How to Add a Thumbnail to Your YouTube Videos on iPhone or Android

Adding custom thumbnails to your YouTube videos is a great way to drive additional traffic to your channel. Although you may have created some incredible content, it’s important to put your best foot forward when enticing your potential audience to click on your video. Your video thumbnail plays a vital role in your branding, viewership, and recognition on YouTube. 


Luckily, adding or changing a thumbnail on your YouTube video is one of the easiest things you can do on the video platform! Changing a thumbnail from your smartphone will save you lots of time and gives you the flexibility to edit your thumbnails on-the-go. 


Uploading Your Thumbnail

The process for changing a thumbnail for your YouTube video on your smartphone is the same whether you have an iPhone or an Android. All you’ll need is the YouTube Studio app and to follow the simple steps listed below:


  • If you haven’t already, open the App Store (for iPhones) or the Play Store (for Androids) to download the YouTube Studio App. The app is completely free and was created by YouTube so it’s a trustworthy and reliable application to use. 
  • Once the app is installed, go ahead and open it and select the video that you’d like to use.
  • After selecting your video, click the pencil icon that’s located near the top of the screen.
  • Next, select the ‘Edit Thumbnail’ option that appears in the middle of the screen.
  • Select ‘Custom Thumbnail’ which is located in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • Choose the thumbnail image that you’d like to use for your YouTube video.
  • After selecting the image, save your changes, and you’re done!


It’s important that your thumbnail image is as large as possible as it will also be used as the preview image in YouTube’s embedded player. YouTube recommends images with a 1280×720 resolution and requires a minimum width of 640 pixels. A 16:9 aspect ratio is the most popular and recommended option. Thumbnails must be uploaded in JPG, GIF, or PNG formats and remain under the 2MB limit. 


Adding a custom thumbnail to your YouTube video is one of the best ways to increase traffic to your channel. An engaging thumbnail will help your video stand out against other recommendations and search results while making your brand recognizable to your audience. Because Google uses YouTube thumbnails when displaying search results to potential viewers, it’s important to introduce your content in an inviting and professional way when looking to grow the presence of your business on the popular video platform. 


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