Broken Thumbnail Previews in YouTube

I think we are all familiar with how a thumbnail preview works on YouTube, you search a topic and if you see a video that is interesting you may roll over it to see a 3 sec clip of what that video is about. But have you noticed that some videos no longer have a preview when you roll over them?

I noticed this problem on some of my own videos, when I rollover the thumbnail instead of a preview I get a faded play button.

In some instances the issue resolved itself after a few hours, but in most cases the preview never returns. I’m not sure what causes it, or why it only happens to some videos, but the good news is there is an easy fix.


1) First go to your channel page.

2) Click the video tab at the top. This will bring up a gallery view of all your videos.

3) Hold your mouse over each one and a preview should play. When you find one that doesn’t, go ahead and click on that video.

4) Once your video is opened, you should see an “Edit Video” button at the bottom right. Click it and you will be able to modify your video.

5) From the left hand navigation choose “Editor”. This will bring up the YouTube video editor where you can make changes to your video.

6) Now select the “Trim” button above the timeline on the left, and a blue highlight will appear over your whole timeline.

7) Zoom all the way in using the magnifying icon at the top right of your timeline

8) Scroll to the end of your video.

9) Once you are at the end and you are zoomed all the way in, take the blue highlight and drag it two frames to the left. Note: You are not looking to shave off seconds, just a few frames.

10) Click “Preview” from the menu at the bottom.

11) Click the blue “Save” button at the top right

12) This will prompt a dialog box to open explaining that the original video will still be available if you want to recover it. Click “Save” to close the window, and initiate the trim.

You will get a message at the bottom confirming you have made the change, and to check back again later.

The process usually takes 20 mins to an hour depending on how long your video is, but once it is done, you can refresh your page and the thumbnail should show a preview again. I do want to note, on some longer 4k videos this process could take longer, but don’t’ worry, your video will never appear down. It just won’t have the rollover preview until processing is finished.

Also, should you need to revert back to the original video you can do so by going back to the video editor and clicking this three dot dropdown and selecting “revert to original”

Well that’s it. I hope that was helpful too you. If you have any questions feel free to send me a message on my “Contact” page, or leave a comment on the YouTube video below. Thanks for stopping by.

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