YouTube logo.

If you’d like to view a YouTube video’s thumbnail in a large size, or you’d like to design a thumbnail that’s similar to another video’s thumbnail, YouTube makes it easy to download video thumbnails. We’ll show you how.

Is Downloading Thumbnail Images Legal?

As of this writing in August 2021, there’s no option on the YouTube site or in the YouTube mobile app to download video thumbnails. You can, however, use a custom YouTube URL in a browser to save thumbnail images to your devices. as we’ll explain below.

Before you download a thumbnail, make sure you aren’t crossing any legal lines, like using copyrighted work for commercial purposes.

RELATED: How to Download Your Own YouTube Videos

How to Save a YouTube Video’s Thumbnail

This procedure works on both desktop and mobile devices. In this example, we’ll use a desktop to demonstrate the steps.

First, you will find the unique ID of the video that you want to download the thumbnail of.

To get that ID, open a web browser on your Windows, Mac, Linux, or Chromebook computer and access the YouTube site. On the site, find your video and click it.

Find and select a video on the YouTube site.

When the video page opens, look towards your web browser’s address bar. This has the current video’s link, which looks something like this:

In that link, the text after the “v=” part is the unique ID of that video. For the above video, the unique ID is:


To access that video’s thumbnail, you will use the video’s unique ID in a custom link, which is given below.

In the link below, replace ID with the unique ID of your video.

For the above video, your link will look like the following. Open this link in a new tab in your web browser.

In your new tab, you will see a large-sized version of your video’s thumbnail. To save this thumbnail to your device, right-click it and select “Save Image As.”

Select a folder to save the thumbnail in, and you’re all set.

Did you know YouTube also makes it possible to download full videos to your iPhone, iPad, and Android devices?

RELATED: How to Download YouTube Videos on Your iPhone, iPad, or Android Device

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Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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