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How to edit your YouTube videos

YouTube gives creators the ability to use simple video editing tools to make quick edits without having to go through dedicated software. Find out how to cut part of a video, add or modify a thumbnail, blur part of the video or even add an additional audio track.

Access the video editing interface

The video editing application offered by the platform is located in YouTube Studio, the interface for creating and managing videos. To make changes, the video in question must first be uploaded to YouTube. These options also work for videos that are already online (unless they have more than 100,000 views). YouTube also states that “this feature is only available for videos that are less than 6 hours long”.

To access the editing application:

  • Connect to YouTube, and go to YouTube Studio,
  • Select Contents in the left side menu,
  • Choose the video you want to edit by clicking on it,
  • Select Mounting app in the left side menu.

Find other video editing tools

Add thumbnail

When a video is uploaded to YouTube, the platform automatically assigns it a thumbnail from its own footage. However, it is highly recommended to upload a custom thumbnail to entice viewers to click.

Here are the steps to import a custom thumbnail:

  • Select Contents in the left side menu of YouTube Studio,
  • Choose the video you want to edit by clicking on it,
  • Click on Import a thumbnail,
  • Choose the desired thumbnail in your file explorer,
  • Press on To register to validate your choice.

You can change the thumbnail of your videos at any time, including for videos already published. YouTube’s recommended format for thumbnails is: 1280×720 (with a minimum width of 640px). The image must also weigh less than 2 MB, be in 16:9 aspect ratio and be in JPG, PNG or GIF format.

Cut part of the video

It is possible to cut one or more moments of your video, whether it is the beginning, the end or a passage in the middle. However, the platform does not allow you to import other video sequences to add. You can always restore the original version without cuts afterwards. To cut part of your video, here are the steps to follow:

  • Select Contents in the left side menu of YouTube Studio,
  • Choose the video you want to edit by clicking on it,
  • Click on To cut,
  • Drag the blue frame on the timeline, so as to isolate the extract you want to delete from your video,
  • Validate the rendering by clicking on Previewthen confirm by pressing To register.

If your video is already published, the changes take effect immediately.

Add an end screen

End screens are additional sequences offered by YouTube, which allow you to highlight other videos or other channels, and thus bounce the viewer to more content on the platform. They accommodate up to 4 clickable elements at a time, displaying in an interval between 20 and 5 seconds before the end of your video. Please note that to be able to benefit from it, your video must be at least 25 seconds long, and this feature is not available for videos intended for children.

To add an end screen:

  • Select Contents in the left side menu of YouTube Studio,
  • Choose the video you want to edit by clicking on it,
  • Click on Montagethen choose End screensand define the elements to add among: apply a template, video, playlist, subscribe, channel, link, remark or merchandising,
  • Press on To register to validate and save the operation.

You can edit your end screens at any time, both before and after going live.

Blur part of the video

YouTube offers creators the possibility of adding one or more blurred areas in videos, to anonymize faces or elements. You are free to define the shape you want between oval or rectangle. The editor allows you to adjust the size and the timing of the appearance of blurring. The tool is designed to be able to track a moving person or area, but you can also fix the blur if needed.

To add blurry areas:

  • Select Contents in the left side menu of YouTube Studio,
  • Choose the video you want to edit by clicking on it,
  • Click on Montagethen on Blur faces or Custom Blur,
  • Add your areas to blur and customize the settings, then click To register to validate.

Add an audio track

You can add additional audio tracks through YouTube Studio. Please note, this feature is no longer available on mobile, so you must be on desktop to access it. To add an additional audio track:

  • Select Contents in the left side menu of YouTube Studio,
  • Choose the video you want to edit by clicking on it,
  • Click on Montagethen Audio,
  • Use the proposed search filters to select the one you want,
  • Make your choice by listening to the tracks using the play button, and click on To add when a title suits you,
  • Position the music by adjusting the duration and timing on the timeline,
  • Click on To register to validate the operation.

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