How to make the perfect YouTube thumbnail guide

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ūüĎčūüŹĺ, Sanjay and Natasha here, If you're looking for some simple ways to boost your YouTube video views, you're in the right place. Making the perfect thumbnail size for youtube¬†is just as important as the video itself. There are many things to consider when creating a thumbnail. You could easily make the difference between 1000 views and 1999 views for your video by optimizing the way your YouTube thumbnail looks. Why? Because in small ways, every little bit counts toward getting more subscribers and more exposure. This post will walk you through improving your thumbnail so that it attracts attention, inspires clickbait, and gets you more views ‚ÄĒ all at once!

YouTube thumbnail dimensions (size)

It doesn't matter if you like animations or not; YouTube thumbnail images should use one of three image formats: JPG, GIF, or PNG. These formats are chosen because they offer the best combination of portability (they can be saved on your computer), performance, and usability. THE VERDICT The ultimate step-by-step guide for making your YouTube videos the giant¬†Google-flagged star they deserve ‚ÄĒ follow these 5-steps for Youtube Stardom!

  • Ensure that your¬†thumbnail size is a minimum¬†of 640 pixels wide
  • The sweet spot for YouTube¬†thumbnail size pixels¬†are 1280 pixels by 720 pixels
  • YouTube thumbnail use a recommended dimensions aspect ratio of 16:9
  • Thumbnail images should be no more than 2MB
  • Accepted image formats: JPG, GIF, or PNG


YouTube Thumbnail Dimensions 1280 x720Basically, the ideal custom YouTube thumbnail size is massive.

Google explains why: "Your custom thumbnail image should be as large as possible, as the image will also be used as the preview image in the embedded player."

You must be wondering why it's displayed so small then, right? 

The thing is, the image also needs to be big enough to display correctly when displayed the same size as the video player.

YouTube Thumbnail Aspet Ration 16:9
A good-looking thumbnail on your YouTube channel is essential for attracting new visitors, getting more YouTube subscribers, and securing a decent ranking in search results. 

What are Youtube thumbnails for?

If you're like us, you love watching videos on YouTube. There's something about watching a tutorial or your favourite YouTuber that makes YouTube the go-to spot for video learning content. Youtube thumbnail images are miniature representations of the video content. Like the cover for a book, the thumbnail serves as a symbol for the subject matter presented in the video. They combine two things ‚ÄĒ a small amount of information and an image that appeals to the viewer's emotions. With the right combination of these two things (the good story and the right images), you have a solid chance of getting people to click on your video and watch the full version of it.

Why are YouTube thumbnails important?

To optimize your YouTube video, you need to understand how thumbnail images are meant to be used and what they do. These thumbnails are what people see when searching for your video on Google. So, if you design your own and upload it to YouTube, you will have a much better chance of attracting high-quality viewers, while a lousy thumbnail will leave you traffic less. 

FYI, you can use the thumbnails YouTube automatically generates when you upload a video. We don't recommend using a non-custom-made thumbnail using because you want to relate to your audience.

You might be wondering why on earth you would want custom YouTube thumbnails? Well, it helps increase your email marketing potential to a lot more people, for starters. You see, once you display your email address in the video description, it opens up the floodgates for potential new subscribers who might be interested in what you have to say. Furthermore, custom-made thumbnails are easier to optimize and visually pleasing, making your videos stand out even more.

How to choose your thumbnail on youtube?

Once your account is confirmed and posting custom thumbnails is enabled, go to the settings for the video you're ready to share and add a custom thumbnail for. Then, underneath the thumbnails YouTube generated, look and see if see a CUSTOM THUMBNAIL option. From here, choose the file you would like to be the face of your video.

What does thumbnail mean? 





    1. the nail of the thumb.
    2. a very small or concise description, representation, or summary.
    3. "a thumbnail sketch"

How to view thumbnails on youtube?

You can without problems view (and download) the thumbnail of any YouTube video in high or default resolution by looking for the OG image tag in the HTML source web page of the video.

Viewing Thumbnails by using the video ID 

Step 1: Copy the 11 individual alphanumerical IDs of the youtube video (which you want to view the thumbnail). 

For example, the ID of the video is:9jTlB52ecFO

Step 2: Paste the ID where you see that it says ID in the following URLs:

For example,

Step 3: Open those URLs on your browser to look at the thumbnail image. You can then download the thumbnail via proper clicking and saving the image on your computer. Note that hqdefault.jpg will provide you with the standard definition image, and maxresdefault.jpg will deliver the max resolution image. Also, notice that now no longer all videos could have max decision images. However, all could have widespread definition images. If the video no longer has a max resolution image, you'll get a 404 error message for the maxresdefault.jpg URL. 

Create a custom video thumbnail

To upload custom thumbnails, you must have a verified account


      1. Select CREATE to upload your video.
      2. Under "Thumbnail," select Upload thumbnail.

Live streams

      1. Select CREATE  Go to live.
      2. On the "Stream" screen, select  UPLOAD CUSTOM THUMBNAIL

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Free tool to create a YouTube thumbnail

Here is why you don't need Photoshop for YouTube Thumbnail sizing. There are tons of excellent tools out there that will help you to create an eye-catching YouTube thumbnail design; we recommend using Canva. Canva has amazing youtube thumbnail size template.

Best practices for making YouTube thumbnails

4 best practices for creating impactful Youtube thumbnails.

  1. Simplicity is everything
  2. Use colours that contrast each other
  3. Ensure your logo is prominent 
  4. Avoid using images that don't relate

    Simplicity is everything

    Today, there is over a billion mobile views on Facebook. To avoid wasting valuable real estate in your video thumbnail. Many people tend to write very long descriptions when uploading videos on YouTube. This may be necessary to provide depth and in-depth information to viewers who might not read content as written. The best thumbnails feature just a few keywords or even one word.

    Images for thumbnails work great because they give a snapshot of what viewers will find in your video without you having to write every single keyword to describe your video.

    Use colours that contrast

    Since thumbnails are small, viewers can easily overlook your thumbnail. Be sure to use contrasting colours to make your title stand out.

    A common mistake is using a light background or black text on a dark background. Both of these colours can make it difficult to blend in with the cards below it, so make sure it has enough contrast.

    Types of contrast - YouTube Thumbnail

    For example, you may choose a more positive contrast, like red and blue or white and yellow, or white and black. Add a small logo so people can associate your site with the image. You could even use vibrant colours, like red on a dark background ‚ÄĒ it works well with logos and text too often matched.

    Ensure your logo is prominent 

    Adding your logo to the bottom right corner of the thumbnail makes it easy for potential viewers to associate your channel with your brand. When they scroll through your playlists or explore 'About,' 'About Facebook' or 'About Youtube,' they may decide to watch your video based on how recognizable your logo is. However, there are ways to make sure your logo is not overlooked. One simple way is to place the logo at the very left of the screen.

    Your thumbnails don't need to be cluttered with graphics. You want it to be efficient without being distracting.

    Avoid using images that don't relate

    Sometimes we click on something because it's attractive and has an appealing design. But sometimes, we don't notice that the site has a poor image selection: low-quality, low resolution, faded colors, etc. This is easily overlooked by the casual viewer. It could be that you're trying to create a description that will catch clicks and attention immediately, so the description must be alluring-looking and attractive regardless of its effectiveness and relevance. In both cases, getting these two things right as quickly as possible is more important than ever. 

    How do YouTubers make thumbnails with Canva?

    Canva is a quick and easy way to create beautifully curated YouTube thumbnails for your channel. A how-to guide for creating compelling Youtube thumbnails for your online side hustle. 7 easy steps for creating the perfect video thumbnail.

    1. Launch Canva
    2. Open Canva on your desktop or mobile app, search for "youtube thumbnail" templates to get started. Log in or sign up using your Facebook or Google account, then search for "youtube thumbnail" templates to get started
    3. If you want to get the most out of Canva, you might want to take a look at all their free YouTube thumbnail templates.
    4. Customize your thumbnail.
    5. Don't be afraid to experiment with your thumbnail (you can upload an image or use your own artwork, try out different layouts).
    6. Upload and publish.
    7. When you're satisfied with your thumbnail design, share it with the world by downloading it to your computer and sharing it with your YouTube Channel.


    • How to put a thumbnail on a Youtube video?¬†Add video thumbnails¬†allow¬†visitors¬†to see a¬†short¬†photo¬† (ensure that it has high resolution) of your video as¬†they may be¬†surfing¬†YouTube. After your video is¬†completed¬†uploading,¬†you may¬†select¬†a thumbnail from the¬†3¬†alternatives¬†YouTube¬†robotically¬†generates or¬†add¬†your¬†personal¬†if your¬†account is verified.
    • Add or change a video thumbnail?¬†Add or remove¬†a video thumbnail Sign in to YouTube Studio. From the left menu,¬†pick¬†Content. Next, please select a video¬†by way of means of¬†clicking its thumbnail. Finally, choose an auto-generated thumbnail and¬†pick¬†Save.
      • Why are my custom thumbnails turned off?¬†YouTube¬†may also¬†flip¬†off¬†custom¬†thumbnails for¬†positive¬†seek¬†consequences¬†while¬†they may be¬†considered¬†irrelevant¬†for viewers. All¬†custom¬†thumbnail¬†pictures¬†should¬†comply with¬†our Community Guidelines.
      • What size do thumbnails need to be for youtube?¬†Recommended resolution of 1280x720 (with a minimum width of 640 pixels)
      • How big is a YouTube thumbnail?¬†1280px x 720px (with a minimum width of 640 pixels).
      • Youtube thumbnail size photoshop?¬†Once you've got your picture, create a new document in Photoshop (making youtube thumbnail in photoshop or youtube thumbnail size photoshop)¬†is truly custom) and set the dimensions to your thumbnail. If you upload to YouTube as I am, 1280px x 720px (with a minimum width of 640 pixels) are the recommended dimensions and the¬†best image size for youtube thumbnail. Drag the file into your open document and use the handles to resize it; then drag it into position.
    • YouTube thumbnail border?¬†16:9 YouTube thumbnail¬†with¬†border¬†and Title: Depending on your channel's branding, a simple minimalist border might be a fantastic option. Pair this with wide letter-spacing for your text, and you'll have a crisp, easy-to-read thumbnail.
    • Youtube max thumbnail size?¬†Remain under the¬†2MB limit.
    • What are YouTube thumbnail file types?¬†Uploaded in image file formats such as JPG, GIF, or PNG.¬†
    • YouTube thumbnail size in inches?¬†1280px x 720px converts to 13.3 in √ó 7.5 in.¬†


    We hope that this was helpful and hoping that entrepreneurs ready to start their side hustle and or continue to build their THING know the importance of YouTube. Don't underestimate the power of a compelling design that can capture people's attention and compel them to click your next video.

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