How To See YouTube Thumbnail

How To See Youtube Thumbnail

Looking at other creators’ thumbnails can give you ideas for improving your thumbnails. However, these thumbnails are mostly embedded in the video and aren’t visible when watching the video.

How do you single out the thumbnail, view it, and maybe download it for reference?

Quick Answer

There are several ways to see a YouTube thumbnail. These include viewing the YouTube page’s source code, using YouTube’s Data API, third-party websites, and video downloaders. You can also embed the video on another site or social media page to view the thumbnail.

Keep reading to learn how to see a YouTube thumbnail.

Overview of Seeing a YouTube Thumbnail

A YouTube thumbnail gives your audience a glimpse of your video. It mirrors what your video is about and influences whether the user opens it or skips on to the next in line.

A thumbnail is a small part of your video despite its huge significance. It is visible in only three instances on YouTube. These are:

  • On your channel’s home page.
  • On the search engine results page (SERP).
  • On the Recommended Videos tab.

When you click on a video, the content starts playing, and you won’t see the thumbnail anymore. You might see the image footage the creator used to create the thumbnail, but only if they used part of the video to make it.

What if you want to see the thumbnail, study it, and save it for future reference? How do you single out the exact thumbnail used to promote the video?

How To See a YouTube Thumbnail?

There are various ways and workarounds to single out and view a YouTube video’s thumbnail.

Viewing the YouTube Page’s Source

You can see a YouTube thumbnail by viewing the YouTube page’s source code and singling out the thumbnail URL. Below is the step-by-step process.

  1. Navigate YouTube on your desktop browser.
  2. Open the YouTube video whose thumbnail you want to see.
  3. Pause the video.
  4. Right-click any blank space on that particular YouTube page.
  5. Select “View page source.” An HTML document appears.
  6. Press CTRL + F simultaneously to show the HTML document search function.
  7. Enter “og:image” on the search bar and press “Enter” if it doesn’t search automatically.
  8. Besides the highlighted “og:image” code, you’ll see a URL that ends with “.jpg.”
  9. Select the whole URL and right-click on it.
  10. Click “Copy.”
  11. Open a new tab on your browser.
  12. Paste the URL on the address bar and press “Enter.”
  13. You’ll see the YouTube video’s thumbnail on the new tab.

You can save the thumbnail on your device. Right-click on the image and select “Save image as…” to download it to your device.

Using a Third-Party Website

The second way to see a YouTube thumbnail is using third-party websites. You paste the YouTube video’s URL on such a website, and it automatically generates the thumbnail.

These sites also provide an option to download the thumbnail to your device in various sizes and resolutions. The following are popular unofficial sites to see and download a YouTube thumbnail.

  • YouTube Thumbnail Grabber
  • YouTube Thumbnail Image
  • Softr
  • YouTube Thumbnail Downloader
  • Thumbnail

Using YouTube’s Data API

If you are a developer with programming knowledge, you can view a YouTube video’s thumbnail using YouTube’s data Application Programming Interface (API).

You will need a Google account to request an API key and access the Google Developers Console.

Embedding the Video on Other Sites

The thumbnail will be visible when you embed a YouTube video on a website, blog, or social media page. Depending on the page, you can also right-click on the embedded video to open the thumbnail on another page.

Wrapping Up

There are various ways to see a YouTube thumbnail. These include viewing the image on the YouTube page’s source code and using third-party websites.

You can also embed the video on another site or social media page to view the thumbnail. Whatever the method you choose, use other creators’ thumbnails for educational and inspiration purposes only.


Can I download a YouTube thumbnail?

Yes, you can download a YouTube thumbnail. Right-click on the thumbnail and select “Save image as…” to download the image to your device for free. You can also use third-party websites that get the thumbnail from the video and offer options to download the image.

What isn’t allowed on a YouTube thumbnail?

Several aspects are prohibited for use on a YouTube thumbnail. These include violent imagery, disturbing graphics, vulgar text, and misleading images.

Can I copy someone else’s thumbnail?

No, copying and using someone else’s thumbnail on your YouTube videos is illegal. However, you can draw inspiration from someone else’s image, provided you don’t copy-paste the image directly.

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