This article is about project thumbnails. For studio thumbnails, see Studio#Thumbnail.
The thumbnail of a project in the Featured Projects row.

A project's thumbnail is the display icon which represents a project on the Scratch website and can provide an attractive appearance for a project. When exploring the website for projects, the image of the project is the thumbnail. Thumbnails also refer to icons used to represent an object of some sort in other situations. Sometimes the thumbnail of a project could be showing what happens in the project but other times it could be just words. There are many different styles of thumbnails.

Other Media

In the Paint Editor, costumes also have thumbnails on the left-hand side to represent them when being selected. All sounds in Scratch have the same thumbnail, that of a speaker and sound physically coming out of it. The thumbnails of all media in Scratch represent the media in a visual way. If a project is being played in the editor and the sprites' costumes are changing, then the thumbnail will always be the current costume.

Changing the Thumbnail

To change the thumbnail of a project, one must first open it up in the project editor. The exact screenshot of the stage when the project last saves will become the new thumbnail. Therefore, if the stage is blank when last saving and closing the project editor, the project thumbnail will appear blank when people browse the website and that specific project is shown.

If the user does not want to take a screenshot of the project but designs a thumbnail for it, one will have to show the thumbnail when saving the project and then hide it when the green flag is pressed, to let any person see one's project and not just the thumbnail.

Quick method

To add a thumbnail quickly, one can use this script on the thumbnail sprite (be sure that is also at X: 0 and Y: 0 for best results)

when [t v] key pressed
if <(username) = [Scratcher]> then // Replace "Scratcher" with your username.

when [y v] key pressed
if <(username) = [Scratcher]> then // Replace "Scratcher" with your username again.

Alternate script

Alternatively, one can use this script:

when gf clicked // This will hide the Scratcher's sprite.
go to x:(0) y:(0)

show // Click this block to run it.
go to [front v] layer

Using Effect Blocks

This uses the fact that if a sprite has the ghost effect set to 100, when the project is stopped all the effects are cleared thus showing the sprite. The code needed follows:

when green flag clicked//this can be replaced by a "When I receive" block to have the sprite hide at a certain point
show//This ensures that when the project stops, the sprite shows
set [ghost v] effect to (100)//This hides the sprite, when the project stops the sprite will show!
go to [front v] layer//This keeps the thumbnail in the front.


See also: Action After Stop

Note Warning: The following script given cannot be used if the timer is already used for other purposes since this could break the project, as it constantly resets the timer.

The timer block can be used to show the thumbnail. The code used:

when green flag clicked

when green flag clicked//This can be replaced with a "When I receive" block to show at a specific point in the project
  reset timer//The timer is reset constantly

when [timer v] > (0.1)//When the project runs, the timer is at 0. When the project stops, the timer starts running, activating this script
go to [front v] layer

Alternate method

Alternatively, one may use this combination of scripts instead:

Note Note: The following script given can be used if the timer is already used for other purposes, since this uses a variable to set the timer.
when gf clicked
set [stop detector v] to ((timer)+(0.1))

when [timer v] > (stop detector)
if <(timer) > (stop detector)> then // Due to the beginning value of stop detector being 0, this is needed.
stop [this script v]


In late 2014, a hack was revealed which allowed users to set custom thumbnails, even animated thumbnails. This practice became popular, and many users tried it.[1][2] One Scratcher even wrote a program that sets animated thumbnails.[3] However, many other users protested, claiming the hack was flashy and annoying to users.[4] The Scratch Team has declared that all projects with animated thumbnails would be marked NFE to avoid lag on the Front Page, and to prevent flashy images.[5] This means that projects will not have an opportunity to be front paged, and if by chance they do, a Scratch Team member will remove it. In addition, they will rarely appear in the search results, but still can be viewed on a profile page.


Currently, there have been glitches where the project thumbnail will only change for certain parts of the website. My Stuff often does not include the updated thumbnails, where as the front page does. However, this may not be consistent among all devices and browsers. After changing a thumbnail, the project may take a while to update to where one can see the thumbnail on the creator's profile page often resulting in either a thumbnail with just Scratch Cat on it or the thumbnail before the latest change. In certain cases, the thumbnail image can lead to a broken link, though this is now rare.

In early 2017, a major bug was reported that thumbnails couldn't update, even if many days passed or the cache was cleared. This was, however, fixed later on.[6]


Some Scratchers have suggested having custom thumbnails as an official feature.[7] There is an issue about this on GitHub.[8]

See Also


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