PNG vs JPG: YouTube Thumbnail Guide (2024)

Article last updated on:
April 19, 2024

You’re likely here because you:

  • Designed a YouTube thumbnail
  • But you’re not sure how to save it…
  • PNG or JPG?

The best type for YouTube Thumbnails (JPG)

Always save YouTube thumbnails as JPG/JPEG files. It’s the best format for YouTube’s requirements and compression.

Pro Tip: With JPG thumbnails, you’re avoiding the extra black bars that sometimes come with PNG images that aren’t the right size.

Dimensions1280 x 720 pixels
Minimum Width640 pixels
Aspect Ratio16:9
File SizeUnder 2MB
File FormatJPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG
Image QualityHigh resolution (use the highest quality possible)
YouTube’s Recommendation for Thumbnails

For more on this, make sure to read our thumbnail size and format guide, where we’re explaining everything about thumbnail requirements.

This post is just about the PNG vs JPEG discussion. Speaking of which…

FAQ: Thumbnail File Format

1. Can you use a PNG as a YouTube thumbnail?

Yes, you can use a PNG image as a YouTube thumbnail. PNG files are preferred for their high quality and transparency support.

2. Should a YouTube thumbnail be JPG or PNG?

For YouTube thumbnails, both JPG and PNG formats work well. JPG is ideal for smaller file sizes, while PNG is better for higher quality and transparency needs.

3. Which format is best for YouTube thumbnails?

The best format for YouTube thumbnails is JPG, as it has a good balance between quality and file size, making it ideal for quick loading times.

Take a look at this:

  • JPG is the most common choice and offers a good balance between quality and file size.
  • PNG is better for images with text or complex details, but the file size can be larger.
  • Animated thumbnails can be created with GIFs, but they have a very small file size limit and can be distracting for viewers.

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.