Youtube Thumbnail Bookmarklet

Something I do quite often for my website,, is make thumbnails for online videos. The most straight forward way to get a thumbnail, of course, is do just take a screenshot of the video, but it can often be a pain to find just the right shot and many video players have annoying overlays when you pause. After doing it manually for a while, I realized that YouTube already generates images for all their videos and allows easy access to the thumbnails in a variety of sizes. To speed up the process of getting a thumbnail for a YouTube video, I have made a bookmarklet. One click will redirect you to the thumbnail of the video you are looking at allowing you to save it to your computer or copy and paste the url where ever you need.

To use the bookmarklet, just drag this link:

YouTube Thumb

to your bookmark bar.

Or if you are on an iOS device, make a new bookmark and then edit it and replace the url with the bookmarklet code below

javascript:function gqv(v){var q =;var vars = q.split("&");for (var i=0;i<vars.length;i++) {var pair = vars[i].split("=");if(pair[0] == v){return pair[1];}}return(false);}window.location=''+gqv('v')+'/hqdefault.jpg';

On any YouTube video page, click the bookmarklet and it will automatically redirect you to the default thumbnail for that video to do with as you please.

Comments (2)

  1. ecocd wrote::

    You don’t exactly update this often, but I always make it a point to come back every 3 months or so to so if you’ve put up something else that’s really awesome. I’ll be back around August-September. :)

    Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 8:58 am #
  2. Leeroy wrote::

    The biggest YouTube thumbnail images now are in the form of for videos HQ and up, hqdefault.jpg for videos HQ, etc.

    This image resource can be grabbed from the video page’s new OpenGraph tags

    Here’s a selector: document.querySelector(“meta[property=’og:image’]”).content

    With this I’ve written a bookmarklet that grabs the thumbnail image URL and uses it to initiate a Google Image Search.

    YouTube Thumbnail Image Search Bookmarklet on Pastebin:

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm #