Article last updated on:
February 10, 2024

Looking to download a YouTube video’s thumbnail?

We’ll help you get that picture — it’s 100% free to do so!

Let’s check out the methods.

How to Download a YouTube Thumbnail

The eaiest way is to right-click the image and select “Save image as…” in your computer.

It’s also the most reliable way. That’s why we’ll begin the guide with it!

Method #1: Save Image As…

Downloading the thumbnail from a YouTube video
  1. Find a video with a nice thumbnail
  2. Right-click its thumbnail image
  3. Select Save image As…
  4. Pick a location + Name the file
  5. Click Save

You’ll then find the thumbnail saved in your default location on the computer’s disk.

Method #2: Video ID

Highlighting where to find the Video ID In a YouTube URL
  1. Open the YouTube video you want the thumbnail from.
  2. Copy the video ID from the URL — it comes after “v=”.
  3. Paste the video ID into the following URL, replacing VIDEOID with the actual ID:

    https://img.youtube.com/vi/VIDEO_ID/maxresdefault.jpg
  4. Right-click on the image that appears
  5. Select “Save Image As…” to download it.
  6. Pick a Name & Location.

There you go!

Method #3: Third-Party Tool

There are several websites and apps that allow you to download YouTube thumbnails.

Here are a few examples:

You can use any other app as well. No need to stay attached to these options.

They’re just suggestions.

Frequently asked questions

1. If you own the YouTube channel

Since you own the YouTube channel, here’s the simplest way to download a thumbnail from one of your videos:

How to download your own YouTube video's thumbnail
  1. Go to YouTube Studio and sign in to your account.
  2. Click on Content in the left-hand menu.
  3. Select the video you want to download the thumbnail from.
  4. Click on the thumbnail image itself.
  5. In the top right corner, click the three dots (…)
  6. Select Download thumbnail.
  7. Choose a location for the file.

This is quick, easy, and ensures you’re downloading content you have the rights to use.

2. Download a Picture from a YouTube Video

Taking a screenshot in a YouTube Video
  1. Pause a YouTube video where you want to get he picture
  2. Click the Settings Gear icon (bottom-right)
  3. Choose the highest quality: 4K, 2160p, 1080p etc
  4. Take a screenshot: Prnt Screen (Windows) or CMD + SHIFT + 3/4 (Mac)
  5. Crop the top + bottom tool bars
  6. Save & Locate the file.

That’s it!

3. Get the Thumbnail from a YouTube video in HTML

You’ve got two methods:

3.1. Video URL:

  • Grab the video ID (letters/numbers after watch?v=) from the YouTube URL.
  • Choose your thumbnail size:
    • default.jpg (90×60)
    • mqdefault.jpg (320×180)
    • hqdefault.jpg (480×360)
    • maxresdefault.jpg (Largest, not always available)
  • Build the URL & Replace VIDEO_ID with the actual ID:
https://img.youtube.com/vi/VIDEO_ID/CHOSEN_SIZE.jpg

3.2. Parse Video Page (more technical):

  • Open the YouTube video page and view its source code.
  • Search for "og:image" (often contains thumbnail URL).
  • Extract the URL value after content= within the <meta> tag.

Conclusion

This guide is addressed to both viewers and content creators!

That’s all you need to know about downloading YouTube thumbnails.


Thank you for reading this,
ThumbnailTest

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.