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Does Google Drive Compress Video/Reduce Video Quality?

I uploaded the videos to Google Drive but the player only lets me play them at 360p. Is there any way to get it to play at the full 1080p I put them in, or have they been compressed permanently? – from Reddit user.

When previewing videos you uploaded to Google Drive, often the case you will see video playback is low-quality and blurry. Then, you may ask: "Does Google Drive compress video or reduce video size?" Certainly, Google Drive does not reduce the video quality. It just provides different resolutions like 360p, 720p, 1080p, etc. for your video and then you can preview it smoothly and speedily without costing much bandwidth. To get more details, you can go on reading.

Learn how to compress MP4 for Google Drive >>

Part 1. Why Does Google Drive Seem to Compress Video?

Google Drive maximum playback size is 300MB. By default, video resolution like 4K higher than 1080p will be resized to 1080p, and a video with 1080p or less will look close to the original. But when you download the file to your computer to play offline, the video resolution keeps the same as the original. Why does Google Drive seem to reduce video quality when previewing in the Dirve? Simply, Google Drive is saving bandwidth for you, the video recipients and itself. For you and the video recipients, there will be a seamless and low-bandwidth video playing experience. For Google, the video compression will help Google spend less bandwidth to data transfer so as to reduce pressure on the server.

Commonly, there are several transcoded versions of your video in Google Drive for your convenience. When you use the YouTube-like viewer to play the video, there are list of video resolutions like 360p, 720p, 1080p, etc. for you to choose for playback. However, there is a case that you need to notice. When you upload 1080p video to Google Drive, there may be only a 360p choice, as Google Drive is still processing your video that probably more options are available in the following days.

So, it seems that the video quality has been reduced, the fact is that you are playing the same video file.

Part 2. How to Compress Videos to Bypass Google Drive 15 GB of Free Storage?

Based on the fact that Google Drive preview only accepts video resolution up to 1080p and playback size up to 300MB, you are highly suggested to upload a 300MB 1080p video or lower to Google Drive if you or the video recipients want to preview the original video file on any devices with the best quality and without Google Drive video compression problem.

What’s more, large file size costs much cloud space and you have to pay more for more storages. So, a budget-friendly plan is to convert large videos especially convert 4K to 1080p before uploading so as to reduce the file size to bypass Google Drive 15 GB of free storage and also keep the high definition video quality as much as possible.

Here we will introduce WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe to help reduce file size so that you can upload videos to Google Drive as many as possible with the limited cloud space. Born to be a 4K video converter, it helps downscale 8K/5K/4K to 1080p/720p with lower bitrates without obvious quality loss and also convert video to Google Drive supported formats. For example, convert HEVC, VP9, AV1, etc. to MP4, WMV, AVI, FLV, etc.

Step 1. Free download WinX HD Video Converter Deluxe, install and launch it on your computer.

Step 2. Click "+ Video" button on the main UI to add your large 4K video file, and choose a output video format when the "Output Profile" pops up and then click "OK". Note, Google Drive only supports WMV, MTS, OGG, MP4, 3GPP, MOV, AVI, FLV, WebM and MPEGPS files.

Step 3. Click on the "Settings" button and customize the video resolution and bit rate, then click "OK".

Step 4. Now, choose a destination folder to save your converted file by clicking on the "Browse" button.

Step 5. Hit "RUN" to start converting video for Google Drive.

Convert 4K to 1080p
Convert 4K to 1080p


author - Kaley Torres

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Kaley Torres is a self-motivated, creative editor with eight years of marketing and SEO experience, specializing in writing on DVD, video, audio, images, new digital contents etc. With a partiality DVD collection, Kaley also enjoys digitizing DVD and is keen to share her DVD video conversion solutions as well as video sharing tips on social media.

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