YouTube Shorts: How to Add ANY Custom Thumbnail

 YouTube Shorts is taking the internet by storm with its short-form vertical videos that capture attention and engage viewers. With its growing popularity, content creators are constantly looking for ways to make their Shorts stand out from the crowd. One effective way to do this is by adding a custom thumbnail to your YouTube Shorts. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of adding any custom thumbnail to your YouTube Shorts and help you elevate your content to the next level.

Why Add a Custom Thumbnail?

A thumbnail is the first thing viewers see when browsing through YouTube, and it plays a crucial role in capturing their attention. By default, YouTube Shorts generates a thumbnail from your video content. However, with a custom thumbnail, you have complete control over the image that represents your Shorts. It allows you to convey the essence of your video and entice viewers to click and watch.

Step-by-Step Guide to Adding a Custom Thumbnail to YouTube Shorts

Create a captivating thumbnail image:

Before you can add a custom thumbnail to your YouTube Shorts, you need to create an eye-catching image. Keep in mind that the thumbnail should accurately represent the content of your video and pique viewers' curiosity. You can use image editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Canva to design a visually appealing thumbnail that aligns with your brand or video theme.

Access YouTube Studio:

To add a custom thumbnail, you need to access YouTube Studio. You can do this by navigating to your YouTube channel and clicking on the YouTube Studio button. This will take you to the YouTube Studio dashboard, where you can manage your channel and videos.

Select the Shorts video:

In the YouTube Studio dashboard, locate the Shorts video to which you want to add a custom thumbnail. You can find it in the "Content" section or by using the search bar at the top of the page.

Click on "Details":

Once you have selected the Shorts video, click on the "Details" tab. This will open up a page where you can modify various settings related to your video.

Choose a custom thumbnail:

Scroll down to the "Thumbnail" section, and you will see three thumbnail options: "Auto-generated thumbnail," "Upload thumbnail," and "Choose from videos." Click on the "Upload thumbnail" button.

Upload your custom thumbnail:

A file explorer window will open, allowing you to browse your computer and select the custom thumbnail image you created earlier. Locate the image file and click "Open" to upload it to YouTube.

Adjust the thumbnail:

After uploading the custom thumbnail, YouTube will display a preview of how it will appear. You can use the provided tools to adjust the thumbnail's position and scale, ensuring it looks perfect within the frame.

Save the changes:

Once you are satisfied with the custom thumbnail's appearance, click on the "Save" button to apply the changes to your YouTube Shorts video.

And there you have it! You have successfully added a custom thumbnail to your YouTube Shorts. Now, your Shorts will stand out in search results and entice viewers to click and watch your captivating content.

Tips for Creating Effective Custom Thumbnails:

Use vibrant colors and high-contrast images to grab attention.

Include text or graphics that clearly convey the video's topic or value proposition.

Maintain consistency in your thumbnail design to establish brand recognition.

Avoid clickbait or misleading thumbnails that may result in negative viewer experiences.

Test different thumbnail designs to see which ones resonate best with your audience.


Custom thumbnails are a powerful tool to optimize your YouTube Shorts and increase their discoverability. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this blog post, you can easily add any custom thumbnail to your YouTube Shorts and make your content stand out. Remember to create captivating and relevant thumbnails that accurately represent your video content.

Adding a custom thumbnail to your YouTube Shorts allows you to showcase your creativity and attract viewers' attention. By following the step-by-step guide provided, you can easily upload your own custom thumbnail and make your Shorts more enticing and clickable.

Keep in mind that the thumbnail is just one aspect of creating engaging YouTube Shorts. It's equally important to focus on the quality of your content, storytelling, and video production. A captivating thumbnail will help in getting viewers to click, but delivering valuable and entertaining content will keep them engaged and coming back for more.

In addition to adding custom thumbnails, here are a few additional tips to optimize your YouTube Shorts:

Craft compelling titles and descriptions: Use concise, descriptive titles and informative descriptions to give viewers an idea of what your Shorts are about. Incorporate relevant keywords to improve search visibility.

Utilize hashtags: YouTube Shorts allows the use of hashtags, which can help your content reach a wider audience. Research and include relevant hashtags related to your video content to increase discoverability.

Engage with your audience: Respond to comments and engage with your viewers. Building a community around your Shorts can help foster a loyal following and encourage viewers to share your content with others.

Experiment with different video formats: YouTube Shorts offers various video formats, including tutorials, behind-the-scenes footage, vlogs, and more. Explore different formats to find what resonates best with your audience and keeps them coming back for more.

Promote your Shorts on other platforms: Leverage the power of social media and other platforms to promote your YouTube Shorts. Share snippets or teasers on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok, directing viewers to your YouTube channel.

Remember, consistency, quality, and understanding your target audience are key factors in building a successful YouTube Shorts presence. Continuously experiment, analyze data, and adapt your strategies based on viewer feedback and engagement metrics.

YouTube Shorts provides an exciting opportunity for content creators to showcase their talent and creativity in a short-form video format. By implementing the tips and techniques outlined in this blog post, you can maximize the impact of your YouTube Shorts and grow your audience organically.

So, don't underestimate the power of a captivating thumbnail! Invest time and effort into creating eye-catching visuals that accurately represent your content, and watch your YouTube Shorts flourish. Get ready to captivate viewers and make a lasting impression with your custom thumbnails!

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