How Long Does It Take YouTube To Change A Thumbnail?

Besides coming up with a catchy title, a great thumbnail also helps capture your audience’s attention on YouTube. However, there are times when we upload a thumbnail that is not working as well as we thought, and changing it is the only way forward. With that said, how long does it take YouTube to change a thumbnail?

On average, it takes around 10 seconds for a new thumbnail to update on YouTube. If you are not seeing the changes on YouTube, try refreshing your browser and clearing your browser’s cache.

Keep reading to find answers to the most common YouTube thumbnail related questions.

» MORE: Can You Use Logos in Your YouTube Thumbnails?

How Long Does a Thumbnail Change Take in YouTube?

Whether you’re trying to update your older YouTube content or your thumbnail is underperforming, a thumbnail change is a smart move to try and get more traffic to your videos. Keep in mind that average YouTube users don’t click on videos based on the title alone, but they’re more likely to click on a video with a catchy thumbnail.

Changing a thumbnail can be done through the YouTube Studio, and it should take less than 10 seconds after saving for these changes to be visible on YouTube. Even so, sometimes the changes are not as instant, and if this is the case, you should try the following troubleshooting methods:

  • Refresh YouTube – Typically a page refresh will show the new updates thumbnail
  • Clear your browser’s cache – If the change is still not showing, you may need to clear your browser’s cache

» MORE: Are All YouTube Thumbnails Copyrighted?

Why is my Custom Thumbnail not Working?

Sometimes custom thumbnails don’t work on YouTube even after uploading several times. It’s frustrating after you’ve worked countless hours on a thumbnail. When this happens, be sure to do the following:

  • Check whether you have the right size – YouTube thumbnail size matters, and it might be the reason behind the problem
  • Clear browser’s cache – This will help to refresh the page and allow you to upload a fresh one
  • Try a different device – If you’re uploading through a YouTube app, try using a PC and a Chrome web browser

» MORE: How To Make a Custom YouTube Thumbnail [YouTube Tutorial]

What is the Best YouTube Thumbnail Size?

An ideal YouTube thumbnail should be 1280×720 in size and should be in JPG, GIF, or PNG format. However, a thumbnail with a minimum of 640 pixels is acceptable. YouTube will reject anything else beyond this.

If you’re creating a thumbnail, it’s always best to adhere to these specifications. Also, it’s important to maintain the proper resolution to ensure all the crucial details in the thumbnail are visible to viewers.

How can you adjust the Thumbnail’s Size?

If you realize the thumbnail is smaller or larger than the recommended size after you’ve worked on it, there are some strategies you can use to resize it. They include:

  • Using a YouTube Thumbnail Template – This is our go-to method, and we recommend
  • Using Photoshop – Besides helping create thumbnails, you can use Photoshop to resize the image
  • Use Microsoft Office – This application allows you to resize, rotate, and add any texture to the image. You can enter the pixels manually to get exact results
  • Hire a Graphic Designer – If you’re not tech-savvy, you can get someone else to work on the thumbnail at a cost (typically about $10-$30 per thumbnail)

» MORE: Is PNG or JPEG Better for YouTube Thumbnails?

Should a YouTube Thumbnail Have Text?

Having text on a YouTube thumbnail is optional, but some believe thumbnails with text have better compared Click Through Rate. If you’re not comfortable including text, you can just use a great image.

Competition for viewers has intensified, and everyone is doing anything necessary to drive traffic to their videos. YouTube doesn’t condemn adding text if they’re not offensive, misleading, or click baits.


Although some rare cases might interfere with the process, thumbnail changes on YouTube take less than 10 seconds to reflect. Refreshing your browser and clearing your browser’s cache typically fix the issue instantly.

Further, as competition increases on YouTube, having great thumbnail designs is more important than ever. We use and recommend’s YouTube Thumbnail Templates to help you make great performing thumbnails.