How to Add a Thumbnail to a YouTube Video [Complete Guide of 2023]

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Have you heard about how to add a thumbnail to a YouTube video? While it may seem like a low-value act, many successful channels have derived much of their success from these thumbnails. How is this possible?

The thumbnails on YouTube will make users perceive your channel with a much more professional tone. Regardless of the theme of your videos, people appreciate the quality of the work and the care that you as the author put into the small details, so these images are beneficial to attract potential subscribers.

Before explaining the tutorial on how to put thumbnails on YouTube, we must leave some previous considerations that you must abide by. Throughout the post, we’ll also reveal the full step-by-step to inserting thumbnails into your videos, as well as what to do if the video platform doesn’t accept your thumbnail post. Do not miss the opportunity to learn and join us!

Recommendations before adding thumbnails to YouTube

We know you’re excited to learn how to add thumbnails to YouTube videos, but don’t worry! Before you sit in front of your team and start doing digital magic with your video channel, you must comply with the stipulations set by the video platform.

YouTube Thumbnail Example

It’s not just about knowing how to put thumbnails on YouTube; the following aspects must be taken into account:

1. Thumbnail size and format

YouTube video thumbnail size and format

No size or format will work for your thumbnail image. You need to make sure that your design meets the standards required by the video platform.

So that there is no confusion or misunderstanding, we give you the size of your thumbnail, as well as the format and resolution that the image should have:

  • Your thumbnail image must have a resolution of 1280×720 pixels and a minimum width of 640 pixels (significant).

  • As for the image format, YouTube allows JPG, PNG, BMP, or GIF (animated GIFs obviously won’t work).

  • The weight of the thumbnail also matters. Try not to exceed 2 MB.

  • Also, pay attention to the aspect ratio, which should be 16:9 (since this is the most used in YouTube previews and players).

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2. Evaluate the colors used by YouTubers in your same niche

Evaluate the colors used by youtubers

The famous market test. We must always be attentive to what the competition is doing, since then how will we overcome it? Therefore, checking YouTube channels that can compete with you is not a bad idea.

Before you learn how to put thumbnails on YouTube, find the keyword you want to rank for and see what others are doing to stand out. Please, pay special attention to the subject of color and typography since what we want is to stand out above them.

A good color choice is:

  • Red.

  • White.

  • Yellow.

  • Orange.

However, it depends on your content, YouTube channel, and niche (and personal tastes).

3. Consider the different devices

When thinking about how to add a thumbnail to a YouTube video, you shouldn’t consider that you’re doing it to only appeal to one type of user. It is a product that will reach millions of devices (and if you set your mind to it, you will also reach millions of hearts).

You should consider the one who connects from their desktop computer, enters from their cell phone to listen to you, or uses their tablet to consume your content. Consider all your users if you want to consider your video channel successful.

Therefore, check that, when changing the screen on your YouTube channel, the colors continue to contrast or the typography is still legible. To give two examples.

Oh, and one last consideration! We invite you to review our YouTube Views and Subscribers Guide, with which you can fully optimize your video channel and adapt your YouTube profile, social networks and online presence. Three birds with one stone!

With these recommendations in mind, the moment the whole family has been waiting for has arrived: let’s discover together how to put thumbnails on YouTube!

How to add a thumbnail to a YouTube video?

We have reached the heart of the matter. Since we want you to learn how to put thumbnails on YouTube in the best possible way, we will explain how the process works in two particular ways:

1. Insert a video thumbnail

This process is fundamental and direct; there are only a few steps:

Select the Content option

Select a thumbnail

Press Save

2. Add a custom thumbnail

Here we enter the realm of custom thumbnail images. There are several ways to insert these thumbnails into your videos.

If it is a New Video, two essential alternatives must be taken into account:

  • Press the Create option, with which you will upload the video.

  • Under the Thumbnail feature, select Upload Thumbnail.

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Choose Upload Thumbnail

If you want to upload a live stream, the formula on how to add a thumbnail on a YouTube video changes:

  • Select the Create option and then Go Live.

  • On the Transmission screen, click Change Thumbnail.

3. Add a thumbnail to an already uploaded video

You may want to change a thumbnail on your channel (because you found better drawings or revamped your profile picture), so check out this tutorial as well to learn how to add thumbnails on YouTube.

Go to YouTube Studio

Select the Content option

Choose Upload Thumbnail

Press Save

And ready! You now have your custom thumbnail available and you know how to add thumbnails on YouTube. As you can see, it is a simple process that does not require much work.

Now let’s see another variant: can we download the thumbnails of videos that are already on YouTube?

4. Download YouTube Video Thumbnails

We couldn’t close this great article on how to add thumbnails to a YouTube video without talking about a new guide: how to download a video cover from this platform.

Imagine you need to download a video thumbnail from your YouTube channel to post it in an article and you don’t have the model you made by hand. What can you do?

Let’s see the procedure to download a thumbnail!:

  • The first step is to search YouTube for the cover video you are interested in downloading.

  • Once there, copy the URL that you will find in the address bar. In case you are using a YouTube app, select the Share option and copy the link from the popup that will appear.

  • You need to go to a page to download this thumbnail using the thumbnail downloader.

  • Once you are on the page of your choice, paste the URL you copied earlier and hit Submit.

  • Once you’ve viewed the screenshots (which you’ll see in all available sizes), you can right-click on the screenshot of your choice and select the Save Image As… option which will appear in the pop-up menu. As simple as that!

As you can see, the process is not complex at all. Now all you have to do is create the best YouTube channel ever!

Although you may want to insert your thumbnail image into your video, the platform doesn’t allow it. So what should I do?

Why doesn’t YouTube allow me to put my thumbnail?

Even if you have followed all the steps step by step and you think you have mastered the procedure of putting thumbnails on YouTube, there may be some reasons why the platform prevents you from uploading your image.

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Relax, don’t be scared: breathe and keep reading. There are several reasons why YouTube won’t let you upload your thumbnail image:

1. Your account does not meet the requirements

One of the most common mistakes that all those who want to insert thumbnails on YouTube fall into is not making sure that they meet the criteria required by the platform to activate this function.

To know how to put thumbnails on YouTube and not fail, you must make sure that the platform verifies your channel. To do this, there must be a check mark next to the channel name.

And if you don’t know how to verify a YouTube account, don’t worry; we will clear your doubts.

2. It’s inappropriate

Have you already learned how to put thumbnails on YouTube? Excellent, but it is not enough to know the procedure. We understand that the platform is usually very strict with the material it disseminates, so you must be aware of the information you upload to your channel.

If YouTube deems your thumbnail doesn’t meet their Community Guidelines, that image won’t see the light of day. Or maybe yes, but not on your channel.

What reason does YouTube consider inappropriate for disabling thumbnails? Well, the classic:

  • Nudity or images with sexually provocative material.

  • Images that promote hatred and violence.

  • Explicit violence.

  • Information that may be dangerous or harmful.

There is even a chance that people will report your thumbnail, considering that it has no relation to the content of the video.

If you want to avoid receiving a negative review of your YouTube channel, don’t be fooled and always be consistent with the content you show both in the preview and in the video.

You can appeal the violation if your thumbnails do not violate the YouTube Community Guidelines. Lest you say, there is no sense of justice on the platform.

You might realize that the process of how to add a thumbnail to a YouTube video is nothing special. You have to follow the instructions, choose the thumbnail that best fits your channel… and that’s it!

final thoughts

If you have chosen YouTube as one of the social networks of your brand or service, you have to keep it updated. That is, you must upload content frequently.

Just as you can schedule tweets on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., you can do it on YouTube.

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Categories: HOW TO

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