If one shares a YouTube video in a post on a website (Facebook etc.) that shows a video player where you can press "Play", a still image is already showing. How is this image chosen from the video? Is it possible to determine the time of the still image yourself?


I mean the case of a YouTube video you did not upload yourself.

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is possible. After you upload/submit the video you can choose autogenerated thumbnail images for your video:


or you can set your own image after your account gets verified:


The verification process looks like this:


If the video is not yours you can still do it by editing the embed code - for example:

official embed code:

<iframe width="560" height="315" 
 frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; 
 picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

workaround solution:

<div onclick="this.nextElementSibling.style.display='block'; this.style.display='none'">
   <img src="https://i.imgur.com/wEEFvCB.png" style="cursor:pointer" />
<div style="display:none">

    paste embed code here


You can try it yourself here: https://www.w3schools.com/html/tryit

Or something more advanced like:

<div width="560px" height="315px" style="position: static; clear: both; 
 width: 560px; height: 315px;">&nbsp;
<div style="position: relative">
<img id="vidimg" width="560px" height="315px" 
 src="https://i.imgur.com/wEEFvCB.png" style="position: absolute; 
 top: 0; left: 0; cursor: pointer; pointer-events: none; z-index: 2;" />

<iframe id="unlocked-video" style="position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; z-index: 1;" 
 src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/im-JM0f_J7s" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" 

<script type="application/javascript">
  var monitor = setInterval(function(){
    var elem = document.activeElement;
    if(elem && elem.id == 'unlocked-video'){
  }, 100);


  • Thank you for this information. This is in the case of a video you uploaded yourself. I meant the case of a video you did not upload yourself (changed in question).
    – Karlo
    Jul 13, 2019 at 12:45
  • @Karlo answer updated
    – user0
    Jul 13, 2019 at 13:26
  • This code enables to use an arbitrary picture as thumbnail. - Would it be possible to indicate the time of the video at which is should take the thumbnail? - Can one embed html in a Facebook (or other) post?
    – Karlo
    Jul 16, 2019 at 8:57
  • 1
    @Karlo no, but you can always take a screenshot of the desired frame of the video and place it in the embed code
    – user0
    Jul 16, 2019 at 10:54

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