What Is the Best YouTube Thumbnail Size in 2023?

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Want more views on your YouTube videos? The key is improving YouTube thumbnail size! If your Youtube videos aren’t getting the attention they should, it could be because your video thumbnails aren’t catching people’s eyes or making a good first impression on viewers.

Just take a moment to consider the most viewed YouTube videos. What do they have in common? Engaging thumbnails that catch people’s interest and show what the video is about at a glance. That’s the secret!  The best YouTube thumbnails not only attract viewers on YouTube itself, but also show up in Google’s search results. So, thumbnail size for youtube plays a huge role in maximizing your content’s reach and impact.

But before you start making your own eye-catching thumbnails, there’s more to learn. In this post, we’ll dive deep into everything you need to know about YouTube thumbnails. We’ll cover the ideal Youtube thumbnail size and share expert tips to create attention-grabbing images. With the best practices, your videos will shine!

Let’s get started!

What Are Youtube Thumbnails?

YouTube thumbnails are like the cover images of videos. They show viewers a sneak peek of what the video is about before they decide to watch it. For example:

 YouTube Thumbnails Example
YouTube Thumbnails Example

Instead of using any random picture from your video as the thumbnail, you should pick one that catches people’s attention and makes them curious.

When people search for a video on YouTube, they want to see something visually interesting. Even though your video will have a title, your channel name, and view count, the thumbnail is crucial because it’s what really stands out! That’s why many people create special thumbnails for their videos.

See also  15 Best YouTube Video Ideas in 2023

Read Also: Top Gaming YouTubers To Know

What Is the Use of YouTube Thumbnails?

Let me tell you! YouTube thumbnails are like the attractive front doors of videos, attracting curious viewers like moths to a flame. Like book covers hinting at exciting stories inside, these thumbnails tempt you to click the play button and jump into the video. 

They are like skillful artists, capturing the essence of the content and leaving you wanting more. So, the next time you’re browsing YouTube, watch out for these attractive thumbnails that have the power to boost your curiosity and keep you hooked on video!

Keen to learn how to make money on YouTube? Read on to find out proven ways!

The main question we need to answer before we address anything else is:

What Is the Best Thumbnail Size for YouTube?

According to Google’s own recommendations, the best YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 x 720 pixels. The minimum recommended width for a YouTube thumbnail image is 640 pixels. Any image with a width lower than this cannot be set as a thumbnail for a video on YouTube. It’s also important to maintain an aspect ratio of 16:9 for the thumbnail, as this is the most commonly used ratio in YouTube players and previews.

In terms of technical details, the thumbnail image should be in. JPG, .PNG, or .GIF formats, and its file size must be under the 2MB limit to be successfully uploaded to YouTube.

This larger size of YouTube thumbnail (bigger than 1280 x 720) is ideal for maintaining image quality, especially when the thumbnail is expanded to a full video’s size in suggestions for the next watch. To ensure the image doesn’t look blurred, it’s crucial to use a high-resolution image that can be scaled down, rather than a low-resolution one that will be scaled up.

Now, you may consider:

How to Add a Custom YouTube Thumbnail to Your Video?

Sure, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to add a custom YouTube thumbnail:

1. Go to YouTube.com and log in to your account.

2. Click on the camera-plus icon to start uploading a new video. If you want to add a custom thumbnail to an existing video, go to your YouTube Studio dashboard.

Add a Custom YouTube Thumbnail
Add a Custom YouTube Thumbnail (1)

3. Navigate to the “Videos” section and find the video you want to edit the thumbnail for.

Click on the video to access its settings and editing options.

How to Add a Custom YouTube Thumbnail
Add a Custom YouTube Thumbnail(2)

4. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen, where you’ll find three automatically generated thumbnails.

5. On the bottom of the screen, you’ll see the option to upload your custom YouTube thumbnail.

Add a Custom YouTube Thumbnail(3)
Add a Custom YouTube Thumbnail (3)

6. Click on the designated box to choose the custom thumbnail image from your device.

Select the desired image file and click ‘Upload.’

Add a Custom YouTube Thumbnail to Your Video
Add a Custom YouTube Thumbnail (4)

Ensure that the youtube thumbnail size and features meet YouTube’s guidelines and requirements, such as the recommended resolution and format. That’s it! Your custom thumbnail will now be associated with your YouTube video.

Read Also: How to Become a YouTuber: The Ultimate Guide

Let’s go beyond your youtube thumbnail size and take a look at some practices to customize thumbnails for your Youtube videos! Shall we?

What Should We Consider for Customizing YouTube Thumbnails?

YouTube thumbnails play a crucial role in attracting viewers to your videos. To improve and customize your YouTube thumbnail effectively, consider the following best practices:

1. Take Still Images 

Opt for high-quality still images rather than pausing a video and using a random frame. By staging a photograph, you ensure a professional and engaging thumbnail.

Here’s an example:

Take Still Images
Take Still Images

2. Use Contrasting Colors

Select contrasting colors for text and graphics to make your thumbnail visually appealing. Bright colors can help draw attention, making your video stand out amidst other search results.

Use Contrasting Colors
Use Contrasting Colors

3. Utilize Whitespace

Incorporate whitespace strategically to keep your thumbnail clean and organized. This enhances the professional look of the image and directs viewers’ attention to the essential elements.

Utilize Whitespace
Utilize Whitespace

4. Be Concise with Text

Keep text on the thumbnail brief and to the point. Viewers should instantly understand the video’s content and be curious to watch it further.

Be Concise with Text
Be Concise with Text

5. Create a Custom Graphic

Design a unique graphic that summarizes the video’s main benefit. Include the brand’s name or logo for brand recognition and credibility.

6. Combine a Video Still with Graphics

For videos featuring people, like vlogs or tutorials, combine a still image with graphic elements to create an attention-grabbing thumbnail. This can make your content more appealing.

Combine A Video Still With Graphics
Combine A Video Still With Graphics

7. Write Eye-Catching Titles

Craft compelling titles that accurately reflect your video’s content. Strive for creativity and clarity to attract viewers’ attention and encourage clicks.

Write Eye-Catching Titles
Write Eye-Catching Titles

8. Avoid Misleading Images and Titles

Ensure your thumbnail and title align with the video’s actual content. Misleading viewers can harm your channel’s reputation and lead to decreased engagement.

9. Test Different Thumbnail Designs

Experiment with different thumbnail designs and track the results. Analyze click-through rates to identify which design resonates best with your audience.

What Are YouTube Thumbnail Mistakes to Avoid?

We have discussed all the things you should do to make the most of your YouTube thumbnail images. Now, let’s see what you should avoid. When it comes to mistakes, apart from using YouTube’s default thumbnails or the wrong YouTube thumbnail size, there are a few things to consider.

1. Too Much Text

While adding some text to your thumbnail is beneficial, overloading it with text is a mistake to avoid. Viewers should be able to read and understand the main message at a quick glance. Stick to a concise title and, if necessary, a brief subtitle in smaller text.

2. Text that’s Too Small

Sometimes, in an attempt to keep the focus on the image, businesses make the text on thumbnails too small. However, this can be counterproductive as users won’t be able to read the text in small thumbnails during searches or video recommendations, leading to fewer clicks.

3. Irrelevant or Misleading Images

Choosing a thumbnail image that isn’t relevant to the video’s content or is misleading can be a significant mistake. Using eye-catching stock photos that don’t accurately represent the video’s content may result in disappointed viewers who expected something else, leading to lower engagement and trust.

Keep in mind that, YouTube thumbnails play a crucial role in attracting viewers and getting them to click on your videos. Avoiding these mistakes will help you create more effective and enticing thumbnails that align with your video’s content and increase your chances of engagement and success based on the YouTube Algorithm.

Now, if you are interested to know how to find the best YouTubers for YouTube marketing, read the following section and gain YouTube collab through this DIY marketplace!

Tip: How to Find the Best Influencers on YouTube?

Ainfluencer is an influencer marketing platform that helps you to in YouTube marketing. 


Firstly, Ainfluencer serves as a valuable platform for discovering influencers from various niches and industries. This comprehensive database allows you to find influencers who resonate with your target audience and align with your marketing objectives. The best part is that you can access this information without any cost.

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Secondly, Ainfluencer provides valuable audience insights that can aid in monitoring your daily and monthly growth and branding progress. However, to obtain these insights, you would need to request the influencers directly to report them.

Lastly, Ainfluencer facilitates seamless communication and collaboration between brands and influencers. Through the platform, you can connect directly with influencers, explore partnership opportunities, and negotiate terms to create compelling sponsored content that engages your audience effectively. These collaborations can lead to increased brand awareness and drive better results for your YouTube marketing campaigns.

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To Wrap Things Up

In short, if you don’t make custom thumbnails with the ideal youtube thumbnail size, you’ll make a big mistake for your business. It means you’ll lose the chance to catch people’s eye and get more clicks. When you use automatic thumbnails, you miss out on the opportunity to impress viewers with attractive images.


1. What Is the Size of a YouTube Thumbnail?

The ideal size for a YouTube thumbnail is 1280 pixels by 720 pixels, using an aspect ratio of 16:9. The minimum width should be 640 pixels, and the file size should be under 2MB. Acceptable image formats include JPG, GIF, or PNG.

2. What JPG Quality Setting to Use?

It is recommended to use the best quality JPG (i.e., with the least compression) when uploading images to YouTube, especially if the image contains text or graphics. YouTube’s servers will compress the image during the upload process, so keeping the file below the 2MB size limit is essential.

3. What Resolution or PPI/DPI Should You Use for a YouTube Thumbnail Image?

When creating a YouTube thumbnail image, the resolution or PPI/DPI setting is not a critical factor. YouTube recommends focusing on the image’s dimensions, specifically the number of pixels wide by high, rather than the resolution. Most image editors, like Photoshop, allow you to specify the resolution in PPI (pixels per inch) when exporting the image, but for YouTube thumbnails, this setting is not essential and will be ignored. Therefore, you can use any resolution you prefer, such as 72ppi, 240ppi, 300ppi, or any other value.