Add video thumbnails in the YouTube Studio app

The info below is about the YouTube Studio mobile app. Learn how to add video thumbnails on your computer or in the YouTube app.

Video thumbnails let your audience view a quick snapshot of your video. You can choose from the options YouTube automatically generates, or you can upload your own if your account is verified.

Add automatic or custom thumbnails

  1. Open the YouTube Studio app .
  2. From the bottom menu, tap Content .
  3. Select the video you want to edit.
  4. Tap Edit and then Edit thumbnail .
  5. Select an auto-generated thumbnail or tap Custom thumbnail to create a custom video thumbnail from an image on your device.
  6. Confirm your thumbnail selection and tap SELECT.
  7. Tap SAVE.
Note: It may take time for your thumbnail changes to appear on YouTube.

Custom thumbnail best practices

Image size resolution

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

Note: Vertical videos with 16:9 custom thumbnails will be replaced by an auto-generated 4:5 thumbnail on the home, explore, and subscription pages. Your custom thumbnail will still appear on the watch feed, watch history, and non-mobile platforms.

Thumbnail policies

All custom thumbnail images must follow our Community Guidelines. Your thumbnails may be rejected and a strike on your account when it contains:

  • Nudity or sexually provocative content
  • Hate Speech
  • Violence
  • Harmful or dangerous content

Repeat offenses may lead to the removal of your custom thumbnail privileges for 30 days or even account termination. Learn more about Community Guidelines strikes.

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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