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Why can’t I change the thumbnail on YouTube Shorts?

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  • 2 min read

Short-form vertical video has taken the world by storm with apps like TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook all introducing their own entries into the format. Not to be left behind, Youtube has also jumped in the game with its Shorts. 

However, being a video streaming platform by default, Youtube’s implementation of Shorts is a bit different. You upload a short much like you would do a Youtube video, meaning users have a lot more control over the quality and presentation of their videos. This also means that they can add custom thumbnails, a feature that’s not as polished on other platforms. 

However, recently users have reported not being able to add custom thumbnails or change existing thumbnails for their Youtube Shorts videos.

Also read: How to upload YouTube Shorts from PC?

Changing Shorts thumbnails

Much like a Youtube video, users uploading Shorts can either choose a custom thumbnail or pick from one of the three suggested thumbnails that YouTube pulls from your video. These thumbnails can be changed later from the Youtube Creator Studio. 

However, if you’ll try changing the thumbnail, you might see the “for now, you can’t change the thumbnail on your Short” message with the thumbnail option greyed out. You might also see this message when trying to upload a new Short and adding a custom thumbnail. 

This is a temporary change as the Youtube shorts team is working on the feature as it did not work on the Shorts shelf and channel pages. The option however should be available on the Youtube Android app. Unless the Shorts team gets the issue resolved and this feature is back up and running, you’re going to have to rely on the Youtube Android app to change or add custom thumbnails. You can check the New Features and Updates for Shorts Viewers and Creators update channel from the Youtube team for new updates on the issue. 

Also read: Why is Youtube Premium not working?

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here:

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