Answered: YouTube Thumbnails Not Updating (2024)

Article last updated on:
April 18, 2024

This guide answers all your concerns:

  • Why YouTube won’t change your thumbnail
  • Why thumbnails are not updating after changing

Closely related: “I can’t change thumbnails“.

Why won’t my YouTube thumbnail change?

In 95% of the cases, YouTube won’t change your thumbnail because it takes long to process it.

It’s not your fault, it’s just that the process is long on YouTube’s side.

Possible Reasons

Here’s an AI-made list to answer your questions:

  1. Processing Delay: After you upload a new thumbnail, it can take some time for the change to be visible across all devices and locations due to YouTube’s servers updating.
  2. Caching Issues: Sometimes browsers or YouTube itself cache an image to load pages faster. This means the old thumbnail might still show up for a while even after you’ve updated it.
  3. Browser or App Cache: Clearing your browser or app cache can help refresh the content and might display the updated thumbnail.
  4. File Error: Ensure the thumbnail meets YouTube’s size and format requirements. It should be 1280×720 pixels, under 2MB, and in a format like JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG.
  5. Verification: If your account isn’t verified, you might be limited in some customization features, including updating thumbnails.

If it’s been a while and the thumbnail still hasn’t updated: Try changing it again or checking from a different device or network to see if the issue persists.


1. How long does it take YouTube to update thumbnail?

It typically shouldn’t take long for YouTube to update your thumbnail, but it can take a few hours in some cases. If you wait overnight and it’s still not showing, there might be another issue at play.

2. How do you refresh a thumbnail on YouTube?

  1. Go to your YouTube Studio and open the video with the thumbnail you want to update.
  2. Click “Edit” on the thumbnail.
  3. Make a minor adjustment, like cropping a tiny bit more or slightly changing the brightness.
  4. Save the changes. This will prompt YouTube to re-process the thumbnail and update it across the platform.

Unfortunately, there’s no direct “refresh” button for YouTube thumbnails. This is your quickest fix, though.

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.