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Why Can’t I Change the Thumbnail on YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts has been gaining popularity ever since its short videos were launched on the YouTube platform. Earlier when Tiktok went viral with Shorts, YouTube and other social apps also brought this idea to their platform, and everywhere the short videos are trending.

When we talk about YouTube, for all the videos, we are allowed to upload Thumbnail for each video we upload. But, this feature is removed from Shorts if you are uploading from PC. If you are uploading from Android, you would have the option to choose thumbnails from the frames of your short video. But, after uploading, it is not possible to change the Shorts Thumbnail. 

for-now, you cannot change the thumbnail of your short

So, if you are thinking about why you can’t change the Thumbnail on YouTube Shorts, then there is nothing much you can do because YouTube is not allowing that yet.

So, the answer to the query “Why Can’t I Change the Thumbnail on YouTube Shorts” is, that YouTube is now allowing you to change the thumbnail of your short videos.

Here is official Word from YouTube Team

We removed the option to select a custom thumbnail on the Studio desktop bc they didn’t work on the Shorts shelf/channel pages, so it was confusing. But if you upload Shorts on Android you can select a thumbnail that will show everywhere that ppl watch Shorts: goo.gle/3FG27mF” – Source

Why You Should Upload a Thumbnail For Your YouTube Shorts?

I think you will agree with me when I say that thumbnails have helped YouTubers to get their content caught in the public gaze. There is no denying the fact that thumbnail helps optimize your video. Moreover, you have to understand where the shorts gain their traction and traffic on YouTube.

There are some fixed sources that YouTube draws its traffic from. And, here is the list:

  • Channel pages
  • Browse Features
  • Direct or unknown
  • Notifications
  • External
  • Suggested videos
  • YouTube search
  • Other YouTube features
  • Playlists
  • Playlist pages

I have witnessed many videos of mine that started to get more views when I changed the thumbnail to some interesting one, and the traffic started to come more from suggested videos when you have a great and eye-catching Thumbnail. But, this can be done only with long videos. You cannot change the Thumbnail of short videos.

What Is the YouTube Shorts Thumbnail Size?

Shorts are vertical videos with a 9:16 aspect ratio and a size of 1920 by 1080 pixels. If you want to make custom thumbnails for Shorts, they should match those dimensions (1920 by 1080 pixels).

How to Choose YouTube Shorts Thumbnail?

Remember two things, first, you cannot select or upload Thumbnail for YT shorts on PC. And, on the phone, you can select any frame of your video as the thumbnail.

So, what you can do is when you make a short video, design a custom thumbnail for the same as well. And, join that in the video as the part of the video which you can place in the beginning or at the end. Now, when you upload the short from your phone, when you reach the details screen, tap the pencil icon.

Pencil icon

And use the frame selector to choose a scene for your thumbnail, then tap Done.

frame selector

This way, you can just create a thumbnail for YT shorts, add to your video, and when you upload using your phone, just select that frame as thumbnail, and you are done.

I would like to remind you again that it is only possible if you are uploading your short video using the phone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I edit the thumbnail for my regular YouTube videos?

Yes, for regular long YouTube videos, you can edit the thumbnail and choose a custom image as well. There is no restriction for these videos.

How can I optimize my YouTube Shorts without the ability to change the thumbnail?

While you cannot directly change the thumbnail for YouTube Shorts, there are many other optimization ways you can opt for your short YT videos. First of all, create great shorts videos, and write descriptive titles and descriptions. You must searchable keywords in the title and description. Above all, tag the short videos properly to place in the right category. This way, your short videos will discover quickly, and you will get more views.


Youtube shorts is getting famous every passing day. The Youtube audience is getting more and more engaged with the short content form. Thumbnail draws your audience into your content. Having the right Thumbnail can massively impact your audience retention and even penetration.

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is an established and independent voice dedicated to providing you with unique, well-researched and original information from the field of technology, SEO, social media, and blogging. He has in-depth knowledge of computers and tech as he pursued computer science.

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