How to Create YouTube Thumbnails for a YouTube Channel

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Matthew M. White
@matthewmwhite
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YouTube channels with millions of subscribers start with the first glance. Maybe you have a relevant and interesting YouTube channel. Unfortunately, you find that very few people bother to watch your video because your thumbnail is boring.

Don't let missed opportunities keep you from getting your message across. This article will teach you how to create unscrollable YouTube thumbnails.

What makes an effective YouTube thumbnail?

An effective thumbnail attracts maximum clicks from an audience. Your video content will grow your audience, but it's your thumbnail that first grabs their attention. This does not happen by chance. You can learn how to make sure your miniature reaches its maximum potential.



YouTube channels that reach the target have thumbnails that include:

  • Title text explaining the purpose of the video.
  • A unique and quality image.
  • Bright background colors that contrast with text.
  • A relevant image about the video.

You should investigate your competitors who seem to be successful. Compare their design with yours and analyze what you can do to improve your thumbnail.

How to Create YouTube Thumbnails in Canva

Make the time and effort you put into your video count. Use the comprehensive online tools Canva Application to create your thumbnail. Canva offers free and upgraded pro versions on its website.

There are two ways to create a thumbnail with Canva online. You can use your own images or choose a Canva template.


To create a thumbnail from a template:

  1. Open the Canva app.
  2. Type “YouTube Thumbnail” in the search field.
  3. Choose a template and tap "Customize this template".
  4. Make changes from the "Edit" page.
  5. Save your design and download it to your computer or device.

To create a custom thumbnail with your image:


  1. Log in to your Canva account.
  2. Type "YouTube Thumbnail" in the middle search box.
  3. Select "Downloads" from the left menu.
  4. Upload an image from your computer or device.
  5. Customize your image in the editing area.
  6. Save your completed design and upload it.

When the thumbnail is ready, you can upload it to YouTube. Feel free to go back and make changes if you're not happy with your thumbnail.

How to Make YouTube Thumbnails in Photoshop

The flexibility of Adobe Photoshop makes it very popular with professional content creators. Photoshop is also available to produce high quality YouTube thumbnails. However, a subscription is required to use the app.

It takes a few minutes to start. Here are the steps:

  1. Subscribe to Adobe Photoshop.
  2. Download and open the app.
  3. Press "File" then "New" to set up a canvas.
  4. Set the size to 1280×720.
  5. Use the "Gradient" tool (paint bucket) to fill in the background.
  6. Go to "File" then "Place" to add an image.
  7. Press "T" to add text.
  8. Select "File" and "Save for Web".

Here are some additional tips for creating thumbnails in Photoshop:


  • Your thumbnail format must be JPG, PNG or GIF.
  • You should keep the file size under 2MB.
  • Keep the bottom right corner of the screen clear. This is where your timestamp will show up.

Once you've uploaded the thumbnail, be sure to keep an eye on its performance. If a thumbnail isn't getting clicks, edit the image as many times as necessary to improve the click-through rate.


How to Create YouTube Thumbnails on an iPhone

Don't worry if you don't have a computer to create your YouTube thumbnail. Your iPhone can be used to perform the task by following these simple instructions:

  1. Take good photos of the central theme of the video (yourself, a product, etc.).
  2. Find and download a YouTube thumbnail app from the Apple Store.
  3. Open the app.
  4. Follow the instructions to create an image.
  5. Upload the image to your YouTube account.

Try looking for app reviews from experienced content creators. They usually make a video showing how they used the app. Follow their steps to create a stunning thumbnail for your channel.

How to Make YouTube Thumbnails on an Android

You don't need any design skills to use your Android device to create a YouTube thumbnail. Design and upload your thumbnail like the pros. Here's how:


  1. Take a good photo for your thumbnail if you don't have one.
  2. Search "YouTube thumbnail maker" in the Google App Store.
  3. Download the app.
  4. Follow the instructions to create the thumbnail.
  5. Save and upload your thumbnail to YouTube.

View other YouTube channels with similar topics to yours if you need ideas to get started. YouTube thumbnail apps contain all the design elements you need to make your project look great.


How to Create YouTube Thumbnails on a Mac

There are two ways to create a thumbnail on a Mac computer. You have the choice to use the screenshot tools on your Mac. This may be the fastest way but requires a bit more skill. Or you can use a thumbnail app to upload a still image.

To use a snapshot of your video:

  1. Open the video on your computer.
  2. Press "Pause" on the frame you want to use.
  3. Press "Command", "Shift", and "4" to enter screenshot mode.
  4. Tap the upper left corner and drag a rectangle to the lower right corner.
  5. Press "Capture" to save the file.
  6. Choose "Custom Thumbnail" on YouTube to upload the image.

To create a thumbnail from an application:

  1. Find and download a thumbnail maker app from the Apple Store.
  2. Follow the instructions to create a custom thumbnail.
  3. Upload the thumbnail to your YouTube account.

Compare your sticker to others in your same industry. If you don't like your design, try changing it with another thumbnail. Change thumbnails as often as you like until you are happy with the results.

How to Create YouTube Thumbnails on Windows PC

Making a thumbnail on Windows is child's play with a little time and imagination. Just use a photo from your video or an image you already have, and you'll be done in no time.

Here's how to create your thumbnail from a photo:

  1. Pause the video to capture the moment.
  2. Type "Snipping Tool" in the Windows search box on the taskbar to open the application.
  3. Click on "Mode", then choose "Rectangular Snip".
  4. Select "File" and "Save As" when the photo appears in the Snipping Tool.
  5. Download the saved image.

Here's how to create your thumbnail on Windows:

  1. Go to the Google Play Store and download a YouTube thumbnail maker.
  2. Upload your best photo or choose one from the templates in the app.
  3. Customize the background and text as shown.
  4. Download the finished product.
  5. Save the thumbnail image to YouTube.

The app will have all the right tools you need to make your thumbnail look professional. For best results, be sure to use the sizes and ratios specified for YouTube.

Control your story

Your YouTube thumbnail is like a book cover that tells your story. No one will look inside if it's sad or unattractive. The good news is that you have the tools to create a thumbnail that opens the door to the greatest story ever told.

Have you ever created a YouTube thumbnail? We would like to know how difficult or easy it was to do. Use the comment box below to share your experience.

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