How to Change the Thumbnail on YouTube

How to Change the Thumbnail on YouTube

As a content creator on YouTube, one of the key elements that can significantly impact the success of your videos is the thumbnail. The thumbnail is the small image that viewers see before clicking on your video, and it plays a crucial role in grabbing their attention and encouraging them to watch. In this article, we will explore the importance of thumbnails, understand the YouTube thumbnail guidelines, and learn How to Change the Thumbnail on YouTube effectively.

Importance of Thumbnails on YouTube

Thumbnails act as visual representations of your videos and play a vital role in attracting viewers. They serve as a preview, offering a glimpse into the content you have to offer. A well-designed and captivating thumbnail can entice users to click on your video among the sea of other content available on YouTube. It can make your video stand out, increase your click-through rates, and ultimately lead to higher views and engagement.

How to Change the Thumbnail on YouTube

Now that we understand the importance of thumbnails and the guidelines set by YouTube, let's explore How to Change the Thumbnail on YouTube videos. The process may vary slightly depending on whether you are uploading a new video or updating the thumbnail for an existing video.

Steps to Change the Thumbnail on a New Video Upload

  • Sign in to your YouTube account and click on the "Upload" button located at the top-right corner of the screen.
  • Select the video file you want to upload from your computer.
  • While the video is processing, you will be directed to the "Upload Details" page.
  • Scroll down to the "Thumbnail" section, and you will see three auto-generated thumbnail options provided by YouTube.
  • To upload a custom thumbnail, click on the "Custom thumbnail" button.
  • Select the image file from your computer that you want to use as the thumbnail.
  • Wait for the video to finish processing, and the custom thumbnail will be applied to your video.
  • Steps to Change the Thumbnail on an Existing Video
  • Sign in to your YouTube account and navigate to the YouTube Studio.
  • On the left-hand menu, click on "Content" and select the video for which you want to change the thumbnail.
  • Click on the "Details" tab, and you will see the existing thumbnail for the video.
  • To change the thumbnail, click on the "Custom thumbnail" button.
  • Choose the image file you want to use as the new thumbnail from your computer.
  • Once you have selected the thumbnail, click on the "Save" button to apply the changes.

Understanding YouTube Thumbnail Guidelines

Before diving into the process of changing the thumbnail on YouTube, it's important to understand the platform's guidelines regarding thumbnails. By following these guidelines, you ensure that your thumbnails are compliant with YouTube's policies and avoid any potential issues.

Thumbnail Size and Resolution

YouTube recommends using images with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels, as this is the optimal size for thumbnails. It's important to note that the maximum file size allowed for thumbnails is 2MB.

Thumbnail File Formats

YouTube supports several file formats for thumbnails, including JPG, GIF, BMP, and PNG. When choosing a file format, it's recommended to use either JPG or PNG for the best quality and compatibility.

Thumbnail Content Restrictions

To maintain a safe and respectful environment for all users, YouTube has specific content restrictions for thumbnails. Thumbnails must not contain any explicit, violent, or sexually suggestive content. Additionally, misleading or clickbait thumbnails are not allowed and may result in penalties or removal of the video.


We care about your data and would love to use cookies to improve your experience.