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YouTube Upload: Supported Video Formats, Size, Resolution

This page provides the answers of the best YouTube upload video formats, namely, the most suitable file extensions, resolution, file size and video formats supported by YouTube, the most famous online video sharing website.

YouTube have updated its supported formats list to accept HEVC/H.265 files. HEVC can reduce the decoding overhead for easier end user playback, and also can reduce the amount of bandwidth and network traffic. Therefore it is the best encoding method and file format recommended for YouTube uploading, especially when your video file is large in file size or high in resolution (such as 4K).

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Part 1: What Video Formats Does YouTube Support for Uploading?

What are YouTube friendly video types? The formats are MP4, flv, WebM, etc. Then what video formats are supported and accepted by YouTube for uploading and editing?

YouTube accepted video formats:

  • 3GP (.3gp, .3g2, .3gpp)
  • MPEG-4 (.mp4)
  • AVI (.avi)
  • MOV (.mov)
  • FLV (.flv)
  • MPEGPS (.mpg)
  • WebM (.webm)
  • WMV (.wmv)

YouTube supported video codecs:

CineForm (GoPro), DNxHR (UHDTV), HEVC, H264, ProRes (Apple)

Supplementary: the YouTube recommended video profile for your video codec is High Profile and the chroma subsampling is 4:2:0. Certainly, if high quality is your ultimate goal and uploading speed is the next best thing, chroma subsampling 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 is accepted by YouTube, too.

From what have been listed above, we may roughly draw the conclusion that YouTube embraces a wide range of video file formats. However, there are many other factors we have to take into consideration, say, file size, video quality loss and compatibility with players.

To sum up, MP4 overlaps all the advantages with small file size, high compression rate (for high quality) and popularity. MP4 includes two video codecs, namely, MPEG4 and H.264, which are both widely supported, together with AAC (2 Channel - 8 Channel) and MP3 as audio Codec. So it is the most recommended YouTube upload video format.

Part 2: What are the Best YouTube Upload Settings?

Besides video formats, YouTube also has very strict requirements for music, video and movie uploading, in terms of file size, duration, resolution, codec, frame rate and bitrate.

  • File size: Video file size is limited to 2GB for YouTube uploading. But size larger than 20GB is allowed by using an up-to-date browser. And the maximum is 128GB. Check here to get more detailed info about YouTube video size limit.
  • Resolution: 4:3 (640 x 480) or 16:9 (1280 x 720). When the video is uploaded to the site, YouTube will make it 16:9 or add vertical black bars (for 4:3). So, don't add horizontal black bars before uploading a video. Check the way to change aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9.
  • Duration: YouTube once limited the length of a video file to 15 minutes. But now user can upload a video longer than 15 minutes.
  • Frame rate: Keeping original video frame rate is preferred. And 25-30 fps is recommended.
  • Bitrate: Bitrate is different from screen resolution and is highly related to video codec. Actually, it is less important than other factors to consider before YouTube uploading. YouTube experimented with Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG-DASH), which is an adaptive bit-rate HTTP-based streaming solution optimizing the bitrate and quality for the available network.
  • Deinterlacing: Although videos either in progressive scanning or interlaced scanning mode can be uploaded, YouTube suggests turning interlaced videos to deinterlaced before uploading for the best video quality. Therefore, progressive scanning is needed for video uploading.

There are true examples in downloading online videos:

  • MP4 720p: 4.0 Mbit/s (variable bitrate with peaks of 5.0 Mbps)
  • MP4 1080p: 8.0 Mbit/s (variable bitrate with peaks of 10.0 Mbps)
  • FLV HQ: 1.5 Mbit/s (variable bitrate with peaks of 3.0 Mbps)

What if you upload a video that doesn't comply with regulations to YouTube? Usually, your video will be auto compressed to YouTube accepted specifications. For example, you record a 8K video with Samsung Galaxy S21 and upload it to YouTube, you probably get your video in 1080p. Of course, it doesn't exclude that your network is poor enough, taking forever to process your source 8K video.

Check the complete guide to upload a video to YouTube >>

Part 3: What is the Best Video Converter for YouTube Video Faster Uploading?

Winxvideo AI is the best video converter for video faster uploading! It converts whatever video format you feed it, be videos or multi-track videos from Sony/Canon/JVC HD camcorder, xdcam recorded videos, Blu-ray rips, DVD videos, iPhone iPad Android, and convert them to YouTube videos (MP4/FLV) and codec (HEVC/H.265/H264).

The developer has selected the best video formats, resolution, bit rate, frame rate, aspect ratio and created the ready-made YouTube profiles for anyone in need of uploading videos to YouTube, Vimeo and other similar to YouTube video sites.

Guide: please scroll down the almost lowest part to find the "Web Video Profile" and click "YouTube Video" directly. Or, you can choose HEVC (MP4) under general video profile as the output.

Video Format for YouTube
Video Format for YouTube

Besides working as the World's No.1 fast (HD) video converter thanks to the support for the most advanced Intel QSV, MMX-SSE, Nvidia CUDA/NVENC, AMD, Hyper-threading and AMD 3DNow! technologies, Winxvideo AI can also act as SD/HD/4K/8K video downloader, video editor, and recorder, just free download it to have a try now!

* We do not advocate illegal use of online videos and suggest you respect the copy right of the contributors.
* Still have question on the best video formats supported by YouTube? Just feel free to Mail Us >>

Extended Info:

1. Why is YouTube so popular?

YouTube (owned by Google) is the most popular online video sharing site at present with over 1 billion (1,000,000,000) visitors per month in average. It stays glued to the top spot on the online video uploading sites worldwide. Why is YouTube so hot and more popular than other similar to YouTube sites like Vimeo, Dailymotion, Netflix, Hulu and Break?

In the first place, video itself is a straightforward way to express something. YouTube goes viral because it was at the right place (MySpace) the right time (at the time when video services came into style) with interesting content (covering all kinds of categories). Besides, it is easy to use and understand, and is helpful for marketing purpose.

2. What are the best formats for YouTube ad video?

On top of the normal videos on YouTube, there are innumerable advertising videos on the normal videos. If you wanna insert ad video clips to your common videos, the basic specs shouldn't be ignored. For instance, non-skippable video ads are supposed to be 15-20 seconds in length while bumper video ads is only 6 seconds long. Visit here if you need more detailed info about YouTube advertising formats.


author - Kistent Waung

Kistent Waung twitter icon

Graduated from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, she employs herself in IT related content creation (since 2013) and happens to perfectly combine her major (computer & science) and her gusto (writing). She's seasoned at offering video audio conversion workarounds and always passionate about new trends, from hot HEVC, 4K to the new AV1 codec.

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