Are you trying to find the best size to use for the YouTube video’s thumbnail? Then you’re at the right place. In this article, you will learn everything about using the thumbnails, their size, and other conditions that you might have to meet. So without further ado, let’s begin.

Youtube Thumbnail Size Guide

YouTube Thumbnail Size & Other Aspects:

What Should Be The YouTube Thumbnail Size?

When you consider the size aspects, there are four different types of size. There are the pixels (width), resolution, aspect ratio, and finally, the actual file size. Therefore, it can get very confusing regarding which size to choose. Here’s a quick guideline:

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Use 1280×720 Resolution –

This is the perfect size to use because that’s the default playback ‘quality’ for most players and devices, especially if you have high-speed internet. It is also where the HD starts, so people will have an impression that your content is at least in 720p, to say the least.

1280x720 resolution youtube thumbnail

More importantly, 1280×720 is flexible and can be resized accordingly. Most of the thumbnails, on any device, use a smaller size, of course. However, if someone decides to embed your video to their platform, blog, or anywhere else, they might want that much as a resolution for the video to look attractive.

In short, 1280×720 hits the sweet spot and can be considered the most well-balanced and versatile size for images.

File Size Caps At 2MB –

You can’t go above this limit at all, but below is fine. Now, it can be a little daunting because many file sizes tend to get higher than that. For that, you might have to convert them to JPEG as that’s usually the format with the smallest file size, which wouldn’t impact the quality.

You will learn more about the file formats below, separately. If you go above 2MB, you will get a warning, and the thumbnail won’t upload. You can edit and convert your image’s size multiple times without any problem to lower it down, without messing with the resolution. So, you might want to give that a try.

Aspect Ratio At 16:9 –

This is the default ratio supported by the majority of the devices. Most of the cameras also record in this aspect ratio. It’s well-balanced and gives the proper appeal on any screen. However, you don’t have to worry about the aspect ratio too much. If you have a lower aspect ratio, YouTube will automatically add black handlebars on the sides that lack the ratio in a balance.

Aspect Ratio At 16 9

So, you wouldn’t have to worry about the thumbnail looking back. In other words, you can neglect the aspect ratio unless you have a larger aspect ratio. If you have a bigger aspect ratio and don’t want YouTube to cut the image (or crop it), you might want to shift it into the desired ratio.

The 640 Pixels –

This is the minimum width and quality you can go for your images. You can indeed upload lower-quality, but that would make the thumbnail look blurry and unappealing. Most of the viewers on YouTube want decent content. They are most likely looking for high-quality content. People judge a video based on a thumbnail, and if your thumbnail’s quality is low, it won’t play in your favor.

Different Formats for YouTube Thumbnail:

photo formats

YouTube’s policy states that you can use JPEG or JPG format. PNG is fine, and non-animated GIFs will work as well. Finally, you have the option of BMP. So that’s a little bad news for iPhone users and people with different formats. You would have to convert it to the formats allowed. Otherwise, YouTube will automatically deny the file upload, and you won’t have any option but to convert it.

How to Convert the Image Files?

For android or iPhone, you might have to download a third-party app. Therefore, it’s better to use your PC. All you need to do is transfer the file to the PC and edit it in the paint. The paint is fine. It doesn’t mess with the quality at all. Once you open the editor:

  • Go to files, click on SAVE AS.
  • Now write whatever name you like.
  • The second bar might be there to help you choose the image format.
  • Choose any of the allowed formats, and your image will save in that file format.
  • Alternatively, you can try to rename the file and change the extension to ‘.jpg, .png’ or anything else you desire.
    The pain option is usually a preferable one.


As far as YouTube thumbnail policies go, it’s similar to the video policy. It shouldn’t be explicitly, should be age-appropriate, shouldn’t invoke hate-speech, and so on. As long as you keep the above-given guide in mind for the thumbnail size for YouTube Video, you can always get the best results. Hopefully, you learned something valuable with the guide.

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