Update Channel Old Videos Thumbnail (6 Things to Know)

YouTube video thumbnails are a powerful option to grab users attention. But, what if some old uploaded videos thumbnail no longer gives good results?

Well, then updating those YouTube videos thumbnails is good practice. And, this practice helps to get more views without much effort.

Now, in this post you will get useful tips to find underperforming old video thumbnails, reasons to optimize old videos thumbnails and other old videos thumbnail related things.

So, if you think that your channel’s old videos need a thumbnail update, then following information will be helpful for you.

Reasons to update old videos thumbnails

Following are good reasons to update old videos thumbnails. If you found any reason relevant to your channel videos, then you can try thumbnail update practice for one video. And, based on results, apply the same practice for more videos.

Find best performing thumbnail

Setting the perfect video thumbnail needs some experiments in some cases. It means you have quality video content, but due to a simple thumbnail you video is not getting enough attention. So, in this case you need to make some experiment with your video thumbnail to find the best performing thumbnail.

Update with time and join latest trend

It is possible that well performing thumbnails are losing attention after some age. This may happen because users behaviour change due to a new trend, or users pattern of search content change (it means users search your video content with different terms).

Optimize thumbnail to explain video content

This reason is applicable for both new and old videos. If your thumbnail does not explain your video content properly, then users may ignore your videos in search results. As they did not find video content relevant based on your video thumbnail.

Get more views by little effort

Creators need less effort to update video thumbnails. And, by setting relevant thumbnails to old videos, you will increase chances to get more views. So, it is suggested to try new thumbnails for videos (where you think it is required).

How to find old videos whose thumbnails need improvement?

Your YouTube video views depend on many factors. In YouTube search, video gets clicked based on title, content, thumbnail or other small factors.

Now, from YouTube Studio analytics, you can view “Impressions click-through rate”. This statistics helps to understand how your video gets clicks with different factors.

In YouTube video analytics, you do not get direct statistics for thumbnail and users clicks. But, based on “Impressions click-through rate”, you can find low performing videos in search results. And, by checking those videos thumbnails, you can identify videos which need thumbnail improvement.

By analyzing videos which have low click through rate in search, YouTube creators can find YouTube videos, whose thumbnails need improvement.

Check statistics here:YouTube Studio > Analytics > Reach > YouTube search(SEE MORE) > Video tab > Impressions click-through rate (column)”.

Things to consider before update videos thumbnail

Updating old videos thumbnails which are not performing well, is good practice. But, with this practice, you need to take care following things to avoid negative effect and issues in videos current performance.

  • Make complete video stats analysis before updating the thumbnail.
  • Apply thumbnail change to one video and continue based on results.
  • Avoid thumbnail changes if they are already performing well.
  • Do not take quick action, give enough time to thumbnail before updating.
  • If possible, avoid this practice for popular and very much shared videos.

Can I change the old video’s thumbnail?

Yes, you can change the thumbnail of your old video from YouTube Studio at any time. Process to change a YouTube video’s custom thumbnail is the same for old or newly uploaded videos.

Now, if you are planning to change old videos thumbnails, then check the “things to consider” section to avoid negative effects of change.

Can I get more views by updating old videos thumbnails?

Getting more video views by updating old videos(already uploaded videos) thumbnails is good practice. But, this change is not sure shot. Because, user’s video click and view depends on many factors.

In most cases thumbnail change for old videos (which do not perform well from the beginning) gives good results, if they are related to content, unique and as per the latest trend.

So, it is worth improving old video thumbnails which do not give expected results from the beginning.

How long does YouTube thumbnail take to update?

After uploading thumbnails for YouTube video and save change, your thumbnail change comes in effect within 8-10 seconds. It means, YouTube video thumbnails take in effect within 10 seconds.

Now, if your YouTube video thumbnails were changed but won’t show in the search result, then try to reload the search result.

And, if you are facing this issue continuously, then check thumbnail again in YouTube Studio, check your mail for any thumbnail related message and confirm that thumbnail satisfies YouTube thumbnail policy rules.


Reviewing old content and improving things which are required is always good practice.

Here, analyzing old video performance and updating low performing YouTube video thumbnails one by one is good practice.

But, change the thumbnail only if you find low performance from the beginning and think that thumbnail requires more relevant information. So, after proper analysis, updating the thumbnail for non performing videos helps to get more views.