Can you embed a YouTube video showing only the video? Ie. without the initial load showing the information shown below, like the title:

enter image description here

This statement from YouTube suggests you can't, saying "the channel avatar and video title will always display before playback begins, when playback is paused, and when playback ends". But I thought I'd check if this has changed since, plus leave my finding here for anyone searching for the same question.

  • 1
    Does it need to be YouTube? If it is for your own videos, Vimeo is more flexible about what options appear over the video. Aug 27, 2020 at 14:46
  • It is! Though I think you have to have the play button and scrubber. My question is about YouTube though.
    – tog22
    Aug 28, 2020 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


If you're looking to simply show the initial image without the playing the video and don't mind the avatar showing once the user clicks to play the video, check out Labnol Lazyload video.

It will only display the initial image, without showing the YouTube iframe until the user clicks on the play button. It's also a great way defer downloading the YouTube video until the user clicks play.

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    I believe that modifying the embed Youtube player is against the Youtube terms of service. Using that could trigger Youtube to block videos from playing on your site. Aug 27, 2020 at 13:32
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    @StephenOstermiller. Interesting. I think you're already familiar with the methodology right? I guess one could argue that you haven't embedded their player it until after the user clicks on the play button.
    – Trebor
    Aug 27, 2020 at 14:11
  • The most problematic part would be using the front image before the player loads. Aug 27, 2020 at 15:25
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    @StephenOstermiller, of course you can always host your own initial image. I tried this once to try and improve performance.
    – Trebor
    Aug 27, 2020 at 15:36
  • Thanks - I'm looking for autoplay, but this'll be a helpful answer for others, upvoted.
    – tog22
    Aug 28, 2020 at 21:49

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