Official Guide: How To Change A YouTube Thumbnail

Article last updated on:
May 23, 2024

This guide teaches you how to:

To do this, you’ll first have to verify your account.

How to Change Thumbnail on YouTube Video

Shortly: Go to YouTube Studio, select the video, and click on “Thumbnail” to choose a new one. You can select from auto-generated options or upload a custom thumbnail.

YouTube Studio: Open YouTube > Click your profile picture (top-right) > YouTube Studio.

A. Desktop

Guidance on how to change a YouTube video's thumbnail on a Computer
  1. Open YouTube Studio
  2. Select Content (on the left)
  3. Click the Pen icon next to the video you want to edit
  4. In Thumbnail, click the 3-Dot Icon
  5. Click Change → Select an auto-generated thumbnail or Upload yours
  6. Upload & Save

Quite a few steps, but this is THE WAY to change your YouTube thumbnail after uploading the video.

B. Mobile

You first need to download the YouTube Studio app to change a video’s thumbnail on a mobile device. This is just for phones and tablets.

How to change YouTube Thumbnail on Mobile
  1. Open the YouTube Studio app
  2. Tap your profile picture → Select Library
  3. Find the video → More :Edit
  4. Select Edit Thumbnail
  5. Change it: Select an auto-generated thumbnail or upload a custom one
  6. Tap Save

Thumbnail Performance

Struggling to make a great thumbnail? Let us introduce you to Thumbnail Test.

With this tool, you can A/B Test thumbnails for YouTube videos:

  1. Upload 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 […] thumbnails
  2. Our system send each thumbnail to a select group of viewers
    • Thumbnail 1 → Visible to some people
    • Thumbnail 2 → Goes to other people
    • And so on
  3. This helps you figure out which thumbnail performs best
  4. And that one’s going to be set for your video

Essentially: A/B Testing helps you convert more viewers into subscribers.

You may ask “Why would I want this?” → Because YouTube doesn’t have this feature.

They’ve postponed this for over 5 years now, and we’re here to help you:

  1. Convert subscribers/sales faster
  2. In the click of a button

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why can’t I change thumbnail on YouTube?

If you can’t change (or add) a thumbnail on a YouTube video, it’s because you haven’t verified your account with a Phone Number.

This is the most common reason. However, this may also happen because:

  • YouTube Shorts: Currently, YouTube doesn’t allow custom thumbnails for videos uploaded as Shorts for all accounts.
  • Using an older version of the YouTube Studio app: On mobile devices.
  • Technical glitch: In rare cases, temporary glitches or bugs can interfere with thumbnail editing.

2. Size for Thumbnails?

YouTube Thumbnail Specs:

  1. Size: Under 2 MB
  2. Format: PNG, JPG, or GIF
  3. Ratio: 16:9
  4. Minimum width: 640 pixels
  5. Best resolution: 1280 x 720 pixels (Recommended by Google)

Make sure you read the Full YouTube Thumbnail Requirements before uploading.

Follow the guidelines and your thumbnail is going to be great!

Thank you for reading this,

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.