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How to Fix YouTube Shorts Thumbnail Not Showing Problem

Caroline Laurent
Caroline Laurent Originally published Feb 27, 23, updated Jan 17, 24

Video thumbnails are important since they encourage people to click and watch the video. But what if your set YouTube Shorts thumbnail is not showing? YouTube will use a random part of the video as the thumbnail. It may be an unflattering or uninteresting shot. Then, your Shorts video is doomed.

That said, it is a problem you want to solve. Here are 7 FAQs about YouTube Shorts thumbnails. They may help you with fixing this issue.

youtube shorts thumbnail not showing problem
In this article
  1. Q1. Can I Customize YouTube Shorts Thumbnails?
  2. Q2. Why Are YouTube Shorts Thumbnails Not Showing?
  3. Q3. How to Fix YouTube Shorts Thumbnail Problem?
  4. Q4. How To Boost Views When I Have no Control Over YouTube Shorts Thumbnails?
  5. Q5. How To Get More Views on YouTube Shorts?
  6. Q6. Do YouTube Shorts Make Money?
  7. Q7. How Do You Make YouTube Shorts Play Normal?

Q1. Can I Customize YouTube Shorts Thumbnails?

Yes, you can. YouTube did allow short-form video creators to upload custom thumbnails for their Shorts. However, they aren't that optimized. For instance, some people may not see them on the Shorts shelf. Also, if you share a link to the video somewhere else, the old video thumbnail may show instead of the new one.

Adding a custom thumbnail for YouTube Shorts is the same as adding one for long-form videos on the platform. Follow these steps:

  • Open the YouTube mobile app. Click the "Plus" icon at the bottom center > "Create Short." Upload, edit, and post your video.
creating shorts on youtube app
  • Get to your desktop computer or laptop. Open your channel's YouTube Studio.
opening youtube studio on computer
  • On the left navigation menu, click "Content."
content section on youtube studio
  • Click the "pencil" icon next to the Shorts you just uploaded. This video should be at the top of the list.
  • Navigate to the Thumbnail section. Click "Create Thumbnail."
changing shorts thumbnail on youtube studio

Q2. Why Are YouTube Shorts Thumbnails Not Showing?

It's not you who's the only one with Shorts thumbnails not showing. Many short-form content creators on the platform are also facing this issue. A YouTuber took to Reddit to complain about how he uploaded custom thumbnails for all his videos. The thumbnails are correct in the editor. However, YouTube still displays a random frame as the thumbnail on the Shorts shelf.

"They ALL have randomly selected different parts of each video I have uploaded & somehow generated a new/unknown thumbnail that was neither what I uploaded as the custom option nor 1 of the 3 that YouTube auto populated."

YouTuber on Reddit

The reason behind this is the difference in the thumbnail size. Regular YouTube video thumbnails are in the ratio of 16:9. Meanwhile, Shorts uses a ratio of 9:16. The thing is that YouTube does not yet allow you to upload 9:16 thumbnails. Thus, the thumbnail for Shorts may show correctly on the video section but not on the Shorts shelf.

Q3. How to Fix YouTube Shorts Thumbnail Problem?

fix youtube shorts thumbnail not showing problem

Unfortunately, there is no reliable fix to this problem yet. YouTubers have tried different things in hopes that YouTube will display the correct thumbnail for their Shorts.

Some YouTubers have tried using different images. Others have experimented with changing the aspect ratio of the thumbnail or using Adobe editor for ratios. Clearing histories and cache, using different browsers, resizing, and changing the images' resolution have also been done. Sadly, these are all failed attempts.

Q4. How To Boost Views When I Have no Control Over YouTube Shorts Thumbnails?

Attracting viewers on Shorts is the same as attracting viewers on the main YouTube. You use interesting thumbnails and video titles. Since thumbnails are out of the options, selecting great video titles has become even more important.

Here are some pointers. Your title should be at most 40 characters. Also, it should be concise and irresistible. And forget about SEO since no one is searching for YouTube Shorts anyway. People consume what they see in their feeds. So instead, the title should be "snappy." It should intrigue, entertain, or enlighten the viewers. That will net you some views for your Shorts content.

Q5. How To Get More Views on YouTube Shorts?

Forgoing the intro is the way to go. An intro will just prolong the video when people are in Shorts to find bite-sized videos. So jump right into the video content. You can also start the video with a still frame instead. Using hashtags, captions, and text effects are also recommended. And interacting with your audience through comments and pinned comments will keep them coming back to your Shorts channel.

Of course, ensuring that the video quality is high is key to getting more views. For that, you need a good video editor. You can try Wondershare Filmora, a powerful and easy-to-use video editor.

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filmora mobile feature showcase

The best thing is that you don't need to transfer the video from your phone to your computer and back. Wondershare Filmora is available on mobile. And it's one of the best tools for enhancing a short-form video.

Short-form video watchers love filters, transitions, and effects. And Filmora gives you access to all of that. It provides you with fun and amazing filters, effects, transitions, and stamps that can add a wow factor to your short-form video.

Q6. Do YouTube Shorts Make Money?

Making money from YouTube Shorts was challenging. The platform pays content creators who are doing well through the Creator Fund. However, as Shorts grew, the payout became smaller.

Luckily, that's going to change. Starting this year, Shorts will be a part of the YouTube Partner Program. This means that you can make money from the ads that people watch on Shorts. According to YouTube, creators will keep 45% of the revenue. It will be distributed based on your share of total Shorts views.

YouTube also adjusted the requirements to qualify for the YPP. They made it easier for Shorts content creators to get into the program.

Q7. How Do You Make YouTube Shorts Play Normal?

You can watch Shorts like normal YouTube videos where you can rewind when you want to. Follow these steps.

On a Desktop Computer

  • Open a Shorts video on YouTube.
shorts tab on the youtube website
  • Pause the video.
paused a shorts video
  • Click "Library" on the left panel.
library tab on the youtube website
  • Select the Shorts you just watched. It should be on the top and first on the list.
playing shorts video like normal video

On a Mobile Phone

  • Open the YouTube app. Watch a Shorts video.
watching a shorts video on mobile
  • Like the Shorts video.
liked a shorts video on mobile
  • Tap "Library"
library tab on youtube mobile
  • Scroll down to find "Liked Videos." Click on it.
liked videos section on youtube mobile
  • Select the Shorts video you just watched. It should be at the top of the list.
watching shorts like normal video mobile


Unfortunately, custom thumbnails not showing on Shorts does not have a fix yet. So to attract viewers, you must leverage the things in your control. You must title your videos in a way that will make users click the video. Also, adding effects and filters on the video using an editor like Wondershare Filmora can help.

Users can subscribe to Shorts channels. And if they see that your videos are well-edited and high-quality, they'll be more likely to do so. Once they are subscribed, they will see and watch your videos more often.

Caroline Laurent
Caroline Laurent Jan 17, 24
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