How To: Enable & Add Custom YouTube Thumbnails

Article last updated on:
June 02, 2024

Over here, we’ll teach you how to select a custom thumbnail when uploading a video.

Related: Daily custom thumbnail upload limit reached.

How to Add a Custom YouTube Thumbnail

To add a custom YouTube thumbnail, you need to verify your account with a phone number. Proceed to upload the video and click “Custom Thumbnail” to select your image.

A. Computer

Highlighting where to click in YouTube Studio to upload a custom thumbnail for a video
  1. Open YouTube Studio → Upload your video;
  2. Click Upload Thumbnail;
  3. Locate the thumbnail image in your computer → Select it;
  4. Click NEXT → Save progress.

You can then upload the video with the custom thumbnail.

B. Mobile

Showing which buttons to press to upload a thumbnail for a YouTube video on mobile
  1. Download & Open YouTube Studio
  2. Tap + > Upload your video
  3. In the top-left corner, Image + > Select the image
  4. Tap Change
  5. Finish uploading the video

Official YouTube Studio download links: Google Play & App Store.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you add a custom thumbnail to a YouTube Short?

Yes, you can add a custom thumbnail to a YouTube Short. When you’re uploading your Short, you’ll see an option to choose a thumbnail.

  • Select the pencil icon near the thumbnail area
  • You’ll be able to select/change the image for your thumbnail

2. Can you use any image as a thumbnail on YouTube?

Sure, you can use a wide range of images as thumbnails on YouTube, but there are a few rules.

  • The image must follow YouTube’s community guidelines: nothing inappropriate/misleading.
  • It’s gotta be your own creation or something you have the rights to use.

No grabbing images off the internet that aren’t free to use.

Note: Your thumbnail needs to follow the YouTube Thumbnail Size Guidelines.


This is everything to know about uploading custom thumbnails on YouTube!

Thank you for reading this,
Thumbnail Test

About the author

David is the head of the editing team at ThumbnailTest. With his help, the editorial team is able to provide you with the best free guides related to YouTube thumbnails and A/B testing.