Note: At the time of writing this article, the steps outlined below were historically the process of changing a YouTube Shorts thumbnail. Some creators have noted that when following these steps, they are presented with a message stating, “For now, you can’t change the thumbnail on your Short.” We will update this article when more information is available. As a workaround, we recommend carefully selecting your Shorts thumbnail when first uploading your content to the YouTube platform.
“Why can’t I change my YouTube Shorts thumbnail?” This is probably a question you’ve asked yourself once or twice since you started posting on the platform. The thumbnail is the first thing viewers see when browsing through YouTube Shorts videos, and it can make the difference between them stopping on your video or skipping to the next. Additionally, an effective thumbnail can give viewers a preview of what to expect from your video and encourage them to watch it. If you didn't nail it the first time around, taking the time out to change your thumbnail may be worth it.
Steps to Change a YouTube Shorts Thumbnail
- Open the YouTube Shorts video in Creator Studio.
- Once you have the video open in Creator Studio, scroll down to the Content tab.
- Select the video you want to edit.
- Once you’ve opened the videos setting for the specific Shorts video you’d like to edit, scroll down to Thumbnail and click edit.
- Once you've chosen your new thumbnail, click on the Save button to save the changes.
That’s it—you’ve changed the thumbnail of your YouTube Short.
Tips for Choosing an Effective Thumbnail
Now that you know how to change your YouTube Shorts thumbnail, here are some tips for choosing an effective one that captures someone's attention in just a few seconds.
Choose a Relevant Thumbnail
Your thumbnail should give viewers an idea of what to expect from your video. Avoid using misleading or clickbait thumbnails, as this can harm your channel's reputation and discourage viewers from watching your videos in the future.
Use High-Quality Images
Choose an image that is clear and visually appealing to grab viewers' attention and encourage them to watch your video. Below are the recommended specifications for a Shorts thumbnail.
Resolution: 1280x720 resolution (with a minimum width of 640 pixels)
Image format: JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG
Size: Under 2MB limit
Aspect ratio: 16:9
Use Text and Graphics
If your video covers a specific topic or includes a particular point you want to highlight, consider adding text or graphics to your thumbnail to make it stand out.
Be Consistent with Branding and Style
Consistency is key when it comes to posting on any platform. Consider using a similar style or theme for all of your YouTube Shorts thumbnails. This will help to establish your brand and make your videos more recognizable to viewers.
Changing your YouTube Shorts thumbnail is a simple but effective way to make your videos stand out and attract more viewers. By following the steps outlined in this blog post and implementing our tips for choosing the right thumbnail, you can increase your Shorts’ visibility and performance.