YouTube Shorts Thumbnail: How To Add & Change (2024)

Article last updated on:
June 02, 2024
  • Learn how to customize thumbnails for YouTube Shorts
  • To any picture you want
  • Instead of a random frame from the video

Related: Add custom thumbnails to regular videos.

How to Add Thumbnails on YouTube Shorts

For both mobile and desktop: Open the YouTube Studio website > Content > Find your Shorts video > Edit > In “Thumbnail”, click “Upload thumbnail” > Find & Upload your image.

Showing how to change the thumbnail of a YouTube Shorts video
  1. Open
  2. Go to Content on the left
  3. Find your Shorts video → Click the Pen icon next to it
  4. Scroll down to Thumbnail
  5. Change it: Upload yours or Select auto-generated
  6. Save progress

That’s it!

Pro Tip: Also change an already-uploaded thumbnail. Hover your cursor above it > Click “Change” > Upload your file > Save.

Size for Shorts Thumbnails: 1080×1920 pixels (9:16 ratio).

It’s the reverse of the standard desktop waller size (1920×1080).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I set thumbnail for YouTube Shorts?

Yes, and it works just like on any other video: Open YouTube Studio > Find your Shorts video > Click to edit > Scroll to “Thumbnail” > Upload yours > save.

Any guide saying otherwise is wrong — that’s just outdated facts.

2. Why can’t I choose thumbnail on YouTube Shorts?

Most likely because you’re using the YouTube Shorts app. Go to the ‘‘ website instead of using the mobile app.

This feature isn’t yet available in the mobile app.

Outdated statement saying that you can't add a thumbnail to a YouTube Shorts video

As of February 2024, every YouTube creator account should have the feature to add a custom thumbnail for YouTube Shorts.

  • Back in the day, YouTube alone would choose your thumbnails for Shorts.
  • Now you can 100% do it yourself…
  • Just through the YouTube Studio website.

3. Fixed: YouTube Shorts doesn’t show thumbnails

In 95% of the cases, YouTube Shorts doesn’t show thumbnails because they were just uploaded and it’s too soon for them to be indexed.

A page with YouTube Shorts with thumbnails that didn't load

The other 5% is most likely due to internet issues, so make sure you’re connected.


You’ve just learned how to add & change the thumbnail of any YouTube Shorts video.

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.