Article last updated on:
February 10, 2024

You’re here because you’ve:

  • Spotted a nice, impactful YouTube thumbnail
  • Which you want to inspect (to then view in high-res. or download)
  • But you’re not sure how to do it

Our guide, made by YouTube experts, will teach you the way.

How to inspect a YouTube thumbnail

Open a YouTube page > Right-click > “Inspect” > Click a thumbnail.

That is the just short answer. Let’s go in-depth on this.

1. Open the Element Inspector

  1. Open the YouTube website
  2. Find a thumbnail you want to inspect
  3. Right-click (anywhere on the page)
  4. Select Inspect → Last option on the list

You’ll now see the Element Inspector, which is 95% similar for any web browser.

It’s going to be just a bunch of HTML Code opened on the right/left side of your screen.

2. Select a thumbnail

For this test, we’re using the Google Chrome Inspector — it is the most used browser.

In the element inspector, which you’ve just opened:

  1. Hover your cursor on a video
  2. Click it
  3. You’ll now get more details: Thumbnail URL, size etc

Now you can do whatever you want need.

For instance..

3. Open in a new tab

You may want to view the thumbnail at a higher resolution — to do this, you need to open it in a new tab using its URL.

  1. Re-click the thumbnail
  2. Copy or Click its URL on the Element Inspector
  3. A new tab will open.

In this tab, you’ll now see the thumbnail at its highest resolution.

4. Further analyze it

This is how it’ll look in a new tab.

Pretty simple, but that’s right about all you can see.

Inspector shortcut for any Browser

We understand that not everybody uses Google Chrome, like we did for this example.

Here’s how to open Element Inspector on other popular browsers:

A. Universal Solution

These keyboard shortcuts work for 99% of the browsers:

  • Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + C.
  • Mac: CMD + SHIFT + C.
  • Select “Inspect”.

Now, let’s break down how to do this on a few other popular web browsers.

B. Google Chrome

  1. Right-click anywhere on the webpage and select “Inspect” from the context menu.
  2. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Shift + C (Windows) or Command + Option + I (Mac) to open the inspector directly.
  3. Alternatively, click the three dots menu in the top right corner of the browser window, then select “More Tools” > “Developer Tools.”

C. Mozilla Firefox

  1. Right-click anywhere on the webpage and select “Inspect” from the context menu.
  2. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Shift + C (Windows) or Command + Option + C (Mac) to open the inspector directly.
  3. Alternatively, click the Hamburger menu (three stacked lines) in the top right corner of the browser window, then select “More Tools” > “Web Developer Tools” > “Browser Console.”

D. Apple Safari

  1. Right-click anywhere on the webpage and select “Inspect” from the context menu.
  2. Alternatively, press Ctrl/Cmd + Option + I to open the inspector directly.
  3. Alternatively, click the “Develop” menu in the top menu bar, then select “Show Inspector.”

E. Microsoft Edge

  1. Right-click anywhere on the webpage and select “Inspect” from the context menu.
  2. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Shift + C (Windows) or Command + Option + C (Mac) to open the inspector directly.
  3. Alternatively, click the three dots menu in the top right corner of the browser window, then select “More tools” > “Developer tools.”

F. Opera GX

  1. Right-click anywhere on the webpage and select “Inspect” from the context menu.
  2. Alternatively, press F12 to open the inspector directly.
  3. Alternatively, click the three dots menu in the top right corner of the browser window, then select “Tools” > “Developer Tools”.

Figure out which YouTube Thumbnail is best

If you’re a YouTube Creator yourself, then you might know how important thumbnails are.

Some of you may be on this page because you want to know what your thumbnail looks like in real life — and inspect (or just take a look at) its details.

We’re making life easier with ThumbnailTest.

ThumbnailTest.com - Website Home Page

Here’s how it works:

  1. Connect your YouTube channel
  2. Upload 2, 3, 4, […] thumbnails
  3. Our system sends each thumbnail to a different set of viewers
  4. Analyzes how all of them perform
  5. Sets once and for all the thumbnail which brings you more: subscribers, clicks, views, comments, and more.

THAT is how you figure out which thumbnail works best for your videos.

Conclusion

This guide just taught you how to use the Element Inspector for YouTube thumbnails.

Hope you found just what you needed!


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.