Carla Marshall is the Head of Content Marketing at vidIQ. She has 10+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, and SEO. She was previously Editor in Chief at ReelSEO.com, and as a journalist and video marketer, she's covered news stories, creator journeys, and digital-first publishing initiatives across all the major online video platforms. She is YouTube Certified and a judge for the Shorty Awards, as well as the UK, US, Canadian, Global, and EU Search Awards.
How to Download a YouTube Thumbnail (New Method)
Want to download your own thumbnail from YouTube? When you are logged into YouTube you should see your channel logo in the top right hand corner of most YouTube screens. If you click on that you have the option to go to YouTube Studio, this is currently in beta, but will become the standard as 2019 progresses.
To download a thumbnail from one of your own YouTube videos in the new Studio click on the Videos section where you will find all your videos listed with the most recent first. Click on a video to jump to the edit page and under the basics tab you should see a selection of potential thumbnails selected from the video and your current thumbnail if it is a custom one. There should be a box with three dots inside the current thumbnail. If you click on that you have the option to replace it with a new thumbnail or download the existing one.
When you click 'download', the image may appear in a new web browser where you can do the usual right click and save. One thing to note, it doesn't matter what resolution you uploaded the thumbnail as, it will always be downloaded as 1280 by 720.
How to Download Any YouTube Thumbnail
Now that's how you download your thumbnails, but you can download any thumbnail from any YouTube video. To do this, the video has to be public and you will need the video ID. You can get this from the watch page URL and it will be a random collection of numbers and letters after the equal symbol. So highlight all of that and copy it. On a new browser tab you will need to type in the following URL. All you need to do is replace 'YouTube-video-id' with the actual video ID:
Once inserted, you should be able to press enter or click go and you should now see the thumbnail from that video. So that's how you download any thumbnail from any video on YouTube. But you have to be careful about why you're doing this. If you just want it for your own personal use, say to look at a larger version of the thumbnail and see if there are any good strategies and tactics you can use in your own thumbnails, that's fine. It's when you want to use it for broadcast or commercial purposes.
Remember, a creator's video is their own copyrighted material and the same goes for the thumbnail. So if you want to use this thumbnail in your own content then you should really ask permission from the video creator. Of course you could use the thumbnails in your content and claim fair usage as educational or transformative content, but that's a topic for another video.....
vidIQ Thumbnail Generator Tool
Did you know that vidIQ has an awesome custom thumbnail generator tool that's free to use? You can create and edit the best thumbnails for your YouTube videos to maximise your click through rates - more details on the thumbnail generator here.
Want To Get More YouTube Views?
If you want to take your YouTube channel to the next level then make sure to download vidIQ. It will help you research YouTube, analyze videos, audit your own channel, and take actionable steps click here to install now!