How To Change Video Thumbnail On YouTube

Your YouTube thumbnail is the first impression viewers get of your video when they’re searching for a solution to their problem on YouTube. Therefore, you need it to stand out if you want viewers to click on it.

Step 1.
Create a clickable custom thumbnail.
Here are some must-have features to include in your thumbnail. Contrasting colors, bold text, a few words, a face or logos so the thumbnail identifies with your channel.

Click here if you want step-by-step instructions on how to create a clickable thumbnail.

Step 2.
Change your current video thumbnail
Sign in to your YouTube studio dashboard. Click the thumbnail of the video that you wish to change.

As you can see, I’ve got auto-generated thumbnails here and I’ve got my custom thumbnail here that I want to change. You can select an auto-generated thumbnail that’s created by YouTube or you’d select a custom thumbnail. I highly recommend uploading a custom thumbnail. Here is a custom thumbnail but I want to change this. Click on the three dots. It says options. Click Edit. I’m going to select this custom thumbnail and click Save.

It’ll take a few minutes for the new thumbnail to display correctly. If I click on videos, I can see that my thumbnail has been changed to the new custom thumbnail. Here is the original custom thumbnail.

Here is a new custom thumbnail.

Here are some important things to keep in mind.

  1. Think about your thumbnail before you shoot your video. I typically create two or three different thumbnails to choose from.
  2. Make a high-resolution thumbnail. Typically, my thumbnails are 1920×1080 pixels and keep it under two-megabyte limit.
  3. Check if your thumbnail looks good at a small size. Most viewers are watching videos on the cell phones so it has to stand out on a small size screen.
  4. Make sure your thumbnails stand out from your competitor’s thumbnails
  5. Check if your thumbnails deliver on performance. Go to the analytics section of YouTube studio dashboard and check your thumbnail click-through rate. If it’s a high click-through rate, that means people are clicking on your thumbnails. If it’s low click-through rate, think about uploading a different custom thumbnail.
  6. Avoid clickbaity thumbnails. Your thumbnail, to give us the title of your video, you should tell a story about the content of your video. If your content doesn’t expand upon what you promised in your thumbnail, people won’t watch your video.
  7. Split test your thumbnails. When you compare two different thumbnails by split testing them, you’ll often find that one performs better than the other. If you upgrade to a legend version of the TubeBuddy Chrome extension, you can split test your thumbnails.

Click here ff you want to see how I split test my thumbnails.

Do you want a grow your YouTube Channel this year so you can attract more views and subscribers? If so, pick up a copy of my 100+ page YouTube Marketing Guide at

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