Video thumbnails let your audience view a quick snapshot of your video. You can choose from the options YouTube automatically generates, or upload your own if your account is verified. Make sure your thumbnail follows our Community Guidelines.
You can also add thumbnails in the YouTube Studio app on your mobile device.
Add automatic or custom thumbnails
- Sign in to YouTube Studio.
- From the left menu, select Content.
- Click the video you’d like to edit.
- Select an auto-generated thumbnail or click Upload thumbnail to create a custom video thumbnail from an image on your device.
- Click SAVE.
Watch how to add a custom video thumbnail
Watch the following video from the YouTube Creators channel if you’d like a tutorial on how to add a custom video thumbnail on YouTube.
Custom thumbnail best practices
Your custom thumbnail image should be as large as possible. It will be used as the preview image in the embedded player. We recommend your custom thumbnails:
- Have a resolution of 1280x720 (with minimum width of 640 pixels).
- Be uploaded in image formats such as JPG, GIF, or PNG.
- Remain under 2MB for videos or 10MB for podcasts.
- Try to use a 16:9 aspect ratio as it's the most used in YouTube players and previews.
- For podcast playlists, upload a thumbnail with an aspect ratio of 1:1 instead of 16:9 (1280 x 1280 pixels).
- Nudity or sexually provocative content
- Hate Speech
- Harmful or dangerous content