Home » Tips N Tricks » How to grab and download the YouTube Video Thumbnail

How to grab and download the YouTube Video Thumbnail

You tube generates a thumbnail of the video uploaded and is shown as default before it starts playing. In case you want to grab that thumbnail  and want to use it somewhere here is small trick.

Get the YouTube video id

You tube video id can be found either in the direct url they give e.g 5qt-7zEJwKM ( Tha string after “v=” ) or in the embed code where it says <embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/5qt-7zEJwKM .

Get the thumbnail image of the YouTube video

You tube sores all these images under their sub domain IMG. Copy this url where Video ID is the one you just grabbed using above step. paste it  in your browser and hit enter.

e.g You can see this link http://img.youtube.com/vi/5qt-7zEJwKM/default.jpg directly.

Finding You tube video ID and grabbing the thumbnail of the video

Finding You tube video ID and grabbing the thumbnail of the video

This trick was explained by Scott Klarr. He also explains how to get the Google Video thumbnail which is little more complex. I would suggest you to read his post on How to grab thumbnails for YouTube and Google video

About Ashish Mohta

A Professional Tech blogger, Editor and Writer who talks about solving day to day problems of people who use computer. His expertise are in Windows 7, Microsoft Office, Software, Mobile Apps and Video Posts.

  • ziqurrat

    Thanks a lot! You’ve saved me from my ugly boss “I want youtube preview image embedded on my site!!!”

  • Thanks for this useful code. Now I can put thumbnails instead of putting the whole flash code for the movie. It will make pages load faster.

  • Joe

    Hey, how can I grab the preview image? The big one that is in the player before you hit play?

  • Xexor

    If you want to get the largest thumbnail uploaded, use this URL: http://[server].ytimg.com/vi/%5BimgID%5D/maxresdefault.jpg where [server] is the image server ID, like i3 or whatever, and [imgID] is the video ID.

  • thanks. regarding the large thumbnail, using this link: http://server.ytimg.com/vi/imgID/maxresdefault.jpg
    what is the server for youtube? I want this thumbnail from my youtube video in original size: http://img.youtube.com/vi/w2ErvdM_MWA/default.jpg
    so the link must be? thanks a lot

  • thorns

    Download Thumbnails on YouTube Videos 2015

  • This is perfect for what I was looking for. I used to capture youtube video with acethinker video downloader online, free and works quite well. Share it here as an alternative.