How to Create Stunning Custom YouTube Thumbnails

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Asif Ahmed
Asif Ahmed
Founder and Cheif Editor of Techtippr, Get in touch with me on Twitter or Enjoy my Stories on Instagram. I think they are interesting. :-)

If you are a youtuber and own a YouTube channel, then you are in luck today, because we have got a special series on our blog which talks about things YouTube creators would be interested in, and today’s topic is how to create custom YouTube thumbnail.

What is the YouTube thumbnail?

In general sense, a thumbnail of an image means, small thumbnail size version of the images which Aid you to understand visually about the actual image.

So, when it comes to YouTube, the thumbnail means one particular frame of a video that tells the viewers what the video is indeed about.

Usually, YouTube auto-generate thumbnail and gives you a few options that you can choose from. YouTube also allows YouTube creators to upload custom thumbnails.

The Custom Thumbnail is an image of a certain size that you can create on your own then upload it to YouTube from Creator studio, and because it is customizable, you can put more creative thumbnails for your YouTube videos that can lead to high click-through rate so that people get intrigued and watch the video.

What is the YouTube thumbnail size?

YouTube thumbnail is visible on the YouTube channel, where all your videos are listed, or it also appears where other YouTube videos appear, such as in the Suggestion box, or the Home feed, or Subscription tab, the size of the thumbnail is small when you view them on

But when the YouTube video is embedded into a web page, the Thumbnail could be as big as the width of the page itself, which is why YouTube has kept the standard size of its thumbnail as 1280×720 which is in the ratio of 16:9.

You could also create high size YouTube thumbnail, with 16:9 ratio, such as a screen grab from 1920×1080 video, but you have to keep in mind the size of the image should not exceed 2MB.

So, the YouTube thumbnail size is 1280×720 and the ratio of YouTube thumbnail is 16:9.

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How to create a custom YouTube thumbnail Image?

Now that we know what a thumbnail is and what’s the size of YouTube thumbnail is let’s see how we can create stunning custom YouTube thumbnails for our videos.

Grab screenshot from your YouTube video

If the YouTube video features you or someone else, it would be better if you can take a few shots specifically for the YouTube thumbnail, but it is okay if you have not, you can also take a screen grab from the video to use as a thumbnail.

You can use a website like Quick Thumbnail  to Capture a screen from your video if it is already live on youtube, or, You can use Magic Action YouTube

It is a Chrome extension that will let you take a precise screenshot from the video. It does much more, read this if you are interested.

Or you can play the video offline using VLC player, which also offers the option to save a frame from the video.

Could be helpful: How to take screenshots from YouTube Videos

Edit / Add Graphics to the Screenshot of the Video

Adding graphics or simply writing something enticing on the Screenshot also increase the chances of people clicking on your YouTube videos.

So, you can go creative by adding the screenshot you just took from your video to one of the image editing apps mentioned below to create a beautiful custom thumbnail for YouTube.


Canva would be one of the best web apps available for creating high-quality graphics, not only it is used for creating custom YouTube thumbnails it can also be used for producing high-quality Graphics for the Instagram post, Facebook post, Instagram stories, WhatsApp Stories and much more.

It will help you design beautiful YouTube thumbnails by giving you a variety of templates so that you do not have to get started from black.


PicMonkey is also one of the sources that I used daily for creating graphics images. Although it does not give you a pre-populated gallery of templates that can be used for YouTube thumbnail, you can select the custom size of your Canvas and get started with it.


I stumbled upon this web app while searching for something else, I think I was looking for a way to design YouTube cover page, but I was quite impressed with the kind of user interface is web app offers.

And it also offers much more than just creating a YouTube cover page it also lets you create stunning custom YouTube thumbnails and other graphics with predefined sizes.

So if it is easier for you to get started with a template, then either Canva or Fotor are going to be your best bet.

Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop is also one of the best photo manipulation software available for PC and Mac that can be used for literally anything when it comes to editing images.

So it has got to be on this list if you are more into offline software.

But since I use it multiple computers add Chromebook being my only Computer when I am traveling, I use web apps more.

Also, the web apps are not that heavy on a computer and can run on not so powerful computers as well, and you also don’t have to pay heavily for buying the software since most of them use the freemium model.

So finally when you have edited your custom thumbnail for YouTube, you can go to creator studio in YouTube and add the custom thumbnail to the particular video and save it.

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