Top 5 Tools For YouTube Thumbnails (Updated 2024)

Article last updated on:
April 02, 2024

This guide explores the best tools for thumbnails. We’ll look at tools that:

  • Help you create thumbnails
  • A/B Test these thumbnails through your audience
  • Improve your next ones, and more

Let’s check them out.

5 Best: Tools for YouTube Thumbnails

These are the only 5 tools you’ll ever need for YouTube thumbnails: Stock Picture Library, Editor, A/B Tester, Thumbnail Viewer Extension, AI Thumbnail Maker.

1. Stock Pictures

Our suggestion: Unsplash - website homepage


  • Free to use: Unsplash offers a vast collection of high-quality stock images completely free of charge.
  • Great search function: Finding specific images is easy with their powerful search tool.
  • No sign-up required: You can browse and download images without creating an account.
  • Unique and creative photos: Many photos have a more artistic and interesting style compared to traditional stock photo websites.
  • Royalty-free license: Use the downloaded images for almost any purpose without worrying about copyright issues.


  • Limited selection compared to paid services: While vast, Unsplash’s library might not have the specific image you need compared to paid stock photo services.
  • Inconsistent style: Due to the user-submitted nature, image styles can vary greatly.
  • Attribution recommended: While not required, giving credit to the photographer is encouraged.
  • Limited search by multiple tags: You can only search using one tag at a time.


  • Free! Unsplash offers all their images free of charge.


  • Browse by category and collections: Find images curated around specific themes.
  • Download in various sizes: Choose the image resolution that meets your needs.
  • Discover new photographers: Find talented photographers and follow their work.
  • Like and collect images: Save your favorite images for later use (requires account creation).
  • Curated collections: Unsplash editors create themed collections for easy browsing.

2. Editor & Designer

Best pick: Canva

Canva Thumbnail Maker - Online Landing Page


  • User-friendly interface: Easy to use design tools, even for beginners.
  • Free YouTube thumbnail templates: Wide variety of pre-designed templates to jumpstart your creation.
  • Large stock library: Access to millions of free and paid photos, icons, and illustrations.
  • Customization options: Edit text, fonts, colors, and layouts to fit your brand.
  • Free to use with limitations: Create basic thumbnails without spending a dime.


  • Limited free features: Some high-quality photos, icons, and templates require a Canva Pro subscription.
  • Watermarks on free downloads: Free downloads have a Canva watermark unless you pay to remove it.
  • Can require design sense: While templates help, creating effective thumbnails might require some design knowledge.


  • Free plan: Allows access to a limited library of templates and graphics with watermarks on downloads.
  • Canva Pro (Paid): Unlocks millions of premium photos, graphics, and templates. Offers watermark removal and the ability to resize designs for different platforms. Pricing varies depending on the subscription plan.


  • Pre-sized templates: Canva offers templates specifically sized for YouTube thumbnails.
  • Drag-and-drop editing: Easy to add text, photos, and graphics to your design.
  • Text styles and fonts: Choose from a variety of fonts to match your brand.
  • Background removal tool: Easily remove backgrounds from uploaded photos.
  • Collaboration tools: Work with others on creating thumbnails.
  • Export options: Download your finished thumbnail in various image formats.

3. A/B Tester

Community’s favourite: Thumbnail Test


  • A/B test YouTube thumbnails and titles: See which combination gets the most clicks and potentially increases your video views.
  • Real-time analytics: Track performance data during the testing period to make informed decisions.
  • Multiple thumbnail testing: Upload and test several thumbnails simultaneously to find the clear winner.
  • Hourly or daily testing: Choose the testing timeframe that best suits your needs.
  • Backup thumbnail option: Set a default thumbnail in case your main options underperform.


  • Limited to YouTube: Thumbnail Test only works for YouTube thumbnails and titles, not other platforms.
  • Pricing structure: There isn’t a free plan.


  • Starts at $24 per month, depending on your plan.


  • Amongst what was mentioned…
  • Easy to use interface: Simple setup process to upload thumbnails and titles for testing.
  • Multiple device preview: See how thumbnails look on different screen sizes (desktop, mobile).

4. Browser Extension

Your best choice: Thumbnail Viewer

ThumbnailViewer - Chrome Extension


  • Simple and lightweight: Easy to use extension with minimal impact on your browsing experience.
  • Focuses on core functionality: Quickly view the current YouTube video’s thumbnail without unnecessary features.
  • Improved performance: Recent updates addressed permission requirements, screen real estate usage, and a caching bug.
  • Highly rated: Users find the extension helpful with a 4.5-star rating on Chrome Web Store


  • Limited functionality: Only displays the current YouTube video’s thumbnail. No editing or additional features.
  • Clicking extension icon required: Unlike right-click options on some extensions, you need to click the Thumbnail Viewer icon for functionality.


  • Free: Thumbnail Viewer is a free extension available on the Google Chrome Store.


  • Displays current YouTube video thumbnail: See the thumbnail in a larger format compared to the standard YouTube player view.
  • Lightweight extension: Minimal impact on browsing performance.

5. AI Thumbnail Maker

People love this tool: Veed - AI Thumbnail Maker


  • Efficient Design Process: Quickly creates personalized thumbnails, saving time and effort.
  • Enhanced Click-Through Rates: Generates eye-catching thumbnails to increase viewer engagement.
  • Intuitive Interface: Easy to use, making it accessible for both professionals and beginners.
  • AI-Powered Customization: Analyzes video content for tailored thumbnail suggestions.
  • Integrated Video Editing: Offers a built-in pro video editor for further content creation.


  • Dependency on AI: Might not always align with specific creative visions.
  • Learning Curve: New users might need time to fully grasp all features.
  • Internet Requirement: Requires a stable internet connection for use.


  • Free Version: Offers basic features with limitations.
  • Premium Plans: $38/mo to $100/mo.


  • AI Thumbnail Creation: Automatically generates thumbnails based on video content.
  • Customization Tools: Allows editing and personalizing the AI-generated thumbnails.
  • Video Editor Integration: Edit and enhance videos directly within the platform.
  • Multi-Content Creation: Enables the creation of videos from the generated photos, with options to add music, text, and effects.
  • Content Repurposing: Simplifies adapting video content for different social media platforms.


1. What tool is used to create YouTube thumbnails?

Creators often use graphic design software like Adobe Photoshop to make YouTube thumbnails.

These tools offer a mix of flexibility and ease of use, catering to both pros and hobbyists.

2. What is the AI tool to make thumbnails for YouTube?

For creating YouTube thumbnails with AI, tools like Canva’s Magic Write feature or Adobe Express (formerly Adobe Spark) are popular choices, offering AI-driven design suggestions and easy customization.

Read further: Best AI Thumbnail Makers.

3. Does YouTube have a thumbnail editor?

Yes, YouTube provides a built-in thumbnail editor that allows creators to select from auto-generated options or upload custom images directly within YouTube Studio.

How to access: Open YouTube Studio > Go to “Content” > Select a video > Click “Edit Thumbnail”.

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.