Capture or change a video thumbnail

A video thumbnail is the first thing that most people see when they interact with a video. A thumbnail is also what is shown in search results. Thumbnails are especially helpful in a library with many media files, because they give viewers a preview of the video content.

SharePoint makes it easy for you to capture a thumbnail of any video in a SharePoint library, or to upload a thumbnail image for a video in a library. Just follow these steps.

  1. Open the library that contains the video.

Rest the mouse on the image of the video for which you want to make the selection check box appear, and then click the image.

Screenshot of a video library. Two of the videos in the library have thumbnail images of the video content, and one image shows only a graphic that represents a strip of film.

  1. Click the selected image to open the video player page and then choose the Manage tab.

  2. In the Actions group, click Edit Properties.

  3. Click Change thumbnail, and then choose one of the following options:

    • Capture a thumbnail from video

    • Use a picture from my computer

    • Use a picture from a web address

To learn how to do any of these, click one of the following links to a section in this article.

In this article

Capture a thumbnail from video

Use a picture from my computer

Use a picture from a web address

Capture a thumbnail from video

You can capture a thumbnail from any video that is stored on the SharePoint site. You can't capture a thumbnail of a video if it is stored outside SharePoint.

  1. Select Capture a thumbnail from video.

  2. Click the Play button on the video.

  3. When the video shows the image that you want to capture, click the camera button at the top of the video.

Screenshot of the SharePoint Thumbnail tool, showing the camera icon

The captured thumbnail image appears below the actual video screen.

  1. Review the thumbnail image. If the image shows what you want, then click Save. If not, repeat the previous steps until you capture the image that you want.

  2. If you want to change anything else (such as Name, Description, Owner, and so on), type the values that you want in the boxes that follow the thumbnail image.

  3. When you finish making changes, choose Save.

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Use a picture from my computer

If you have an image that is stored on your computer that you want to use as a thumbnail for the video, follow these steps.

  1. Select Use a picture from my computer.

  2. Type the path for the picture file, or click Browse to select the file, and then choose Open.

  3. Choose Upload to upload the picture file to SharePoint for use as a thumbnail for the video.

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Use a picture from a web address

You can use a picture that you get from a web address.

  1. Select Use a picture from a web address.

  2. Type the complete URL for the file that you want to use. The URL must include the name of the video file. For example,

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