How to Change the Thumbnail on YouTube

How to Change the Thumbnail on YouTube

YouTube is the biggest video streaming platform in the world. It was found in 2005 and bought by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion. YouTube is now a subsidiary of Google. It is used by more than 1.3 billion people. If you are making videos on this huge platform, you may wonder how to change the thumbnail on YouTube.

Shooting videos for YouTube is a lot of fun. Especially if you are doing it for entertainment purposes. Shooting videos for YouTube is very common now. Almost everybody is a YouTuber these days.

When you are shooting a video for YouTube, keep in mind that your video will be watched by many users that you don’t know. That is why it is important to give the message in the right way. So choosing a good thumbnail is a crucial step.

When you are browsing through YouTube, you see thumbnails of each video. You tend to click on the video that has the best thumbnail according to your search. Because you can see one of the items you are looking for on that thumbnail.

First impression is always important. It is the same on YouTube. Some of the YouTubers go beyond this and create unique video thumbnails that give unique messages related to their YouTube account and content. 

For example, you are searching for a car video. You entered the name of its brand and model to the search bar. When you are scrolling down the videos, you have seen a thumbnail that has the face of the tester you want to watch. Intentionally you click on that video. You could have looked at the channel name but the thumbnail quickly separated that video from the others.

First of all, let’s cover up how to add a thumbnail to a YouTube video.

How to Add a Thumbnail on YouTube

How to Add a Thumbnail on YouTube

When you first upload a video on YouTube, you can select a thumbnail that YouTube makes you choose at the very first step of uploading the video. 

YouTube offers 3 auto generated thumbnails for your video. You can either choose one of them or add your own thumbnail. When uploading the video, after the upload is completed, you will see a ‘Thumbnail’ part. 

In the ‘Thumbnail’ part, there will be three thumbnails and a display screen on the right. When you choose one of the thumbnails, you can see how it looks from the display screen. 

How to Add/Change the Thumbnail After You Post the Video

When you post a video, you might want to go back and change the thumbnail if you are not satisfied with it. Let’s see the steps for doing it:

  1. When you are logged in to YouTube, click on your Profile.
  2. Then select the YouTube Studio from the menu.
  3. Go to the Videos section from the menu on the left.
  4. Select the video you would like to add or change its thumbnail. 
  5. Click on the ‘Edit’ button.
  6. Again you will see three thumbnails that you can choose from and there will be a ‘Custom thumbnail’ button.
  7. When you are done click on the ‘Save changes’ button.

How to Make a Custom Thumbnail Image

If you don’t want to be limited by the thumbnails of YouTube, you can choose to create your own. It is not difficult. Just follow the same steps above, but click on the ‘Custom thumbnail’ button this time. Then;

  1. After you click on ‘Custom thumbnail,’ select a photo from your computer.
  2. Click on Open.
  3. Lastly, click on the ‘Save changes’ button to finish.

Keep in mind that the thumbnail size and dimensions should be in minimum width of 640 pixels.

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If you are creating a YouTube thumbnail, you better know its dimensions. It is important to offer a quality looking thumbnail to attract people because it works as a book’s cover.

The perfect size for YouTube thumbnails is 1280×720 pixels. The aspect ratio of YouTube thumbnails is 16:9. Also, be sure that your image is under 2MB, and the accepted formats are JPG, GIF, or PNG. It is important to note that the thumbnail size is a minimum of 640 pixels wide.

How to Download YouTube Thumbnail

Suppose you came across a thumbnail you fancied and want to save it. In that case, you can use our free YouTube thumbnail downloader tool. What’s better is that you can get repeat this process as many times as you like without reaching a daily limit. The best part is that you can view these thumbnails without being online!


So we have covered how to change the thumbnail on YouTube. The thumbnail of a video is like a cover of a book, in fact, it has the same effect. That is why it is important to take the right decision when you are choosing a thumbnail.

If you want to learn more about YouTube, check our latest articles about it. You might be interested in how to change cover and profile picture on YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions

Indeed they are, we have mentioned that they are like the cover of a book. So it is important when people decide what video to watch. Everyone will look at the thumbnail before reading the title of the video.

Adding custom thumbnails is a great idea to make your video stand out on YouTube. Many people use Canva for such projects. It is very easy to use and offers much content for YouTube thumbnails. You can use Fotojet too. It also has a YouTube thumbnail section. Other than that you can use the good old Adobe.

You can use the YouTube Studio app. In the app, go to the Videos from the menu and select the video you want. Tap on Edit, then tap on Edit Thumbnail. Select your thumbnail and tap on Save for the last step.

James Orublig

Posts: 602

Hi, my name is James but my friend calls me JamesTheNews since I always have the latest news about social media. Follow my blogs to learn every bit of trickery there is to social media.


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1 Comment

  1. Jackson Moore
    Jackson Moore

    Changing my thumbnail on YouTube allowed me to put a more relevant pic for my profile. Turns out it was not as difficult as I thought it was.