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How to make a GIF from a YouTube video

You’ve been watching the best YouTube video ever, and you want to turn your favorite part into a funny GIF to share with friends. Or maybe you just want a new GIF so that you can react to your favorite tweets online. 

No matter your reason, making a GIF is easier than it looks. Here is how you can turn a few seconds of a YouTube video into a high-quality GIF file.

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In this guide, we’ll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with some simple online tools. Each of the tools featured does the job well and is simple enough that we’ll have you making GIFs in just a few minutes.

Use for great customization

Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Navigate to Paste your chosen YouTube URL into the white box on the left side of the page (double-check that you copied the whole link so this will work). It should automatically detect it. You can also upload your own videos to the site by clicking the Drag & Drop or Select File button. copy paste YouTube URL screenshot

Step 3: If your image features an ad in the lower-left corner, be sure to click the X to make it disappear (otherwise, it will appear in your GIF). Then, click the timeline below the image and select the start and end times for your animated GIF. A blue bar indicates the period that will be used.

You can make it as long or as short as you like, but remember that the longer the animation, the bigger the file size. Some places where you want to share the GIF might put a limit on the size. Twitter, for example, has a GIF limit of 5MB on mobile devices and 15MB on desktop — although 15MB is considered very, very large for a GIF.

Next, add a caption or a sticker if you want. You can also crop the image, as well as add other effects like blurring or padding that may fit your new meme or just make the image easier to watch. When you’re satisfied, click Create Gif in the top-right corner. Create Gif button screenshot

It may take some time to create the image, especially if you’re creating a long GIF, so be patient.

Step 4: The next page asks that you confirm the GIF’s title, as well as select any tags you want it to have. Click Next when you’re done setting your preferences.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 5: The final page will give you options for downloading, embedding, or sharing your newly created GIF. You’re also given a preview to see what it looks like. If you would like to remove the watermark in the corner, you can, but it will mean signing up for the premium service, which starts at $2 a month, and it’s not something you need to do for casual GIF creation. To download your GIFs, hit the Download button and choose your preferred GIF size from the drop-down menu that appears.

Use Giphy for high-speed results

Another popular online GIF-making service is Giphy. It supports YouTube and Vimeo links, as well as manually created GIFs from photos. It also has a host of different options for customizing your GIF, including adding captions and other elements to make it just how you want.

Step 1: Copy the YouTube URL of the video you want to make a GIF from and navigate to’s GIF maker.

Step 2: Paste your YouTube URL into the input box at the base of the page. You will be prompted to log in to a Giphy account and won’t be able to make GIFs on this site without it.

Giphy step 2 screenshot

Step 3: Choose the start time and duration of your GIF and click the Continue to Decorate button.

Step 4: Add a caption if you wish, as well as any stickers or drawn overlays. When satisfied, click the Continue to Upload button.

Step 5: You can also add tags or determine whether or not your GIF is public to others. Once you’ve set your preferences, click the Upload to GIPHY button to create and publish it. Wait for the GIF to be created. If it’s long, it may take a few minutes.

Step 6: You can now use the available links to download your new GIF, copy a link to it, embed it on a website, and more! To download it to your computer, click on Media and then choose your preferred version of it by clicking on your desired version’s corresponding Download button.

giphy screenshot for step 6

You worked hard to create this awesome GIF, so the next natural step is to share it on social media for all your friends and family to enjoy. Sometimes things can get a little funky when it comes to sharing various media, so check out our articles on posting GIFs on Instagram and uploading them to Facebook if you run into difficulties.

Download Gifit! for long-term work

GifIt extension screenshot

GIPHY is excellent for making occasional GIFs, but there are better options if you want to convert videos regularly, like GIFit!. The free, downloadable extension is easy to use. Just install the app, and you’ll be making animated GIFs in no time. 

With the extension, a GIFit! button will appear at the bottom of any YouTube video you watch. Click the button to make a GIF on the video you want. The app will let you specify the part of the video you want to convert to a GIF. You can also change file size and image quality. GIFit! Will do the rest. 

Google Chrome is the only browser that supports GIFit! If you haven’t used Chrome yet, GIFit! is an excellent reason to start. This extension might not work with YouTube videos that “use the Flash player by force.”

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