Thumbnails are often referred to as the essence of a video. An interesting one plays its part in uplifting the total views on that video by a significant margin. After the end of each visual content, we get a sneak peek impression of the next video on the queue as a part of its thumbnail. But what if those thumbnails don’t show up anymore?
This is actually a recurring issue for a lot of users. After the thumbnail disappears, all you’re left with is the title of the video without its soul.
Yeah, it’s a bummer, but there are some very fast and easy fixes. I am here to guide you through it all.
What Causes the Thumbnail to Disappear?
YouTube is a pretty well-optimized application. However, there could be some internal as well as external issues that could result in bugs and glitches. The most common factors for disappearing thumbnails are:
- Slow internet speed
- Cache files
- DNS Server error
- YouTube server down
Youtube Thumbnail Not Showing – Here’s How to Fix It
Depending on what caused the thumbnails to go down, there are different ways to deal with this problem. However, keep in mind that the same fix doesn’t work for everyone. You have to try and check the methods one by one to see which one resolves your issue.
On a more positive note, the solutions are short and simple, and hence, it’s not going to take much of your time.
Check Your Internet Connection
Most of the time, an unstable internet connection is a reason for thumbnails not showing up on YouTube.
- Open your Web browser and go to speedtest.net.
- After the page loads, click on “GO.”
- Check your download and upload speed individually.
If possible, it’s advisable to use a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi. In a wired connection, you get a dedicated bandwidth to operate upon, unlike a wireless connection where you have to share the bandwidth with other users.
Please note that you’ll need to have a minimum of 2Mbps network connection speed to play a 720p video. Similarly, 4Mbps is required for a 1080p video.
Furthermore, background downloads and uploads take up much of your network bandwidth as well. So, if you have any operation running in the background, pause it and check your internet speed once again.
Clear the Browser Cache Files
Cookies and cache files from different websites are stored in your browser’s folder. Over time, this information piles up and takes a lot of disk storage. To fix this issue, you can clear these files to free some disk space.
Below, we’ve shown how to clear the cache in Google Chrome, but this method works in any other browsers.
- Open your browser.
- Click on the three dots on the top right-hand side of this window.
- Hover towards “More Tools.”
- Select “Clear Browsing Data.”
- Select the time range for clearing your browser files. Keep in mind that selecting a longer time range frees up more space in the disk.
- Check mark “Cached images and files” and “Cookies and other site data” as well.
- Lastly, click on “Clear data.”
- Open the browser on your smartphone.
- Tap the three dots that are on the top right-hand side of the browser.
- Now, select “Settings.”
- Go to “Privacy and security.”
- Select “Clear browsing data.”
- Choose a time range for clearing your data. Setting it to “All Time” clears all your data that were piled up since you started using this particular browser.
- Check the box for “Cookies and site data” and “Cached images and files” as well.
- Finally, click on “Clear data.”
Update Your Browser
Most Web apps and sites are constantly updated to improve performance. As a result, if your browser is still running on an older version, it may struggle to keep up. In these cases, you should update your browser and check if the thumbnail is back on.
- Open your browser.
- Click the three dots on the top right-hand corner of your screen.
- Hover towards “Help.”
- Click on “About Google Chrome” in the expanding menu.
- Once you’re on this page, Chrome automatically starts checking for the latest update.
When you update your browser, head over to YouTube and check if your issue is fixed.
Clear the YouTube Watch History
YouTube saves your watch history as a part of its cache file. Similar to clearing cache files in the browser, clearing watch history on YouTube frees up your storage as well.
- Open YouTube on your browser.
- Click “History” on the left panel.
- Check the radio button for “Watch history” under History type.
- Then, click “Clear all watch history.”
- Click the profile icon on the top right corner of your screen.
- Click on “Settings.”
- Go to “History and privacy.”
- Finally, select “Clear watch history” to clear all of your user data from YouTube.
Download a VPN
Another reason might be the DNS server error. This could be the culprit if your thumbnails are not showing up. In this case, using a VPN can help you get around the access rights of your country.
You can also play the video that was previously not available in your country using a VPN.
- Download a VPN application of your interest (either free or premium).
- Select a country you want to connect to or one which has access rights to the video you’re interested in.
- Connect to its VPN.
Keep in mind that if you turn the thumbnail back on while using this method, it will only appear until you are connected to the VPN of this specific country.
Force Stop the YouTube Application
There might be background processes running on your smartphone that are blocking data to your youtube.
Some of these applications might not terminate completely even after closing them. That’s where force stop comes into play. Force stopping an application can end all the background processes at once, and resolve any issue within the application.
The following steps are shown on an android phone, however, the same process applies to other smartphones as well.
- Go to “Settings” on your smartphone.
- Search for or scroll down till you find “Apps” and then select it.
- Click on “Manage Apps.”
- Search for and select “YouTube.”
- Now “Force Stop” the application and see if it resolved your issue.
Update/reinstall the YouTube App
Just like Web apps and sites, your desktop and smartphone applications also need constant updates to resolve any hidden bugs. These bugs can disable some of the app’s features.
To Update and reinstall an application, you need can follow the following steps:
- Firstly, delete the application from your device. However, if you just want to update the application, there’s no need to uninstall it.
- Head towards the app store of your device.
- Search for “Youtube.”
- Download/update and install this application.
Keep in mind that uninstalling and reinstalling an application downloads its latest version compatible with your device.
If none of the above steps work, restart your device to resolve any potential system issues. There could even be a bug on the developer’s or YouTube server’s end. In such cases, your only option is to wait for the developer to resolve the issue.