How to Change a Video Thumbnail in Vimeo

Vimeo remains a competitor to YouTube even in 2022, though the latter is still dominant in the market. Some people prefer Vimeo due to its analytics tools and better privacy, while some like the editing options. One way users can exercise creativity is to change their video thumbnails (the images you see before watching a video).

How to Change a Video Thumbnail in Vimeo

The settings for doing that aren’t exactly obvious, but there’s no need to panic. Below, you’ll find all the necessary instructions plus some tips. Keep reading for details.

How to Change Thumbnails on a Vimeo Video

Vimeo offers three main options for altering a video’s thumbnail.

  • Select from video
  • Upload
  • Random

Before we delve into the specifics, here’s how you need to access each video before changing the thumbnail.

  1. Log in to Vimeo.
  2. Go to the “New Video” tab.
  3. Pick any saved video or create a new one.
  4. Once you complete either process, select “Save & Share.”
  5. You’ll now be presented with the video manager, where you can select a video.
  6. Click on “Advanced.”
  7. Under “General,” look for “Edit Thumbnail.”
  8. Choose either of the three options.
  9. When done, click on “Save” to apply the new thumbnail to your video.

Once you navigate to Step Nine, it’s time to pick from the three options mentioned earlier. There may be particular requirements for some of them.

Select From Video

This choice is similar to the one above, only you have complete control over which frame you want to be the thumbnail. As you click on this option your video will start playing, allowing you to choose any frame you like.

If you don’t want to wait, press Shift + Right Arrow Key/Left Arrow Key to move from one frame to another. Once you’re done, click on “Select This Frame” to conclude. This button is located in the top-left corner of the small preview player.

The main advantages of selecting particular frames are the thumbnail will always fit, and the image is relevant. While not the best option, it’s a good option if you think letting Vimeo pick is too lazy.


Choosing a custom thumbnail is often a crucial step in publishing videos. If you want to catch the attention of potential viewers, it’s best to have a high-quality image that pertains to the subject matter. Vimeo supports three file formats.

  • JPG
  • PNG
  • GIF

Animated GIF files aren’t supported, but you can still upload some high-quality files. Image size limits are 9600 x 5400 pixels, so huge pictures should be avoided. You’ll want to match your video’s resolution for the best-looking thumbnails, such as 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Should your image file exceed 2MB, use an online tool to reduce the image size. Compressors are free to use and some are quite powerful, allowing users to customize the compression level. With some fine-tuning, anyone can find the sweet spot between quality and size.


Random is the simplest option for setting a new thumbnail. When you choose it, Vimeo will pick a random frame from the video and make it the featured image. It’s a quick and easy way to get it done.

Since you have no control over the thumbnail beyond it being from the video, choosing a random frame is best suited for videos for personal use.

Thumbnail Tips

When crafting a custom thumbnail, it’s essential to keep several points in mind. While it’s easy to create clickbait, many viewers don’t like getting tricked. Some experts have developed tips for YouTubers that Vimeo users can also learn from. Including your brand and using bold text are common tricks for better engagement.

Have Some Contrast

You’ll find that bright and contrasting thumbnails tend to grab your attention, and this is because color clashing makes it easier to spot. Try to include some vibrant colors and add darker colors that contrast yet match well.

If you’re looking for a gloomy picture with plenty of shadows, you can try using brightly colored text as the contrast. That way, you don’t ruin the image and can still catch people’s eye.

Bold Text

Small text is challenging to read, and thumbnails are tiny. To mitigate this issue, make sure you pick a bold font and enlarge it without becoming excessive. You’ve succeeded as long as it’s visible even on a mobile phone.

For most applications, text is vital, as it gives people some context. They find it a nice touch as they click and watch the video.

Include Some Branding

It’s always great if your videos have some aspect of your identity, be it a company logo or personal watermark. The branding is associated with you, so having a color scheme that others link to you will assure them your videos are trustworthy and really came from you, not an imposter.

A New Appearance

Vimeo’s video creation tools are pretty powerful, allowing users immense flexibility in crafting the perfect video. In the case of picking thumbnails, you have three main choices, and the custom images you upload are allowed lots of leeway. After some practice, you’ll be making attractive thumbnails in no time.

Do you make your own thumbnails? How do you think Vimeo should improve the thumbnail selection? Let us know in the comments section below.

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