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A Quick Tutorial On How To Convert Image To YouTube Thumbnail

Caroline Laurent
Caroline Laurent Originally published Mar 02, 23, updated Jan 17, 24

There is a saying that first impressions last, and this is proven true, especially when it comes to YouTube video viewership. For sure, you have experienced watching a video out of curiosity because of its thumbnail. That is why content creators take time to resize YouTube thumbnails or use a YouTube thumbnail size converter to customize the preview images that represent their videos.

This technique not only attract viewers to watch your video, but it also gives a glimpse of your content. In this article, we will provide you with a quick tutorial on how to resize a YouTube thumbnail and suggest handy tools you can use to create the perfect YouTube video thumbnail!

youtube thumbnail resize
In this article
  1. Best YouTube Thumbnail Size
  2. How To Resize Your YouTube Thumbnail
  3. Comparison of These 4 YouTube Thumbnail Resizing Methods

Best YouTube Thumbnail Size

According to YouTube's help center, there are some things to remember when creating a thumbnail for your YouTube videos.

  • First, make sure that the thumbnail size is 1280 pixels by 720 pixels and 640 pixels wide. It is the best YouTube thumbnail size.
  • When it comes to the thumbnail dimension, make sure to use an aspect ratio of 16:9.
  • Also, your YouTube thumbnail image should not exceed 2MB and is in either JPG, GIF or PNG format.

How To Resize Your YouTube Thumbnail

The primary reason for changing the YouTube thumbnail size is to gain more audience. If you are a content creator, your main goal is to introduce your content to a wider range of viewers, right? So you have to pay attention to even the smallest detail, such as YouTube thumbnails to increase viewership and top YouTube SEO.

In fact, YouTube recommends this technique to get more viewers. Also, resizing your YouTube thumbnail will prevent you from getting the "file larger than 2MB error" which can cause your thumbnail to be discarded.

So, how can you use this technique? Check our tutorial below as we walk you through various recommended methods for resizing a YouTube thumbnail:

Method 1: Resize YouTube Thumbnail With Windows Default App

The easiest way to resize YouTube thumbnails is through the Windows default app. Within just a few modifications, you can resize your thumbnail to fit as a preview image for your YouTube video.

Please take note that your image should be at least 2 megabytes or less to achieve the perfect YouTube thumbnail fit. If your image exceeds the limit, your thumbnail will either be rejected, or your image will have a black screen around it-which is not ideal at all.

Now, let us start the tutorial.

Step1 Open an image you want to set as a thumbnail. Then, Right-click> Resize.

select image for youtube thumbnail resize

Step2 Select "Define custom dimensions."

youtube thumbnail custom dimensions

Step3 Set the width to 1280 and the height to 720. Then tick the box for "Maintain Aspect Ratio "and click "Save Resized Copy."

setting image width and height

Step4 Click the upload thumbnail button on YouTube and import your resized image.

upload resized thumbnail in youtube

Method 2. Online YouTube Thumbnail Size Converter

The second method you can use is the online YouTube thumbnail size converter. As it completely works in browsers, you do not need to worry about any app installation to access the feature. Furthermore, using online YouTube thumbnail size converters ensures you maintain your image resolution and prevents it from getting blurry or pixelated.

There are various YouTube thumbnail resizers available online. Some of the most popular are Fotor, Super Image Converter, Pixelied, Super Image Converter, Adobe Express, Newisty, and Promo. Let us focus on the last online tool and the steps on how to use it.

Promo is a free online software you can use to convert an image to a YouTube thumbnail. It is one of the best YouTube Thumbnail tools as it uses simple operation steps and automatically resizes your image without losing its quality.

promo YouTube thumbnail size maker

Here are the steps on how to use the Promo YouTube thumbnail size converter:

Step1 Go to Promo's official website and import your image

importing image to promo

Step2 Scroll down and find the YouTube thumbnail size where your resized image is displayed. Then, click "Download."

promo download YouTube thumbnail

Method 3: Convert the Image to YouTube Thumbnail Using Wondershare Filmora

It is without a doubt that online YouTube thumbnail resizers are great tools for converting your image to an ideal YouTube thumbnail. But it would be much better if you resize your video using the same app you use for editing. That way, you will save time using two separate apps, and your task will be much more efficient using an all-in-one video editing tool.

Wondershare Filmora, one of the most well-known software for creating high-quality and compelling videos, combines these functions in one app. Filmora is not just an excellent software for crafting YouTube videos but also a reliable tool you can use in creating and resizing YouTube thumbnails.

Free Download
Free Download

Here is the step-by-step tutorial on how to use Filmora in resizing your YouTube thumbnail. It is divided into two parts:

1. Take a Snapshot as the Thumbnail with Filmora

Step1 Open the video in the timeline, click the play icon in the player window, and pause when you reach the desired frame for the YouTube thumbnail. Click the camera icon to take a snapshot.

filmora open video

Step2 In the snapshot window, choose to save the snapshot as a PNG or JPG file.

Step3 Select the output storage location and click OK.

filmora save snapshot

2. Resize the YouTube Thumbnail

Step1 Import the image into the app timeline.

filmora import snapshot

Step2 Drag and drop the image into the timeline and click the green "Export" button. In the popup Export window, select GIF. Next, click "Settings" to adjust the resolution.

adjust filmora export settings

Step3 As the recommended size of a YouTube Thumbnail is 1280 * 720 pixels, you can set the resolution to 1280 * 720. Then click Apply and Export the GIF. You can now upload the GIF thumbnail to your YouTube account.

filmora adjust resolution

Method 4. Convert Images to YouTube Thumbnail Using Third-Party Software

In addition to using dedicated video editing software, several third-party image editing programs can be used to resize images for use as YouTube thumbnails. Programs like GIMP are popular for this purpose, as it offers a wide range of tools and features for editing and resizing images.

This program allows you to import an image, resize it to the dimensions required for a YouTube thumbnail (typically 1280 x 720 pixels), and save the edited version to your desired location. Using an image editing program can be a good option if you need more control over the appearance of your thumbnail or if you want to make more extensive edits beyond simply resizing the image.

To resize an image using an image editing program like GIMP, follow these steps:

Step1 Install and launch GIMP on your computer.

gimp install

Step2 Click on "File" > "Open," then search for the file you want to resize.

gimp open thumbnail

Step3 Click on "Image" > "Scale Image" and make sure that the resolution is 1920 by 1080.

gimp edit resolution

Step4 Click on "File" > "Export As" and toggle the "Select File Type (By Extension)" option. Choose JPG/JPEG format because it can compress the thumbnail enough to stay within the limit of 2 megabytes.

gimp export format

Step5 You can change the quality of the image and click the "Export" button to save the thumbnail.

gimp export thumbnail

Comparison of These 4 YouTube Thumbnail Resizing Methods

Now that we've explored the four methods for resizing YouTube thumbnails, it's time to compare the pros and cons of each method. In this section, we'll consider factors such as ease of use, speed, quality, cost, and compatibility to help you determine the best option for your needs.

Take a look at the table below for a more detailed comparison.

  Windows Default App Online YouTube Thumbnail Size Converter Wondershare Filmora Third-Party Software
Other Software Required or Not No Yes (Internet Browser) Yes Yes
Internet Connection Required No Yes No No
Complexity of Operations Easy Easy Easy Moderate
Support Other Editing of the YouTube Thumbnail No No Yes Yes
File Size Limit None 25MB None None

Resizing YouTube thumbnails using the Windows default app is a quick and easy method that requires no additional software or tools. However, the quality of the resized thumbnail may improve if the original image is low resolution, and this method is only suitable for users on Windows operating systems.

Online YouTube thumbnail size converters are convenient and easy to use, and they can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. They also typically preserve the quality of the original image. However, some online converters may have size limits or require a subscription to unlock all features, and using an online converter can be slower than using a dedicated software tool.

Using Wondershare Filmora allows you to create and edit YouTube thumbnails within a single application, which can be a time-saving advantage if you're already using Filmora for other video editing tasks. However, Filmora is a paid software, so there is a cost associated with using it, and it may have a steeper learning curve for users new to video editing.

Image editing programs like GIMP offer many features and tools for customizing your thumbnail, including adding text, applying filters, and making more extensive edits beyond simply resizing the image. They also typically offer more control over the quality and appearance of the resized thumbnail.

However, using a third-party image editing program may require a learning curve and maybe more time-consuming than other methods, and there may be a cost associated with purchasing the software.

Each of the four methods for resizing YouTube thumbnails has its pros and cons, and the best method will depend on the user's specific needs and preferences.


This article explored four methods for resizing YouTube thumbnails: using the Windows default app, online converters, Wondershare Filmora, and image editing programs like GIMP. Each method has advantages and disadvantages; the best one depends on your specific needs and preferences. No matter your chosen method, you can resize YouTube thumbnails confidently with these tools and techniques.

Caroline Laurent
Caroline Laurent Jan 17, 24
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