As it stands, uploading a YouTube video can seem a little more intimidating than it is. With constant changes in video formats, content creators are always trying to keep up, to ensure their subscribers are getting the highest quality videos possible. And this can make uploading all the more daunting.

Sure, YouTube provides users with a guide for this, but there are a few missing elements, especially on how to upload HD videos to YouTube.

But don't worry; in this article, we look at the proper way of uploading HD videos to YouTube.

Does YouTube support HD and 4K videos?

As a leading online video streaming platform, it should come as no surprise that YouTube does indeed support HD and 4K videos. However, in a bid to make its interface more friendly, it recently introduced a set of streaming quality controls to give subscribers a more personalized viewing experience—especially those who are not familiar with different video resolutions.

The new settings are a bit annoying because they remove the option of selecting a specific video resolution. However, it comes with different modes that let you tweak this.

  • Auto mode – Here, YouTube's algorithms automatically select resolution based on internet speed and connection.
  • Higher picture quality – YouTube placed different resolution sizes into the higher picture quality setting. Using more data, it is able to deliver a better quality stream. YouTube has not clarified if the mode will deliver from 720p and above, but we suspect that is the case.
  • Data Saver – This mode basically allows you to use limited data.
  • Advanced mode – This lets you choose a specific resolution reaching up to 4K resolution.

Still, any mode you select only applies to that particular video, meaning you have to activate the mode for each video.

How to upload 4K videos to YouTube

If you already have an account on YouTube and are wondering how to upload 4K videos to YouTube, you'll be pleased to know that it isn't really hard. In fact, it only takes four simple steps for a 4K video to upload on the platform. Let's take a look.

1. Open the YouTube app

Before beginning the upload process, you need to grant YouTube access to your library, microphone, and camera. This usually applies if it's your first time uploading a video to YouTube.

Now, once the page loads:

  • Navigate to the top right corner; you'll find a camera icon with a plus symbol in the middle. As you hover the mouse above it, it should display the word "create."
  • Once you click on it, a drop-down menu appears, offering two options: “upload video” and “go live.”
  • Click the upload video option. A window will appear, prompting you to select a video or drag and drop it.

2. Select the video

Now, this is the part of the process where you choose the video you want to upload to your site.

By now, you should have already done all your editing, preferably by professional video editing software such as VideoStudio. It is important to use external editing software because YouTube only offers a limited number of editing tools.

Proceed to select the video by clicking the "select file" button or by dragging and dropping the video on the window. YouTube usually has some preset upload settings for 4K video uploads. We advise that you follow them accordingly.

Generally, when uploading a video, you have to be very careful about any changes you make, since it affects playback performance and the overall quality of the video.

3. Add title and description

After selecting the video, another window will pop up, prompting you to input details about the video, like title and description. The title should be close, if not the same, to videos people are searching for on the platform. Also, try to make it easily readable by using fewer words, while avoiding clickbait titles.

The description section has 5000 characters and is simply an extension of the title. You can place your social media links or other helpful links you want your subscribers to check out. We also advise placing an appropriate thumbnail that will generate interest in your video.

4. Publish the video

Before you add the title and description, you will see some upload-related information in the same window. This includes the upload speed and the expected completion time.

You should note that higher resolution videos like 1080p and 4K tend to take longer to get processed. Also, they are initially processed in low resolution to reduce upload time.

The uploaded video could remain at low resolutions for hours while the processing continues. However, you needn't panic because once high-resolution processing is complete, it will automatically be available on your video.

You could mark the video as private as you wait for the high-resolution processing to finish. This means your subscribers will be prevented from seeing the video in low-resolution videos.

There is also a scheduling option, where you specify the time you want the video to be published. This is quite helpful if you don't want to wait for the high-resolution process to finish. We recommend uploading the video during the night and scheduling it to be published the following day.


Uploading a high definition video is a critical process, and how you approach it can affect your video quality and overall reception by viewers. Hopefully, after going through this guide, uploading an HD video to YouTube should be a breeze.

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