can you change a youtube thumbnail after uploading

Are you wondering if you can change a YouTube thumbnail after uploading your videos? The answer is a resounding YES! YouTube understands the importance of thumbnails in grabbing viewers’ attention and increasing engagement. That’s why they’ve made it possible for creators to update and customize their thumbnails even after their videos have been published.

Thumbnails play a crucial role in attracting viewers to your content. In fact, according to the YouTube Creators Academy, 90% of well-performing videos have visually appealing thumbnails and catchy titles. So, if you feel that your video could benefit from a thumbnail alteration to optimize it for better performance and discoverability, you’re in luck!

YouTube Studio, the platform’s comprehensive content management tool, provides a simple and user-friendly process for changing thumbnails and titles. With just a few clicks, you can experiment and find the perfect combination that captures your audience’s attention and drives more clicks.

Key Takeaways:

  • You can change a YouTube thumbnail after uploading your video, allowing you to optimize your content’s visual appeal and engagement.
  • A compelling thumbnail and title are crucial for attracting viewers and increasing click-through rates.
  • YouTube Studio provides step-by-step guidance for changing thumbnails and titles, giving creators the flexibility to experiment and find the best combination for success.
  • Updating your video’s thumbnail and title can help revive underperforming videos and improve overall discoverability.
  • Don’t underestimate the impact of a well-crafted thumbnail on your video’s performance – take advantage of YouTube’s customization options!

Why Do YouTubers Change Titles And Thumbnails?

YouTubers change titles and thumbnails for a variety of reasons, each aimed at maximizing the impact and success of their videos. Let’s explore the compelling reasons behind these changes.

Attracting Attention and Increasing Click-through Rates

Creating a captivating title and thumbnail is crucial for grabbing viewers’ attention and encouraging them to click on a video. As a YouTuber, I understand the importance of experimentation. By trying out different combinations, I discover which titles and thumbnails work best for engaging my audience. It’s all about finding the winning formula that piques curiosity and encourages viewers to click.

Optimizing for Search and Discovery

Another reason YouTubers change titles and thumbnails is to optimize their videos for search and discovery. By incorporating relevant keywords in the title and using eye-catching visuals in the thumbnail, creators increase the chances of their videos appearing in search results. This strategic approach boosts visibility and attracts new viewers to their content.

Reviving Underperforming Videos

Sometimes, even quality videos can underperform due to lackluster titles or unappealing thumbnails. In such cases, changing the title and thumbnail can breathe new life into these videos. By updating visuals and titles, YouTubers attract fresh viewers who may have overlooked the content before. This revitalization effort sparks renewed interest, leading to increased engagement and overall video performance.

Step-By-Step Guide On Changing The Thumbnail And Title In YouTube Studio

YouTube Studio offers creators a user-friendly interface for effortlessly changing thumbnails and titles of their videos. Whether you want to update your video’s look or make it more engaging, YouTube Studio provides the tools you need. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to change the thumbnail and title:

  1. Login to your YouTube account and access YouTube Studio.
  2. Navigate to the “Content” tab to view your uploaded videos.
  3. Select the video you want to modify.
  4. In the video details page, locate the “thumbnail” section.
  5. Choose the “Custom thumbnail” option to upload a new thumbnail image.
  6. Make sure the image you upload is optimized for the best YouTube thumbnail size:

Note: A resolution of 1280×720 and a file size of under 2MB are recommended for optimal results.

To change the title, follow a similar process:

  1. Access YouTube Studio and select the video you wish to edit.
  2. Edit the title field to your desired text.
  3. Save the changes to update the thumbnail and title of the video.
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With these easy steps, you can customize your video’s appearance and captivate your audience from the moment they see your thumbnail and title.

Changing the thumbnail and title through YouTube Studio not only enhances the visual appeal of your videos but also allows you to optimize them for maximum reach and engagement. So go ahead and experiment with different thumbnails and titles to create a captivating experience for your viewers!

YouTube Studio Mobile App: Adding Video Thumbnails

As a creator, having the ability to add or modify thumbnails for your YouTube videos is crucial for attracting viewers and increasing engagement. Fortunately, the YouTube Studio mobile app provides a convenient solution for managing your video thumbnails on the go.

To get started, simply open the YouTube Studio mobile app and access the “Content” tab. From there, you can select the specific video you want to edit. Once you’ve chosen the video, tap on the “Edit thumbnail” option to proceed.

When editing the thumbnail, you’ll be presented with two options: automatic thumbnails generated by YouTube or custom thumbnails of your own creation. While the automatic thumbnails can be a quick and hassle-free choice, custom thumbnails allow you to personalize your video’s visual representation and capture the attention of potential viewers.

Custom thumbnails should adhere to certain specifications to ensure optimal display on various devices. They should have a 16:9 aspect ratio to maintain consistency and a file size of under 2MB to ensure smooth loading. By adhering to these guidelines, you can create visually compelling thumbnails that effectively communicate the essence of your video.

Incorporating custom thumbnails using the YouTube Studio mobile app gives you the flexibility to experiment with different visuals and increase the chances of attracting viewers. Whether you’re on the go or need a quick solution, the app provides a user-friendly interface for effortlessly managing your video thumbnails.

Best Practices and Guidelines for YouTube Thumbnails

When creating custom thumbnails for YouTube, it is essential to follow best practices and guidelines to ensure your thumbnails are engaging and meet YouTube’s standards. Custom thumbnails play a crucial role in attracting viewers and enticing them to click on your videos. To optimize the impact of your custom thumbnails, consider the following practices:

Resolution and Aspect Ratio

Ensure that your custom thumbnails have a resolution of 1280×720 pixels to maintain clarity and sharpness. Additionally, it’s crucial to maintain a 16:9 aspect ratio, as this is the standard format for video thumbnails on YouTube. By adhering to these specifications, your thumbnails will be displayed correctly across various devices, enhancing the visual appeal of your videos.

File Format and Size

When saving your custom thumbnails, use file formats such as JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG to ensure compatibility with YouTube’s platform. It is recommended to keep the file size under 2MB to minimize loading times and optimize the user experience.

Content and Relevance

Create thumbnails that accurately represent the content of your videos and are relevant to the title and topic. Choose images or graphics that capture the essence of your video and pique viewers’ curiosity. This will help establish a connection between your thumbnail and the video’s content, enhancing engagement and view time.

Compliance with YouTube’s Community Guidelines

Ensure that your custom thumbnails comply with YouTube’s Community Guidelines to avoid rejections or strikes on your account. Avoid using misleading or deceptive images, explicit content, or anything that violates YouTube’s policies. By following these guidelines, you can maintain a positive and professional presence on the platform.

Remember, your YouTube thumbnails act as a visual representation of your videos, enticing potential viewers to click and watch. By following the best practices and guidelines mentioned above, you can create captivating and impactful custom thumbnails that contribute to the success of your YouTube channel.

For a visual representation of these guidelines, take a look at the example below:

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youtube Thumbnail Best Practices

Creating Custom Thumbnails with Editing Tools

To create custom thumbnails for your YouTube videos, you can utilize various editing tools available on your computer. These tools provide you with the flexibility to design unique and visually appealing thumbnails that attract viewers. Let’s take a look at some options:

Using the Snipping Tool on Windows

If you’re using a Windows computer, you can take advantage of the Snipping Tool to capture a screenshot of the desired frame from your video. Simply open the Snipping Tool, select the area you want to capture, and save the screenshot as an image file.

Example: I love using the Snipping Tool because it allows me to capture the perfect frame that represents the essence of my video.

Taking Screenshots on Mac

For Mac users, there are a couple of methods to take screenshots. You can use keyboard shortcuts such as Command + Shift + 4 to capture a specific area or Command + Shift + 3 to capture the entire screen. Alternatively, you can use dedicated screenshot utilities like Grab or Lightshot.

Example: As a Mac user, I find it incredibly convenient to use keyboard shortcuts to capture screenshots for my custom thumbnails.

Enhancing with Image Editing Software

If you’re looking to add more advanced features and graphics to your custom thumbnails, image editing software like Adobe Photoshop can be a great choice. With these tools, you can unleash your creativity and design thumbnails that truly stand out.

Example: I enjoy using Adobe Photoshop to design custom thumbnails because it allows me to add eye-catching elements and create a consistent branding for my videos.

Remember, the key is to create thumbnails that capture viewers’ attention and accurately represent the content of your video. Experiment with different tools and techniques to find the approach that works best for you.

Now, let’s move on to Section 7, where we will explore how to evaluate the impact of thumbnail and title changes on your YouTube videos.

create custom youtube thumbnail

Evaluating the Impact of Thumbnail and Title Changes

After making changes to the thumbnail and title, it’s essential for creators to evaluate the impact of these modifications on their videos’ performance. YouTube Studio provides analytics and data on video engagement, allowing creators to analyze the effectiveness of their thumbnails and titles.

By regularly monitoring these metrics, creators can determine if the changes have improved their videos’ visibility, click-through rates, and overall engagement. Video engagement is a key factor in assessing the success of thumbnail and title modifications. The number of views, likes, comments, and shares reflect how viewers are interacting with the content.

To access these valuable insights, creators can navigate to the YouTube Studio analytics section. Here, they will find a comprehensive overview of their channel’s performance, including metrics such as watch time, audience demographics, and revenue. By focusing on the specific video they made changes to, creators can evaluate the impact of the thumbnail and title on its performance.

Creators can also analyze video performance by looking at metrics like average view duration, click-through rate (CTR), and viewer retention. These metrics provide context and deeper understanding of how viewers are engaging with the video after the changes were made. A higher average view duration and CTR indicate that the new thumbnail and title have captured viewers’ attention and encouraged them to click on the video.

If the desired results are not achieved, creators can further refine their approach by understanding their audience preferences and focusing on YouTube SEO strategies. YouTube SEO involves optimizing various aspects of a video, including the thumbnail, title, description, tags, and closed captions, to improve its discoverability in search results and recommended videos.

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YouTube Studio Analytics: Key Metrics to Assess Video Performance

When evaluating the impact of thumbnail and title changes, certain metrics in YouTube Studio analytics are particularly relevant:

  • Views: The total number of times the video has been watched.
  • Watch Time: The total amount of time viewers have spent watching the video.
  • Average View Duration: The average length of time viewers watch the video before leaving.
  • Click-through Rate (CTR): The percentage of viewers who click on the thumbnail to watch the video after seeing it.
  • Engagement (likes, comments, shares): The level of interaction and involvement from viewers.

By analyzing these metrics before and after thumbnail and title changes, creators can identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement. This data-driven approach allows creators to continuously optimize their content and make informed decisions to maximize engagement and reach.


Changing YouTube thumbnails and titles is a crucial step in optimizing videos, increasing engagement, and attracting more viewers. Through experimentation and strategic planning, creators can significantly improve their videos’ click-through rates, enhance search visibility, and ultimately boost overall performance. With the user-friendly interface of YouTube Studio and its step-by-step guidance, creators have the power to take control of their video customization and make impactful changes.

By focusing on creating attention-grabbing thumbnails and crafting compelling titles, creators can revolutionize the success of their YouTube videos. These elements play a vital role in capturing viewers’ attention and convincing them to click on the video. It is essential to consider the target audience, relevant keywords, and the overall aesthetic appeal when designing thumbnails and titles.

Optimizing video titles and customizing thumbnails not only improves discoverability but also revitalizes underperforming videos. By refreshing the visual elements and optimizing for search, creators can breathe new life into their content, attracting a fresh wave of viewers and boosting engagement. Constant analysis and evaluation of video performance through YouTube Studio analytics enable creators to refine their approach and adapt to the preferences of their audience.

With the right combination of captivating thumbnails, attention-grabbing titles, and continuous improvement, creators can optimize their YouTube videos to reach their full potential. Embracing the power of customization empowers creators to stand out in the crowded YouTube landscape and attract the attention they deserve.


Can you change a YouTube thumbnail after uploading?

Yes, you can change a YouTube thumbnail after uploading. YouTube Studio provides a user-friendly interface for modifying thumbnails and titles, allowing creators to experiment and find the best combination for success.

Why do YouTubers change titles and thumbnails?

YouTubers change titles and thumbnails to capture attention, increase click-through rates, optimize for search and discovery, and revive underperforming videos.

How do I change the thumbnail and title in YouTube Studio?

To change the thumbnail and title in YouTube Studio, log in to your YouTube account, access YouTube Studio, navigate to the “Content” tab, select the video you want to modify, and make the desired changes in the video details page.

How can I add or modify thumbnails using the YouTube Studio mobile app?

To add or modify thumbnails using the YouTube Studio mobile app, open the app, access the “Content” tab, select the video you want to edit, and choose between automatic and custom thumbnails. Follow the prompts to upload a custom thumbnail from your device or select an automatically generated thumbnail.

What are the best practices and guidelines for YouTube thumbnails?

When creating custom thumbnails for YouTube, adhere to the following guidelines: have a resolution of 1280×720 pixels, a file format of JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG, a file size of under 2MB, and a 16:9 aspect ratio for optimal display on various devices. Ensure compliance with YouTube’s Community Guidelines to avoid rejections or strikes.

How can I create custom thumbnails using editing tools?

To create custom thumbnails, you can utilize computer editing tools such as the Snipping Tool on Windows or screenshot methods on Mac to capture a screenshot of the desired frame from the video. Save the screenshot as an image file and use it as a custom thumbnail on YouTube. Advanced tools like Adobe Photoshop can also be used for designing custom thumbnails with more graphics features.

How do I evaluate the impact of thumbnail and title changes?

To evaluate the impact of thumbnail and title changes, use YouTube Studio analytics to monitor video engagement metrics such as visibility, click-through rates, and overall engagement. Regularly analyze these metrics to determine the effectiveness of the modifications and refine your approach if necessary.

Is changing YouTube thumbnails and titles beneficial?

Yes, changing YouTube thumbnails and titles is beneficial as it can optimize videos, enhance engagement, and attract more viewers. By experimenting with different combinations and strategies, creators can improve click-through rates, search visibility, and overall video performance.


  • Hi, I'm Rebekah! I created to delve into YouTube. Passionate about Youtube, Influencers, etc. I'm here to bring you fresh perspectives and actionable insights. Let's explore, learn, and create together!

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