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20 Fixes! Thumbnail Upload Errors on YouTube -
PC, Android & iPhone [2024] 💥

How fix Thumbnail Upload Errors on YouTube

Fix #1: Check Image Format and Size

When attempting to upload a thumbnail to YouTube on PC, Android, or iPhone, the first step is to ensure the image meets YouTube’s format and size requirements. Thumbnails should be in .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG format and under the 2MB limit. Images should also match the ideal resolution of 1280x720 pixels.

  • Verify the file type of your image.
  • Check the image size and resize if it exceeds 2MB.
  • Adjust the resolution to fit the recommended dimensions if necessary.


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Fix #2: Update Your Browser or App

An outdated browser on your PC or an old version of the YouTube app on your mobile device could cause upload issues. Ensure you’re running the latest version by visiting your browser’s or app store’s update section.

  • For PC, go to your browser’s About page to check for updates.
  • On Android or iPhone, visit the respective app store and update the YouTube app.

Remember, staying updated is not just about adding new features; it's also crucial for bug fixes that could be preventing your thumbnails from uploading correctly.

Fix #3: Internet Connection Stability

A stable internet connection is key when uploading files to YouTube. Check your connection and try uploading the thumbnail again when you have a stronger signal or are connected to a reliable Wi-Fi network.

  • Test your internet speed using online tools.
  • Restart your modem or router to refresh your connection.
  • Switch from mobile data to Wi-Fi, or vice versa, to find the most stable connection.

Fix #4: Clear Cache and Cookies

Over time, your device accumulates cache and cookies, which can affect its performance and, by extension, your ability to upload thumbnails on YouTube.

Clear the slate for a smoother upload experience.
  1. On PC browsers, access settings to clear browsing data.
  2. For Android, go to the Application Manager, find YouTube, and clear cache and data.
  3. On iPhone, use the Storage settings to clear cache or offload the YouTube app without deleting documents and data.

Fix #5: Disable Extensions or Plugins

Browser extensions or plugins can interfere with YouTube’s functionality. Try disabling them and then upload your thumbnail.

  • Go to your browser’s extension page.
  • Disable each extension one by one to identify the culprit.
  • Once identified, you can remove or keep the extension disabled while using YouTube.

Fix #6: Check YouTube Server Status

If YouTube’s servers are down, you may experience issues with uploading thumbnails. Check the server status online using third-party services or social media to see if there’s a widespread problem.

  • Search for real-time reports on YouTube server status.
  • Wait for an official update if there’s a confirmed server issue.

Fix #7: Use Incognito or Private Mode

Sometimes, using your browser’s incognito or private mode can bypass certain issues by not using existing cookies or cache.

  • Open your browser in incognito/private mode.
  • Try to upload the thumbnail on YouTube while in this mode.

Fix #8: Sign Out and Sign In to Your YouTube Account

A simple sign-out and sign-in can refresh your YouTube account’s state and potentially fix the thumbnail upload error.

  • Click on your profile icon on YouTube.
  • Select Sign out.
  • Sign back in and attempt to upload the thumbnail again.

Keep in mind that signing out will close your YouTube session across all devices, so you’ll need to sign in again wherever you use YouTube.

Fix #9: Review YouTube Community Guidelines

Ensure your thumbnail does not violate YouTube Community Guidelines. Thumbnails that breach these guidelines may be automatically rejected.

  • Refrain from using clickbait or misleading images.
  • Avoid violent or graphic content.
  • Make sure the thumbnail is appropriate for all audiences.

Fix #10: Verify Your YouTube Account

Unverified YouTube accounts face certain limitations, which include uploading custom thumbnails. Ensure your account is verified.

  • Visit the YouTube account verification page.
  • Follow the prompts to verify your account, which usually involves receiving a code via text or voice call.
  • Enter the code to complete verification.

Fix #11: Check for Copyright Infringement

Thumbnails containing copyrighted material may be blocked. Make sure the image you're using is free from such restrictions or that you have the right to use it.

  • Use images that you have created or have permission to use.
  • Utilize royalty-free images from reputable sources.

Fix #12: Edit Image Details

Sometimes, the metadata or hidden details of an image can cause upload failures. Use an image editor to strip unnecessary data.

  • Open the image in an editor and save it as a new file.
  • Remove metadata, such as tags and geolocation, if present.
  • Ensure the image is in the correct orientation without any flips or rotations.

Fix #13: Temporarily Disable Antivirus or Firewall

Security software on your device might incorrectly flag YouTube’s upload process as suspicious. Temporarily disable your antivirus or firewall to check if this is the issue.

  • Deactivate your antivirus software momentarily.
  • Disable your firewall settings temporarily.
  • Attempt the upload once more, and if successful, remember to re-enable your security software immediately.

Fix #14: Mobile Data Settings

If you’re on a mobile device, ensure that you have not restricted background data usage for YouTube, as this can affect uploads.

  • Go to your device’s settings for data usage.
  • Ensure YouTube is allowed to use background data.
  • If on a limited data plan, consider connecting to Wi-Fi before attempting the upload again.

Fix #15: Restart Your Device

The age-old troubleshooting step of restarting your device can resolve many temporary glitches, including thumbnail upload errors on YouTube.

  • Power off your PC, Android, or iPhone.
  • Wait a few moments before turning it back on.
  • Try to upload the thumbnail once the device is back on.

Fix #16: Use a Different Device or Platform

If you’re encountering issues on one device, switch to another. For instance, if the upload fails on your PC, try using your mobile device or vice versa.

  • Log into your YouTube account from a different device.
  • Attempt to upload the thumbnail from this new device.

Fix #17: Reset Network Settings on Mobile Devices

For persistent connection issues on mobile devices, resetting network settings might help, though this will erase Wi-Fi passwords and paired Bluetooth devices.

  1. On Android, look for the ‘Reset Network Settings’ option in your settings menu.
  2. iPhone users can find the same option under General > Reset.
  3. Reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and try the upload again.

Fix #18: File Name and Special Characters

Ensure the file name of your thumbnail image doesn’t contain special characters or symbols, as these can sometimes cause issues during the upload process.

  • Rename the file with a simple structure, using letters and numbers only.
  • Avoid using characters like “! @ # $ % ^ & *” in the file name.

Bypass errors by keeping file names plain and simple. It’s not about the name; it’s about the content.

Fix #19: Contact YouTube Support

two-step verification is active on your account, as it adds an extra layer of security.

  • Try reaching out through YouTube’s official help channels.
  • Document the issue thoroughly, providing screenshots if possible.
  • Wait for a response from YouTube’s support team for further assistance.

Fix #20: Update Device Operating System

Lastly, ensure your device is running on the latest operating system. Updates often include fixes for bugs that may be affecting apps like YouTube.

  • Check for any available updates for your operating system.
  • Install any pending updates.
  • After the update, restart your device and try uploading the thumbnail again.


Experiencing thumbnail upload errors on YouTube can be frustrating, whether on PC, Android, or iPhone. But with these 20 comprehensive strategies, you can address most issues systematically and find a solution that works for your situation. Remember, a perfect thumbnail can be a gateway to higher engagement and views, so it's crucial to overcome these hurdles.

If you have tried all the above steps and still face problems, it may be time to report the problem to YouTube. Their support team can provide additional insights and assistance specific to your account and situation.

Finally, always keep abreast with YouTube's evolving platform by checking their User Guide and ensure your content, including thumbnails, adheres to the Community Guidelines. This proactive approach will not only help in troubleshooting but also in avoiding potential issues that could disrupt your content creation flow. Stay persistent, stay creative, and keep sharing your vision with the world through your YouTube channel.

When it comes to success on YouTube, a picture is not just worth a thousand words—it’s worth a thousand views.


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