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Make a Video Thumbnail

Create the perfect YouTube thumbnail with Kapwing

Create a click-worthy YouTube thumbnail

Having a great thumbnail is a crucial part of getting views on YouTube. It’s the first thing viewers see and often plays a role in their decision of whether or not to click on your video. Creating the perfect thumbnail can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to be a Photoshop wizard to add a click-worthy thumbnail to your video.

Even if you’ve never made your own YouTube thumbnail before, Kapwing’s editor makes it easy.

Make a Video Thumbnail Screenshot

How to Make a YouTube Thumbnail

  1. Upload video and choose a thumbnail

    Upload a video directly from your computer to Kapwing. Move the playhead in the timelines to find the frame you want to use in your thumbnail.

  2. Make and edit your thumbnail image

    Select the Freeze Frame button in the Timing tab to create a still image. Add text, graphics, and other features to make your YouTube thumbnail.

  3. Export and share

    Select “Export as Image” from the Export dropdown menu and choose your thumbnail frame. Download the file of your thumbnail and add it to your YouTube video!

Make a Video Thumbnail

Make a Thumbnail for Your YouTube Video

With Kapwing’s online editor, you can choose a frame from your video to turn into a clickable YouTube thumbnail with our freeze frame tool. Using a frame of the video to create your thumbnail helps you give viewers a preview of what the video will be about. To make it enticing, add text, graphics, and other design elements all within the Kapwing editor.

To get started, upload your video file to Kapwing. Use the playhead in the video timeline to find the frame you want to use as your video thumbnail. Try to choose a frame that is both relevant to the contents of the video and that will draw interest. A close up of someone’s face with a surprised or curious expression can be a good choice for a thumbnail frame. When you’ve found the perfect frame, use the Freeze Frame button in the Timing tab to pause that moment in the video. Kapwing will insert a still image of your video at the point you selected.

From here, add text to your thumbnail using the Add Text tool. Make sure the text for your thumbnail is bold and contrasts well with the background for legibility. If the background of your frame is too busy and makes the text difficult to read, consider choosing a different frame or using the Erase tool to remove the background and replace it with a solid color, leaving the subject of the video and the text as the main focus.

When you’re satisfied with your YouTube thumbnail, select “Export as Image” from the Export dropdown menu. Download the thumbnail frame as an image. Once your done, upload to YouTube and add the thumbnail to your video as usual.

Kapwing's thumbnail maker works for free with no watermark! Use it to add a thumbnail to any video with ease. Our mission is to provide fast, accessible tools to empower creators and their stories. We believe everyone is a creator, so this tool was made for everyone.

Watch our tutorial:

What's different about Kapwing?

No ads
We don't serve ads: we're committed to building a quality, trustworthy website.
Kapwing is completely free to start. Just upload a video and start editing!
No watermark
To create content with no watermark, just sign in to your Kapwing account!
No spam
We will never spam you nor sell your information to anyone.
Kapwing is cloud based, which means your videos are wherever you are.
Kapwing works hard to help make the content you want, when you want it.

Trusted by millions of creators around the world

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Mary P.
News Writer / Executive Producer
A brilliant content creation tool for social media that has a tonne of features available even in the free version. Kapwing is an incredible tool for social media content creation, be it GIF's, images, videos, it has a suite of tools to create awesome looking content in minutes.
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Tom F.
Co-Founder in Marketing
Kapwing is great for various reasons. There's a lot of features for both images and video, all of which are extremely easy to use. I also like that the Kapwing staff responds quickly to user feedback and input. If you create content, even using high end software, there's likely a reason for you to still use Kapwing for something.
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Rosa W.
Media Production Partner
Kapwing is pure genius. It takes a number of small, easy video tasks, and makes them easier. No need to download software just to reverse or resize a video.
Millions of people every month choose Kapwing to create, edit, and share content across the internet. Kapwing is loved and trusted by employees of companies large and small.
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