Grabbing a YouTube video thumbnail is easier than you’d think. YouTube uses a standard naming convention for it’s screenshot images, just replace %VIDEO-ID% with a YouTube video ID in the format below and link directly to the image.

0.jpg is full size, while others are scaled thumbnails. There are also other sizes available for the default image that is being used for the video.

Default quality

High quality

Medium quality

Standard definition

Highest resolution

All of these are available over https:// as well, just swap out http to https. You can also use the shorthand domain instead of if you’d like to shorten things up.

About the Author

Kevin Leary is a freelance developer in Boston, MA with a strong portfolio of work, and over 13 years of experience as a programming consultant and digital strategy provider. Interested in working together? Hire me for your next project.