youtube video size,YouTube Video Size: Optimizing Your Content for Maximum Reach

June 25, 2024

Nitin is the CEO of with 20+ years of experience in the field of marketing and advertising. Previously, he was a partner at McKinsey & Co and MD at Accenture, where he has led 20+ marketing transformations.

Here's a quick guide to optimizing your YouTube video size for better reach:

  • Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080) is best for most videos
  • Aspect ratio: Use 16:9 for full-screen viewing
  • File format: MP4 with H.264 codec
  • Frame rate: 24-30 fps for regular content, 60 fps for action
  • Bitrate: Balance quality and file size (e.g., 8 Mbps for 1080p at 30 fps)

Key tips:

  • Film in 16:9 to avoid black bars
  • Resize videos if needed before uploading
  • Keep file sizes under 256 GB
  • Optimize for mobile viewing
Factor Recommendation
Resolution 1080p (1920x1080)
Aspect Ratio 16:9
File Format MP4 (H.264 codec)
Frame Rate 24-30 fps (60 fps for action)
Max File Size 256 GB

By following these guidelines, you'll create YouTube videos that look great and reach more viewers across devices.

YouTube Video Sizes Explained

Key Video Terms

To understand YouTube video sizes, you need to know these basic terms:

  • Resolution: The number of pixels in your video image
  • Aspect Ratio: The width-to-height ratio of your video
  • Frame Rate: How many frames show per second (FPS)
  • Bitrate: The amount of data used for each second of video

Common YouTube Video Sizes

YouTube supports many video sizes. Here's a simple breakdown:

Video Size Resolution Best For
240p 426x240 Old devices, slow internet
360p 640x360 Old TVs, basic viewing
480p 854x480 Older computers
720p 1280x720 Most modern devices
1080p 1920x1080 High-quality viewing
4K (2160p) 3840x2160 Top-end devices

Why 16:9 Aspect Ratio Is Best

YouTube likes the 16:9 aspect ratio because:

  • It fits most screens well
  • No black bars or cut-off edges
  • Works for TVs, computers, and phones
  • YouTube suggests using it for best results

Using 16:9 helps your video look good on all devices.

Best Video Resolutions for YouTube

Picking the right resolution for your YouTube videos is key for good quality and viewer enjoyment. Here's a simple guide to the main video resolutions:

1080p: The Middle Ground

1080p (Full HD) is a good choice for most videos. It's 1920x1080 pixels and offers:

  • Good video quality
  • Smaller file size than 4K
  • Works well for vlogs, tutorials, and lessons

4K: When to Use It

4K (2160p) is the highest quality on YouTube at 3840x2160 pixels. It's good for:

  • Very detailed videos
  • Product demos
  • Artistic videos

But remember, 4K files are big and take longer to upload.

720p and Lower: Pros and Cons

Lower resolutions like 720p have their uses:

Pros Cons
Smaller file size Less detailed video
Faster uploads May not look as good
Works on older devices Might not keep viewers watching

Here's a quick comparison of resolutions:

Resolution Best For
1080p Most videos
4K High-detail content
720p and lower Older devices, faster uploads

Choose the resolution that fits your video type and audience needs.

Picking the Right Video Size

Choosing the best video size for YouTube involves balancing several factors. Your choice affects video quality, file size, and how viewers see your content.

What to Consider

Before picking a size, think about:

  • Your content type
  • Who will watch your videos
  • What devices they'll use

For example, if your viewers mostly use phones, a smaller video size might work better.

Quality and File Size Trade-offs

Aspect Higher Quality Lower Quality
File Size Larger Smaller
Upload Speed Slower Faster
Visual Clarity Better Worse

Keeping Videos Consistent

Try to use the same video size for all your channel's videos. This helps your content look the same no matter where people watch it.

Benefits of Consistent Video Sizes
Creates a uniform look
Improves viewer experience
Works well across different devices

How to Resize Videos for YouTube

Resizing videos for YouTube is easy with the right tools. Here's how to do it using different methods:

Using Basic Video Editors

Windows and Mac computers have free video editors that can resize videos:

Windows Movie Maker:

  1. Open the program and add your video
  2. Go to "Edit" > "Video effects"
  3. Choose "Resize" and pick your size
  4. Click "Apply"


  1. Open iMovie and add your video
  2. Click "Edit" then "Crop"
  3. Pick your size and click "Apply"

Online Video Resizing Tools

These web tools are quick and easy to use:

Tool Features
Clideo Free, easy to use
Kapwing Many sizing options
Online Video Converter Resizes and changes formats

Pro Video Editing Software

For more control, use pro software like Adobe Premiere Pro:

  1. Open the program and add your video
  2. Go to "Effect" > "Video effects"
  3. Pick "Scale" and choose your size
  4. Click "Apply"

These tools offer more options but may take longer to learn.

Software Type Pros Cons
Basic Editors Free, easy to use Limited options
Online Tools Quick, no download needed May have file size limits
Pro Software Many features, high quality Can be costly, harder to learn

Pick the method that fits your needs and skill level.


Best Video Formats for YouTube

Picking the right video format for YouTube helps your videos play well. Here's what you need to know about file types, video codecs, and audio settings.

MP4 and MOV File Types

MP4 and MOV are the best file types for YouTube videos:

File Type Description
MP4 Works with many video and audio types
MOV Made by Apple, works well on YouTube

H.264 and H.265 Video Codecs

H.264 and H.265 are good ways to make video files smaller:

Codec Features
H.264 Works on most devices, good quality
H.265 (HEVC) Smaller files, needs more power to play

Audio Settings

For audio, use AAC-LC codec:

Setting Recommendation
Codec AAC-LC
Bitrate 128 kbps to 256 kbps

Pick the bitrate based on what your video needs.

Frame Rate and Bitrate Tips

Picking Frame Rates: 24, 30, or 60 fps

Frame rates affect how smooth your video looks. Here's a simple guide:

Frame Rate Best For
24-30 fps Regular videos (vlogs, comedy, talks)
60+ fps Fast-moving videos (gaming, sports)

Choosing Bitrates

Bitrate is how much data your video uses each second. It affects quality and file size.

Bitrate Result
Higher Better quality, bigger file
Lower Smaller file, may look less clear

Pick your bitrate based on your video's resolution and frame rate. Check YouTube's guide for exact numbers.

How They Affect Video Quality

Frame rate and bitrate both change how good your video looks:

Factor Effect
Higher frame rate Smoother motion
Higher bitrate Clearer picture

But remember, higher numbers mean bigger files. This can make uploads slower.

Tips for Choosing

  • Think about who will watch your videos
  • Consider where you're uploading (YouTube, other sites)
  • Balance quality with file size

Pick what works best for your videos and viewers. It might take some testing to find the right mix.

Tips for Better YouTube Videos

Here are some simple tips to help your YouTube videos reach more people:

Filming in the Right Aspect Ratio

Use a 16:9 aspect ratio when filming. This size fits most screens well and looks good on YouTube. It helps avoid black bars on the sides of your video.

Getting Rid of Black Bars

Black bars can make your video look less good. To avoid them:

  • Film in 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Crop or resize your video if needed
  • Use video editing software to fix the aspect ratio

Making Videos Work on Mobile

Many people watch YouTube on their phones. To make your videos good for mobile:

Tip Why It Helps
Use clear, short titles Easy to read on small screens
Add relevant tags Helps people find your video
Keep videos short Holds attention on mobile
Try vertical format Fits phone screens better

Fixing Common Video Size Problems

When you upload videos to YouTube, you might run into issues with how they look or play. Here's how to fix the most common problems:

Fixing Aspect Ratio Issues

If your video doesn't fit YouTube's 16:9 screen shape, try these fixes:

Problem Solution
Video too wide or tall Use video editing software to crop or resize
Black bars on sides Adjust aspect ratio when uploading to YouTube
Wrong camera settings Set your camera to record in 16:9 before filming

Solving Resolution Problems

When your video isn't clear enough or is too big, here's what to do:

Resolution Action
Too low Record in 1080p, 720p, or 480p
Too high Use software to make the video smaller
Wrong camera settings Check and change your camera's resolution

Dealing with Large File Sizes

Big files can be hard to upload. Try these tips:

Issue Fix
File too big Use software to make the file smaller
Wrong file type Change to MP4 or WebM format
Video too long Split into shorter parts


Key Points to Remember

Making your YouTube videos the right size helps more people see and enjoy them. Here's what to keep in mind:

Aspect Recommendation
Aspect Ratio Use 16:9 for best results
Resolution Pick based on your content and viewers
File Size Keep it small for easy uploads
Formats Try different ones to see what works

Test Different Options

It's good to try out different video sizes and types. Here's how:

  • Look at how well your videos do
  • Ask viewers what they think
  • Change things if needed


The best video size for YouTube is 1920 x 1080 pixels (full HD). This works well for most videos. For special projects, you can use 4K or 8K, but it's not needed for most content.

Video Type Recommended Size
Standard 1920 x 1080 px
Special 4K or 8K

Remember to make your video thumbnails 1920 x 1080 pixels too. This helps your videos look good on YouTube.

Is there a file size limit for YouTube?

Yes, YouTube has a file size limit. You can upload videos up to 256 GB. But keep in mind:

Aspect Detail
Max file size 256 GB
Best practice Use smaller files for faster uploads

Just because you can upload a big file doesn't mean you should. Smaller files upload faster and work better for most videos.

What file size should a YouTube video be?

For most YouTube videos, aim for these sizes:

Video Quality Resolution Best For
Full HD 1920 x 1080 px Most videos
4K or 8K Higher Special projects, if needed

Stick to 1920 x 1080 pixels for your videos and thumbnails. This size works well for most YouTube content and viewers.

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