How to Create a Custom YouTube Thumbnail

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Ever wonder how some YouTube video providers have text, or an awesome graphic for their YouTube thumbnail image (the image that shows up in search results)? Having a custom YouTube thumbnail quite honestly could be the difference between your video being clicked on or not.

Take a look at these images below for instance. In the search box, I typed in “How to Change Your YouTube Thumbnail” and in the results the following showed up. The top two could easily be overlooked. Statistics show that the human mind is attracted to more visually appealing pictures.


Creating your very own custom YouTube thumbnail is simple. If you prefer being shown how to do something via video, watch it below. If your preference is step by step via text, read below.



Steps to creating a custom YouTube thumbnail:

Step 1: Make sure monetization is checked off for the specific video you want to create a custom thumbnail for. Do this by clicking on ‘video manager’ in the upper top right corner of your YouTube account. Click edit on the video. Ensure you are on the ‘info and settings’ tab, and directly under the video you will see the tab named ‘monetization’ – click this. Ensure the ‘monetize my video’ is checked and choose the appropriate settings. Click save.

Step 2: Go to

Step 3: Click ‘open pixlr edition advanced’

Step 4: Choose ‘create a new image’

Step 5: Name your project and in the dropdown box for presets choose ‘Movie 720p’

Step 6: If you have a logo you want to bring in, or a specific image for your thumbnail. Click ‘file – open image’. Choose the appropriate image.

Step 7: Click on the image in the far right within the ‘layers’ box and drag it into the white work pane.

Step 8: Click on the ‘A’ in the tools box over on the far left and type in the title of your video. Remember to choose the specific keywords that people would be searching for, and that you have tagged your video with. You can change the font, size, and color of the text. If you find the text going off the screen, enter between words to send to the next line.

Step 9: Click ‘file – save’ and save the image to the appropriate folder.

Stay tuned for our next blog post on ‘How to Change YouTube Video Thumbnail’

Post by Terri-Ann Cormier

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