How To Add Custom Thumbnails to Your YouTube Videos

By Aug 28,2017 9:56 am

Custom thumbnails are a great way to get people's attention to your YouTube video. It's a pretty simple process. Follow these easy steps below and add eyecatching customed thumbnails to your YouTube videos in no time.

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How To Add Custom Thumbnails to Your YouTube Videos

Things you need to know before making a custom thumbnail

  • Your thumbnail should be 1280x720 pixels in size and be less than 2MB. The minimum width of the image is 640 pixels.
  • Use .JPG, .PNG, .GIF or .BMP files for your thumbnail image.
  • You'll want your thumbnails to stand out. Bright colored text is a simple, easy way to draw people's attention. Red, white, yellow, or orange are all popular choices.
  • You can even do a little homework to see what colors others are using for similar videos to yours, and then choose different colors to stand out.

One word of warning: your thumbnail should be related to the content of your video. Misleading thumbnail images, if reported, will reflect poorly on your channel. You'll get a negative rating in the community status part of your channel. This can actually remove your ability to use custom thumbnails, so keep it honest!

Tools to create custom thumbnails

1. Online solution - Canva

Canva is a free, powerful online image editing program with tons of great templates to get you started. One of their templates just happens to be YouTube thumbnails. Open Canva and select the "YouTube Thumnail" design type. Use your own photo or choose from a huge library, then add text and effects to really make it stand out. Save and share — easy as that.

Check this video tutorial to see how to Make a Youtube Thumbnail using Canva.

2. Desktop solution - Gimp

Gimp is one of the most popular image editing programs around for one very simple reason: it's powerful and free! Where Canva uses a lot of templates, Gimp gives you absolute, full control over how you want your image to look. Make a 1280x720 image and start putting together your eye-catching thumbnail exactly how you want to.

Check this video tutorial to see how to make professional Thumbnails for YouTube Videos with Gimp:

You may also like: Top 10 YouTube Thumbnail Makers >>

Upload Custom Thumbnails to YouTube

After you've verified your account and made your thumbnail, it's finally time to upload it to your video. To do this, go to Creator Studio and then Video Manager. You'll see a button labelled "EDIT" next to each video, and an arrow pointing down. Click "edit".

Next to the preview of your video, you'll see the three automatically generated thumbnails YouTube suggests. Below that, you'll now see "Custom thumbnail" as an option. Click the button, select your thumbnail, and hit upload.

 create custom youtube thumbnails

You're done! It'll take a little while for the thumbnail to process, but that will all happen automatically. Within about half an hour at most you'll see your new custom thumbnail attached to your video.

Here is a video tutorial on how to Make a YouTube Thumbnail/Channel art with hot thumbnail makers

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• How to Edit Videos for YouTube
1. Overview of YouTube Video Editor
2. YouTube Video Editor Guide+
3. Best YouTube Video Editing Tools
4. Editing in Hot Editors
5. Tools for Customizing YouTube Channel
6. Editing on Different Devices
7. Advanced Editing Tips