[Updated] YouTube says 'For now, you can't change the thumbnail' on Shorts? Here's the official word

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on December 19, 2022) follows:

The popularity of short format content started with Vine, then came TikTok which pushed it to another level. Now you can find it on practically every social media platform but with a different name.

Google created YouTube Shorts, which has significantly improved with features such as the ability to play them on smart TVs, streaming devices, and gaming consoles.

However, YouTube Shorts is far from perfect as users faced issues like same content being played repeatedly or a random video playing instead of the selected one.

‘You can’t change the thumbnail on your Short’

Now, some content creators are getting a strange alert that says they can’t change thumbnails on their YouTube Shorts for now (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9).

You cant change the thumbnail

For YouTube Shorts, users can upload a custom thumbnail or choose one of the 3 suggested thumbnails. However, this option seems to be disabled on the YouTube Channel dashboard on PC.

Instead, content creators get a warning that states ‘For now, you can’t change the thumbnail on your Short’. This disclaimer shows on both new and previously uploaded Shorts.

Due to this problem, viewers can only see the default thumbnail, leaving the creator to trust that YouTube would select the best one on its own.

Hey @YouTube and @TeamYouTube I am currently seeing a message saying “For now, you can’t change the thumbnail on your Short”. Any Advice on how I can resolve this?

Youtube won’t let me change thumbnails on shorts?!? … “For now, you can’t change the thumbnail on your Short”. You should allow more choice of thumbnails, but you are reducing this possibility #youtube #youtubeproblems #youtubedown #youtubeproblem

Official word

Fortunately, there is an official explanation for this issue. YouTube has recently started testing the ability to choose any frame from your Short to be used as the thumbnail on Android.

YouTube official communication

As part of the release notes, the developers clarified that it’s not currently possible to change the thumbnail after your Short has been uploaded. This feature is available only on Android at the moment.

we removed the option to select a custom thumbnail on Studio desktop bc they didn’t work on the Shorts shelf/channel pages, so it was confusing. BUT if you upload Shorts on Android you can select a thumbnail that will show everywhere that ppl watch Shorts

Don’t feel disappointed as they will be bringing this feature back in the future.

So, for now, content creators will keep seeing this message till the option is re-enabled and will have to rely on their Android smartphone to change thumbnails.

We will update this story as events unfold.

Update 1 (March 14, 2023)

12:59 pm (IST): Users are still requesting YouTube to bring back this feature and the support team said that they are looking into it.

Update 2 (March 15, 2023)

07:11 pm (IST): A number of content creators (1,2) have reported that the thumbnails for their Shorts show only a gray color, which is having an impact on the potential reach or appeal of their videos.

As a consequence, the inability to easily modify the thumbnail has become a more serious concern for these creators.

Update 3 (June 29, 2023)

06:05 pm (IST): As of right now, some YouTube users are still unable to change the thumbnail of their shorts and the team continue to claim that they are working on a solution.

we’re aware of the issue & we’re looking into it

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated YouTube section so be sure to follow them as well.

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Karanjot Sidhu

A computer science engineer who loves tech and won't stop talking about it. Apart from being a nerd, i love gaming and watching movies in my free time.