Being one of the oldest and biggest video platforms in the world, YouTube has taken a huge chunk of the video market. That’s why most people turn to YouTube to upload their videos. But what is the ideal YouTube video size?

When posting a YouTube video, there are a few guidelines everyone has to follow. These guidelines are there to help content creators while also maintaining a status quo on the platform.

There are specifications for file sizes, resolutions, video styles, and the type of content that’s being shown. If you want to become a successful YouTube content creator, you need to know all of that and follow it.

In this article, we’ll go over the recommended YouTube video size, along with the right video formats and more.

Let’s check them out!

What’s the Recommended YouTube Video Size?

YouTube Video Size

The recommended YouTube video size is 1920 x 1080 for HD videos with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a max file size of 128GB.

Here’s a complete list of YouTube video sizes and dimensions.

Pixel Size Resolution Quality
3840 x 2160 2160p For 4K YouTube videos
2560 x 1440 1440p For 2K YouTube videos
1920 x 1080 1080p Recommended HD video size
1280 x 720 720p Minimum HD video size
854 x 480 480p Recommended standard definition (SD) video size
640 x 360 360p Typical video resolution size for websites
426 x 240 240p Minimum video size for YouTube videos

Furthermore, regardless of the resolution you opt for, you need to maintain an aspect ratio of 16:9. Using a different aspect ratio for YouTube videos can lead to black bars. If that’s the case, you’ll have to remove black bars to make sure your videos follow the 16:9 aspect ratio.

Generally speaking, your goal should be to upload a 1080p HD video, unless you’re uploading an old video, some obscure video, or purposely uploading a low-quality video.

Even if your video quality is low, you can render it at a higher resolution and aspect ratio.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • The maximum video length of a YouTube video is 12 hours.
  • YouTube video formats are limited to AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, WebM, and MP4 (more on this in the coming sections)

If you’re looking to build a brand, you’ll have to stay consistent with the video size for YouTube videos, among other things. While you can create things like a YouTube description template for your videos, you’ll have to keep video dimensions in mind at all times.

Why is the YouTube Video Size Important?

It’s crucial to have the right YouTube video size because there are certain YouTube guidelines you have to follow. Not following them can lead to penalties, incomplete videos, and irregular video sizes.

Furthermore, every video on YouTube follows certain dimensions and rules. This is to ensure there are no outliers or issues when playing a video.

When you upload videos, there’s a good chance that a lot of people will see them. You have to make sure they can watch them properly and that the videos look good.

If you don’t follow the YouTube video size, you might get resolution issues, or you just might not be able to upload the video.

Whether you upload the video as MOV, MPEG, MP4, AVI, or any other video format, you need to maintain the dimensions and correct aspect ratio for YouTube videos.

YouTube video dimensions and video resolution guidelines have remained the same since its inception. At most, they add higher resolutions such as 8K. However, that’s not currently available for everyone.

Here’s a list of additional basic information for the YouTube video size and aspect ratios:

  • Minimum YouTube Video Size: 426 x 240
  • Maximum YouTube Video Size: 3840 x 2160
  • Aspect Ratio for YouTube: 16:9
  • Maximum File Size: 128GB
  • Maximum Video Length: 12 hours
  • Supported YouTube File Formats: MOV, MPEG, MP4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, WebM, and 3GP

If you’re looking to upload a 2160p 4K video, you have to ensure you follow all the recommended video settings. After all, you want your high-res video to look the part.

Recommended YouTube Video Formats and Guidelines

This section is for YouTubers who are interested in learning more about YouTube guidelines, video formats, aspect ratios, and encoding settings.

Best Video Format for YouTube

The best video format for YouTube is MP4, along with the video codec H 264 and the AAC audio codec.

However, you can also use:

  • MPEG PS
  • MOV
  • AVI
  • MPEG4
  • WMV
  • WebM
  • FLV
  • 3GPP

Regardless of the video format, always ensure you have the correct YouTube video size.

Recommended Video Encoding Settings

You need to keep the audio codec, video codec, MP4 container, and frame rate settings in mind. Here’s what you need to know:

Setting Overall Features
Frame Rate
  • The common frame rates include 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 frames per second.
  • Keep in mind that all interlaced content should be deinterlaced before the upload process. For example, 1080i60 content should be deinterlaced to 1080p30.
  • All content has to be encoded and uploaded in the same frame rate as it was originally recorded to minimize any issues.
H 264 Video Codec
  • High Profile Codec
  • GOP of Half the Frame Rate (Closed GOP). It’s crucial that you use closed GOP.
  • Progressive Scan (no interlacing)
  • No Bitrate Limit Required (Variable Bitrate). Variable bitrate provides greater customizability.
  • Chroma Subsampling: 4:2:0. If you use Chroma subsampling properly, you can effectively improve the quality of your videos while reducing file size.
  • 2 Consecutive B Frames
  • CABAC
Container: MP4
  • AAC-LC Audio Codec
  • No Edit Lists at all costs; it can affect video processing.
  • Fast Start (Moov atom in the front of the file)
Audio Codec AAC-LC
  • Channels: Stereo or Stereo 5.1
  • Sample Rate: 96khz or 48khz

It’s important to understand these settings, especially if you have a professional videography channel or any related channel that utilizes high-level videos.

Ideal Bitrate Settings

The following recommended video bitrates are for SDR uploads:

Type of Video Video Bitrate for Standard Frame Rate (24, 25, and 30) Video Bitrate for High Frame Rate (48, 50, and 60)
360p 1 Mbps 1.5 Mbps
480p 2.5 Mbps 4 Mbps
720p 5 Mbps 7.5 Mbps
1080p 6 Mbps 12 Mbps
1440p 2K 16 Mbps 24 Mbps
2160p 4K 35-45 Mbps 53-68 Mbps

Furthermore, the following recommended video bitrates are for HDR uploads:

Type of Video Video Bitrate for Standard Frame Rate (24, 25, and 30) Video Bitrate for High Frame Rate (48, 50, and 60)
360p Null Null
480p Null Null
720p 6.5 Mbps 9.5 Mbps
1080p 10 Mbps 15 Mbps
1440p 2K 20 Mbps 30 Mbps
2160p 4K 44-56 Mbps 66-85 Mbps

Other than that, the following are the recommended audio bitrates for your YouTube videos:

Type of Video Audio Bitrate for All Videos
Mono 384 kbps
Stereo 128 kbps
Stereo 5.1 512 kbps

You don’t necessarily need to worry about any video file at this point. However, this information is for people looking to get the most out of their professional YouTube videos.

In any case, make sure you never exceed the maximum YouTube video file size and video aspect ratio.

Recommended YouTube Video Aspect Ratio Settings

The recommended YouTube aspect ratio for videos is 16:9, but there are three other acceptable aspect ratios. Here’s more on them:

  • The 16:9 aspect ratio is now the standard for all videos on YouTube. It ensures all videos are developed for big TVs, big screens, and professional viewing if required.
  • A 4:3 aspect ratio is acceptable but mostly used for older videos.
  • The 1:1 aspect ratio is a perfect square for Instagram videos, but it’s acceptable by YouTube. However, you’ll see black bars with that ratio.

You’ll also see black bars (or white space) with the 4:3 aspect ratio. Therefore, it’s best to make use of the 16:9 aspect ratio.

How Can I Change My YouTube Video Size?

You will need a video editor to convert all video content to the right YouTube video size. You can even use an online tool like Clideo to do it.

Regardless of what tool you use, follow these steps:

  1. Upload Your File – Open the online video editor and upload your video file.
  2. Choose the Right YouTube Video Size – Most tools will have a preset for YouTube. Therefore, all you have to do is choose the YouTube preset.
  3. Change the Output Format – If the tool has some customization options, you can play around with those. Once you’re done, change the output format to whatever video format you want. If you intend on using the video on social media sites too, make sure it’s an MP4 file. Click on the continue/resize/okay button.
  4. Download – Once done, download your resized clip.

If you’re a user and want to change the YouTube video size or quality, just follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Play your video and click on the YouTube settings wheel in the bottom bar.
  2. Click on the ‘Quality’ button.
  3. Choose the resolution you want to view the video in.

The YouTube player will automatically choose the ideal quality based on your internet connection. That’s why you might be seeing a lower quality video even though it has 4K capabilities.

Best Practices to Ensure You Have the Right YouTube Video Size

Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you have the right YouTube video size and a good understanding at all times:

  • A 720p video can use approximately 75MB of data, compared to 170MB by a 1080p video. Therefore, it’s best to not go for higher quality videos if it’s not necessary.
  • Videos longer than 15 minutes require you to verify your Google account.
  • The standard aspect ratio for video recording is 16:9 (avoid messing with that).
  • Compress your video before uploading if it’s more than 128GB. You can use Handbrake to properly compress and encode your videos.
  • Use the right YouTube thumbnail size and YouTube thumbnail fonts.
  • Avoid pillarboxing bars and letterboxing.
  • Upload your videos in the highest resolution possible.
  • Make sure you record your videos in the highest resolution your camera allows you to.
  • Always use the correct metadata for all your videos.

Following YouTube video dimensions will ensure your videos get uploaded quickly and without any hiccups.

Additional YouTube Dimensions to Keep in Mind

Along with the recommended YouTube video size, you should also learn about the other YouTube dimensions and sizes, including the following:

1.     YouTube Profile Picture Size

YouTube Profile Picture Size

The recommended YouTube profile picture size is 800 x 800 pixels.

Keep in mind that there’s a circular crop, so try to design your profile picture accordingly.

2.     YouTube Banner Size

Recommended YouTube Banner Size

The recommended YouTube banner size is 2560 x 1440 pixels.

The minimum banner dimensions are 2048 x 1152 pixels. Furthermore, the safe area dimensions are 1546 x 423 pixels.

Additionally, the file size limit is 6MB and you can only upload JPG, PNG, BMP, or GIF files. You also need to make sure that the aspect ratio is 16:9.

You can use Pixelied’s editor to design your YouTube channel art.

3.     YouTube End Screen Size

The recommended YouTube end screen size is 1920 x 1080 pixels for HD videos and 1280 x 720 pixels for standard videos.

You can use Pixelied’s editor to design your videos’ end screen.

4.     YouTube Thumbnail Size

YouTube Thumbnail Size Pixelied

The recommended YouTube thumbnail size is 1280 x 720 pixels, with a minimum width of 640px.

Furthermore, the thumbnail needs to be in a 16:9 aspect ratio, has to be 2MB or less, and a JPG, PNG, or GIF file type.

You can use Pixelied’s editor to design YouTube thumbnails.

Conclusion

YouTube has certain guidelines for its videos and images to ensure uniformity across all YouTube channels. Following YouTube video dimensions ensure that your videos upload seamlessly, are reachable, and can easily be watched.

If you’re new to YouTube, you can always start by using a YouTube name generator to create a channel name. You can also use Pixelied to design your profile picture, channel art, end screens, and thumbnails to get going.

Once that’s done, use the recommended YouTube video size, dimensions, and settings listed above to create your videos and publish them.