Add a thumbnail to your video

Video thumbnails let viewers see a quick snapshot of your video. You can choose from the options YouTube automatically generates or (if your account is verified) you can upload a custom thumbnail.

How to add a thumbnail to your video using the YouTube Studio app

Add custom or automatic thumbnails

  1. In the YouTube Studio app, tap Videos .
  2. Select the video you want to edit the thumbnail for.
  3. Tap Edit .
  4. Tap the existing thumbnail image.
  5. Select your thumbnail from one of 2 options:
    • Tap Custom thumbnail to upload a custom video thumbnail from an image on your device.
    Or
    •  Select one of 3 autogenerated thumbnails.
  6. Confirm your thumbnail selection and tap Select.
  7. Tap Save.

Custom thumbnail best practices

Your custom thumbnail image should be as large as possible since it will also be used as the preview image in the embedded player.

  • 1280x720 resolution (with minimum width of 640 pixels)
  • JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG image formats
  • Under the 2MB limit
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
Custom thumbnails are automatically fixed to 16:9 ratio, but you can zoom in or out and move the image to adjust the thumbnail.

Custom thumbnail limits

There's a limit to how many custom thumbnails a channel can upload each day. If you get an error saying “Daily custom thumbnail limit reached” when trying to upload a thumbnail, try again in 24 hours.

Limits may vary by country/region or channel history. Copyright strikes may impact channel history eligibility. Community Guidelines strikes will affect how much you can upload.

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