YouTube Shorts Thumbnail Problem (How to FIX It!)

Your YouTube thumbnail plays an important role in the representation of your video.

It gives people a clue about what your video is about and whether they want to watch it. As a YouTube creator, you must never downplay the usefulness of thumbnails. 

YouTube thumbnail problems can be a source of frustration for video creators.

YouTube Shorts Thumbnail problem

If you want to figure out how to fix the YouTube Shorts thumbnail problem, this article will meet your needs and equip you with the information to rectify it. 

It is worrisome that despite the platform’s surging popularity, many of its video creators have been frustrated by recurring YouTube shorts thumbnail problems. 

If you are one of the creators who has constantly encountered similar problems and you have searched online for ways to rectify this problem, then you are on the right page!

There are no problems without solutions, and we have put together different fixes for YouTube Shorts Thumbnail issues. 

Luckily for you, this article also features some of the frequently asked questions about this problem. Let’s explore some of the practical and hitch-free fixes. 


Why is the YouTube Shorts Thumbnail Not Showing?

In the past, YouTube Shorts Thumbnails usually showed up on the shelf in a random manner.

This made it a bit of a challenge to figure out how they appear.

Presently, you can check out the way the thumbnail is displayed to your audience because YouTube shorts is currently a featured section of your channel on YouTube.

Today, creators have the option to create YouTube Shorts videos. A major YouTube shorts issue is that your thumbnail won’t immediately show up after your video is posted. 

By default, YouTube randomly selects a frame from a section of the video. This is far from perfect; research has shown that bold thumbnails can boost click-through rates (CTR).

It is noteworthy that after posting 10 YouTube Shorts, you won’t be allowed to create custom thumbnails. 

While this may not be good news, it is something worth considering because after publishing ten YouTube Shorts content, it will not be possible to set custom thumbnails.


How to Fix YouTube Shorts Thumbnail Problem


YouTube Selects a Thumbnail From the Short at Random

Now that we have clarified that custom thumbnails are not allowed on YouTube Shorts, it is easy to see that the success of your YouTube Shorts rests solely on YouTube. 

Presently, YouTube selects a frame at random from a section of your video clip to create a thumbnail for your Shorts.

This means that you can’t create a custom thumbnail for your YouTube Shorts. 

It will arbitrarily make its own selection. The only feature of the YouTube Short video you can directly tweak to improve its appeal is the title. 

Furthermore, if you set up a custom thumbnail for your video, that thumbnail will show up in the video listing.

However, the custom thumbnails won’t work properly in the Shorts slider tab.

As we have clarified, custom thumbnails are not allowed on YouTube Shorts. Instead, YouTube will select a preview of the picture for your Shorts through a randomized frame from your clip. 

So everything lies in the hands of YouTube’s selection process because it’s their rule.

Regardless of whether you wish to post a custom thumbnail or choose one from the clip, none of them will successfully show up on your channel or the user’s homepage. 

YouTube will solely be responsible for making the choice or decision. 


Ensure the Image You Set is 9:16

YouTube thumbnails play a similar role as cover art in the world of online content. Ensure you use a 16:9 aspect ratio for your YouTube thumbnail dimension.

A 9:16 ratio generates the vertical layout or orientation for YouTube Shorts.

Even if you have leeway in choosing any image size you desire for your YouTube thumbnail, your aim should be to pick the perfect one for the best results. 

The reason why YouTube recommends a 16:9 ratio for video and 19:6 for Shorts is that it is more appropriate for default thumbnails.

Once you do this, you can be assured that if your viewer sees any of your YouTube content, they can access the full image. 

Never make the mistake of setting a 16:9 ratio for your YouTube Shorts. If this happens and you upload it to your YouTube Shorts, it will show up in the video section. 

Once you have posted ten YouTube shorts, it will be impossible to set custom thumbnails to your videos. However, you can post your videos via PC to add thumbnails for the ten shorts left. 

You can set custom thumbnails for the first 10 YouTube shorts, even using the YouTube studio platform.

Even though uploading a 16:9 image may limit you from checking out the thumbnail for your videos, one strategy you can use to see it is to share the video. 


Make Sure Your Frames are of Excellent Quality

Thumbnails are effective in attracting your prospective audience and can help them decide if your video is best for them. 

We understand that as a content creator, it may be annoying because you can’t set your thumbnail for your YouTube Shorts.

And since it was randomly picked from a frame that is either blurry or isn’t clear enough, the thumbnail generated by YouTube doesn’t suit your preferences. 

If you are not pleased that your Shorts is not attractive enough because of the quality of the thumbnail, make sure that the entire frame in your video is of superior quality such that regardless of the thumbnail YouTube selects, it will be highly suitable and appealing.

Frame per second (FPS) or frame rate is a powerful indicator of your video performance on the screen. It analyzes how quickly your images show up on your screen in a second.

In layman’s terms, the higher your frame per second, the better your video quality. If your frame is of better quality, it can improve the appearance of your thumbnail, no matter what YouTube selects for you. 

You have to pay attention to the various components of the content since YouTube Shorts differ from YouTube videos.

An item of primary importance has to be a superb thumbnail for your YouTube video.

Instead of trying to create custom thumbnails for your YouTube Shorts, concentrate on the quality of your frame and the creativity of your YouTube Shorts content. 

The better your video frame quality is, the more beautiful your thumbnail will look. A video with a higher frame per second will probably get increased views and subscribers. 


Use Chrome Desktop to Add Thumbnail

Now, you can always add thumbnails to your YouTube Shorts video using your Chrome Desktop.

Since this feature is not currently available on the mobile app, an easy way to set custom thumbnails on YouTube Shorts is from the Chrome browser on a PC

However, Google Chrome or any other web browser on your PC can be used to set unique thumbnails on YouTube Shorts.

These thumbnails can only be accessed by interested viewers on your channel whenever they go through your channel.

This custom thumbnail will only be available on your YouTube channel.

But if the short is popping up anywhere else apart from your channel, a random frame will serve as your thumbnail.

This is why it is important that the Shorts you post on YouTube is of high quality with better frame rates.

Here’s how to set Shorts thumbnail via Chrome desktop

  • Launch the Chrome web browser and access
  • On mobile, you have to allow desktop view in the web browser by tapping the hamburger icon in the top corner. 
  • Access the menu and click YouTube Studio. 
  • Choose “Channel Content” from the menu item on your YouTube channel interface. 
  • Click on the YouTube short video you wish to create a custom thumbnail. 
  • Next, click the Upload Thumbnail button below the section from the video properties. 
  • Then, please choose one of the thumbnails and upload them.
  • Now, upload and click “Save.”


Fix youtube Shorts Thumbnail Problem FAQs


What’s the Solution to “YouTube Shorts not Working”?

  • Install the latest version of the YouTube App. 
  • Clear the app cache file. 
  • Ensure your internet connection is excellent and fast. 
  • Reset your mobile device and try again. 
  • It could be that YouTube servers are offline, inactive or undergoing maintenance. 


Can I monetize YouTube Shorts?

You can earn over 45% of ad revenue that shows up between Shorts videos. YouTube is still improving its YouTube Shorts category.

From 2023, creators with 10 million views over three months can submit applications to monetize their content via YouTube’s Partner Program. 


What format is YouTube Shorts?

YouTube Shorts has a vertical video format that contains short content of 60 seconds or less. 




YouTube Shorts thumbnails aim to attract your audience to watch your video. Since it offers a teaser or preview of your video content, it is highly important. 

In this article, we explore ways to fix YouTube Shorts thumbnail problems.

Share this article with your friends and loved ones using the social media button below. 


Also Read:

Harrison Acha is a Digital Marketing Expert, Seasoned Blogger, Facebook Marketing Expert, Writer, SEO Expert, and Digital Content Creator. Have been in the IT industry for more than a decade, and helping both tech and non-tech professionals become more productive and less frustrated with technology. Follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

PrimeGate Digital is a Result Driven Blog that strives to go beyond ‘Conventional Digital Marketing’ through digital innovation and performance marketing. We have experience working with world class brands and products.


Our Latest Blog

Contact Details

Address: No 10 Omoalade Alafia, Shomolu Lagos.
Call Us: +23439686407.
Email Us: [email protected]