On Drupal 8 there is by default a user_picture field for the user's photo. When I started my site several months ago, I deleted this field because I did not use it.

enter image description here

Today I need this field, so I created an image type field.

enter image description here

MY PROBLEM : I installed some modules that use the user's photo, but it can not be found because the user_picture is the default

If I create a user_picture field it automatically adds field_ in front of the machine name.

Is it possible to restore the default field with the correct machine name ?

3 Answers 3


Instead of importing configuration as suggested previously, you could as an alternative, programmatically re-create the field. Here is some code that does that.


use Drupal\field\Entity\FieldConfig;
use Drupal\field\Entity\FieldStorageConfig;

// Create the user profile field and instance.
  'entity_type' => 'user',
  'field_name' => 'user_picture',
  'type' => 'image',
  'translatable' => '0',
  'label' => 'User Picture',
  'description' => '',
  'field_name' => 'user_picture',
  'entity_type' => 'user',
  'bundle' => 'user',
  'required' => 0,

Assuming the code above is placed in a file called recreateUserPicture.php that is stored in your docroot, you can run the following Drush command:

drush scr recreateUserPicture.php

Best of luck!

N.B.: An alternative answer (since the importing of configuration from the standard profile has a problem with having the field being available in Views UI).

  • 1
    @1ad9ac48, you must delete the user_picture field before running the code above. Feb 28, 2018 at 6:27
  • You can easily run this code by pasting into the interactive shell from running "drush php"
    – AdamS
    Nov 26, 2018 at 15:12
  • 1
    That was useful Mr. Petrakis ;)
    – MrUpsidown
    Feb 28, 2020 at 9:41
  • A pleasure to hear that Mr. Upsidown! Feb 28, 2020 at 20:46

This can be handled using the install configuration that the standard profile holds. Easiest way would be using drupal's console, that would mean following these steps (from inside your docroot):

  1. drupal config:import:single --file=core/profiles/standard/config/install/field.storage.user.user_picture.yml
  2. drupal config:import:single --file=core/profiles/standard/config/install/field.field.user.user.user_picture.yml
  3. drupal update:entities

In case you can't work on the terminal using drupal console, you can import these two configuration from the administrative interface. This can be found under the admin/config/development/configuration/single/import URL (relative to your host's name). From there, you need to import twice, one time the file storage configuration (contents of core/profiles/standard/config/install/field.storage.user.user_picture.yml) and the second would be the file configuration (contents of core/profiles/standard/config/install/field.field.user.user.user_picture.yml).

Hope this helps, good luck!

  • Thank you I updated the question. It does not work
    – 1ad9ac48
    Feb 26, 2018 at 18:39
  • Did you try using the admin interface? Feb 26, 2018 at 18:49
  • There is a problem. The field has been recreated, but it is not available in the views. An idea ?
    – 1ad9ac48
    Feb 27, 2018 at 14:49
  • @1ad9ac48, I can reproduce that issue. I haven't figured out why Views does not make the field available. I posted an alternative answer that solves your issue in a programmatic way. Feb 28, 2018 at 6:26

I was facing the same issue, according to the tips above, wanted to go a save way, for me the following solution helped:

  1. drush cex to export my actual configuration into Yaml files

  2. compared them with the original files (by searching (..vendor/drupal/core/profiles/standard/config/install) --> by using the grep command in linux e.g. grep -Ril 'user_picture' /vendor/drupal/core/profiles/standard/config/install

  3. edited the following files of my exported configuration Yaml files:

    | Collection | Config                                     | Operation |
    |            | field.storage.user.user_picture            | Create    |
    |            | field.field.user.user.user_picture         | Create    |
    |            | core.entity_view_display.user.user.default | Update    |
    |            | core.entity_view_display.user.user.compact | Update    |
    |            | core.entity_form_display.user.user.default | Update    |
  4. drush cim to reimport the modified and added files

  5. drush cr to clear cache

Tip: maybe its already enough to copy the two files: field.storage.user.user_picture and field.field.user.user.user_picture and to your config export directory (after a fresh export) and do an import, because the difference within the core files was just a missing dependency.

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