking to drop unused sources when creating your Avatar component like the example below.

import { createAvatarComponent, TwitterSource } from 'react-avatar';

const Avatar = createAvatarComponent({
    sources: [ TwitterSource ]

Exported sources:

  • GravatarSource
  • FacebookSource
  • GithubSource
  • SkypeSource
  • ValueSource
  • SrcSource
  • IconSource
  • VKontakteSource
  • InstagramSource
  • TwitterSource
  • GoogleSource
  • RedirectSource

Without Webpack >= 4

If you are using a version of webpack that does not support tree shaking or are using a different bundler you'll need to import only those files you need.

ES6 modules

import createAvatarComponent from 'react-avatar/es/avatar';
import TwitterSource from 'react-avatar/es/sources/Twitter';

const Avatar = createAvatarComponent({
    sources: [ TwitterSource ]

Transpiled ES5 javascript / commonjs

const createAvatarComponent = require('react-avatar/lib/avatar').default;
const TwitterSource = require('react-avatar/lib/sources/Twitter').default;

const Avatar = createAvatarComponent({
    sources: [ TwitterSource ]

Products using React Avatar


  1. Fork it!
  2. Create your feature branch: git checkout -b my-new-feature
  3. Commit your changes: git commit -m 'Add some feature'
  4. Push to the branch: git push origin my-new-feature
  5. Submit a pull request :D


For detailed changelog, check Releases.



MIT License