YouTube Video Size: The Perfect Resolution, Dimensions & Aspect Ratio

YouTube has over 1.9 billion monthly active users, which makes it the second-largest social media platform. Additionally, one billion hours of videos are watched every day on the platform. By making a mark on YouTube, you can reach out to this massive audience and grow your brand. 

However, to ensure that your target audience watches your videos, you need to ensure that the video quality is top-notch. Poorly shot or edited videos may not go down well with your audience, especially when there are billions of other videos on the platform. 

That is why it’s essential to know the right YouTube video size before starting to upload videos on the platform. Let’s figure out the best size for YouTube videos. 

YouTube Video Size: The Perfect Resolution, Dimensions, and Aspect Ratio:


The Right YouTube Dimensions

YouTube allows you to upload videos of various sizes, ranging from 240p to 2160p (4K). Let’s try to understand the dimensions for each of these sizes. 

  • 240p: 426x240 pixels
  • 360p: 640x360 pixels
  • 480p: 854x480 pixels
  • 720p: 1280x720 pixels
  • 1080p: 1920x1080 pixels
  • 1440p: 2560x1440 pixels
  • 2160p: 3840x2160 pixels

Hence, the smallest dimensions of videos on YouTube are 426x240 pixels, while the largest dimensions are 3840x2160 pixels.

However, just getting the dimensions right isn’t enough. You also need to take your video size, length, and aspect ratio into consideration while uploading videos on YouTube. 

The correct aspect ratio for YouTube videos is 16:9. Similarly, the maximum permissible video size on the platform is 128GB, while the maximum video length is 12 hours. 

In addition to these things, you also need to keep the accepted video formats in mind. You can only upload videos of the following formats on YouTube: .mov, .mpeg, .mp4, .avi, .wmv, .mpegps, .flv, webM, and 3GPP.

Now that you understand the right sizes for your YouTube videos, let’s find out how you can change these sizes while watching videos. 


Changing YouTube Video Sizes

When you upload a video on YouTube, the platform automatically makes it available in a variety of sizes. So, when you decide to stream any video on the platform, you can choose the size in which you wish to watch it. 

Additionally, YouTube itself ascertains the speed of your broadband connection and your device to decide the screen resolution. That said, you still have complete control over the resolution of your videos. 

Here’s how you can change the YouTube video sizes on desktops and mobiles. 

Desktops

  1. Once you’ve opened the video, you need to click on the YouTube Settings icon. 

Image via YouTube

  1. In the menu that opens, you need to click on “Quality.”

Image via YouTube

  1. Select the desired resolution in which you want to stream the video. Resolutions 720p and above are high-definition videos and thus have a small “HD” next to them. 

Image via YouTube

Mobiles

  1. After opening your video, you’ll need to tap on it to see all the icons. From these, you need to tap on the three dots that are aligned vertically (kebab menu).

Image via YouTube

  1. In the menu that opens, you’ll need to click on “Quality.”

Image via YouTube

  1. Choose the quality of your choice. Unlike desktops, HD won’t be written next to the high-definition sizes. 

Image via YouTube

When you’re selecting video sizes, bear in mind that larger dimensions will require more data and higher speeds. When you’re on the move and have poor connectivity, you can use resolutions as low as 144p. However, for an unmatched viewing experience, stream the videos in higher resolutions.

Let’s now take a look at how you can record videos with the right dimensions.  


Recording Videos With the Right Dimensions

Remember, YouTube videos have an aspect ratio of 16:9. If you shoot a video in the portrait mode, it’s likely that it’ll only occupy a small part of the video player. As a result, it may not look professional. Thus, you should try to shoot your videos only in the landscape mode, regardless of the device you’re using to shoot the video. 

Additionally, you need to get your video dimensions right when you’re shooting videos as well. If you’re using a smartphone to shoot your videos, you should head to the camera settings to see the maximum dimensions in which you can shoot videos. For instance, a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 can shoot videos in 4K. 

However, do keep in mind that higher resolutions mean more space. If you want to save more space on your smartphone, you should try shooting videos in a lower resolution. Try to strike the right balance between the two to ensure that you’re making optimum use of your space and producing high-quality content too. 

A good practice is to shoot videos in 720p or 1080p. This way, your video won’t occupy as much space as a 4K video, and the quality of the video will be stellar too. 

Now that you understand all that there is to know about YouTube video sizes, let’s dig deeper into the aspect ratio of videos. 


YouTube Video Aspect Ratios

The YouTube video player has an aspect ratio of 16:9. This means that the ratio of its length to width is 16:9. However, that doesn’t mean that you can only upload 16:9 videos on YouTube. 

Here are some other popular aspect ratios that you can use for your videos. 

  • 1:1 aspect ratio: In this, the length and the width of the video are the same. As a result, the video is a perfect square. These are the sort of videos that were available on Instagram initially. 
  • 4:3 aspect ratio: This was the aspect ratio of most old television sets from the 90s. Here, the length is slightly longer than the width of the video. However, when you upload this on YouTube, you’ll see black bars on either side of the video. 
  • 9:16 aspect ratio: When you shoot videos from your smartphones in the portrait orientation, the video’s aspect ratio comes out to be 9:16. As a result, the video will only cover a tiny part of the YouTube video player, and the rest of the region will be covered by black bars. 

Now that we’ve covered the most popular aspect ratios used in YouTube videos, let’s look at the sizes of YouTube images. 


YouTube Image Sizes 

On YouTube, it’s not just the video sizes that matter. The images that you upload are equally important, and it’s necessary to get their dimensions right as well. 

Here are the right image sizes for all of the photos that you upload on YouTube. 

YouTube Banner Image

All YouTube profiles are allowed to upload a banner image. This appears at the top of your page and is perhaps the largest image you can upload on YouTube. 

The right dimensions for this image are 2560x1440 pixels. However, these dimensions will be different based on the device you use to access YouTube. 

On desktops, the dimensions will be 2560x423 pixels while on tablets, they’ll be 1855x423 pixels. 

Note how PewDiePie, the famous YouTube influencer, has added a stunning banner image to his profile. 

Image via YouTube

YouTube Profile Photo

Just like all other social media platforms, you can upload profile pictures on YouTube as well. This profile photo is also called the YouTube channel icon, and you can either use a picture of yourself or your logo. 

The right dimensions for this image are 800x800 pixels. To ensure that your photo doesn’t get cropped, upload it with these dimensions only. 

Marvel Entertainment has uploaded their logo as their profile picture. Note how it fits perfectly into the profile photo circle. 

Image via YouTube

YouTube Video Thumbnail Size

YouTube video thumbnails are crucial for the success of your YouTube videos. A well-designed thumbnail can attract users to watch your videos. That’s why it’s essential to ace your YouTube video thumbnails. 

The aspect ratio of thumbnails is 16:9, while the recommended size of the images is 1280x720 pixels. On the other hand, the minimum accepted size for YouTube thumbnails is 640x360 pixels. Additionally, the formats accepted for your thumbnails are .jpg, .gif, .bmp, and .png. 

Note how all the thumbnails visible in this search are in the 16:9 aspect ratio. 

Image via YouTube


Final Thoughts 

YouTube is a great platform to display your video making prowess and also to promote your brand. You can reach out to a massive audience on this platform through your videos and make some money through ads too. 

However, without the right video dimensions, you might fail to have an impact on your viewers. You need to know the various sizes of YouTube videos along with their aspect ratios to create stunning videos. It’s also necessary to be aware of the maximum length of your videos. 

Additionally, you should know about all of the different types of images you can upload on the platform. It’s necessary to be aware of the right dimensions for these images to have an impact. Now that you know all about YouTube video sizes, go ahead and start creating stellar videos to grow your brand. 

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