Premiere Pro Export Settings: How to Export MP4 Video for YouTube
Sep 01, 2022• Proven solutions
Exporting MP4 videos for YouTube with the right settings and aspect ratio is very important. Right now, YouTube is the best social media platform for multimedia content producers at various levels of practice, and if you don’t already have a YouTube channel, you’re probably thinking of starting one. With software like Adobe Premiere Pro, you can export your MP4 videos in the best quality possible for YouTube.
In the steps below, we show you the best settings for exporting MP4 videos in Premiere Pro.
Part 1: YouTube video specification
Before you export video to YouTube, it would be better to know YouTube video specification. YouTube’s aspect ratio is 16:9 and 1920x1080p (Full HD resolution) is the ideal dimension for YouTube videos. While you could go as high as 4k (3840x2160p), many professionals find 1080p is enough for good quality MP4 YouTube videos.
The 128GB file size limit for YouTube is okay for most high-quality video uploads. Do note that the settings you choose for rendering videos in Premiere Pro could result in significantly large files.
Also bear in mind that it is best to edit and export your video in its original video resolution and frame rate. So basically, your video resolution and framerate should be the same while shooting, editing and exporting your video.
Part 2: How to export MP4 videos in Premiere Pro
Adobe Premiere Pro is a state-of-the-art multimedia editing software. While it has options for many complex settings for video exports, it does have presets for exporting videos for YouTube. If you choose not to use the built in YouTube video export preset, simply follow the steps below to export a high quality MP4 video for YouTube.
Step 1: In-out option
Create a new sequence preset by clicking on FILE > NEW > SEQUENCE. Select the option which best matches the resolution and framerate of your original video. Give the sequence preset a new name and save. With a new sequence preset created, a timeline window will open. Place your video project into the timeline.
Set the IN and OUT points to tell Premiere Pro where you want the rendering to begin and where you want it to end. Move the playhead to where you want the rendered video to start and press ‘I’ on your keyboard. Then, move the playhead to where you want the rendered video to end and press ‘O’ on your keyboard.
Step 2: Change export settings
Next, click FILE > EXPORT > MEDIA to open the EXPORT SETTINGS window. The important things to focus on here are the VIDEO and AUDIO tabs. Above these tabs however, there are some important boxes to check:
- Set FORMAT to H.264
- Set PRESET to CUSTOM
- Set OUTPUT NAME to name your video and choose where it will be saved.
- Check boxes for EXPORT VIDEO and EXPORT AUDIO
Step 3: Basic video/audio settings
Under BASIC VIDEO SETTINGS in the VIDEO tab, choose the following options:
- Set width and height to 1920 and 1080 respectively
- Set framerate at 24fps or 23.976fps as the case may be
- Keep aspect ratio at SQUARE PIXELS 1.0
- Set PROFILE to HIGH
- Set LEVEL to 4.2
- Check box for ‘RENDER AT MAXIMUM DEPTH’
- Set BITRADE ENCODING to VBR 2 PASS. Also set target bitrate to 8 or 16mbps to keep file reasonably small. You can also set maximum bitrate to as high as 40mbps.
In the AUDIO TAB, choose the following options:
- Set AUDIO CODEC to AAC
- Set AUDIO SAMPLE RATE to 48000HZ
- Set CHANNELS to STEREO
- Set QUALITY to HIGH
- Set BITRATE to 320kbps
- Set PRECEDENCE to BITRATE
Step 4: Publish video to YouTube
You can save VIDEO PRESET. With preset saved, you can add your video to the EXPORT QUEUE or click EXPORT to start the rendering process immediately. Premiere Pro supports importing video to YouTube directly.
These presets become much easier to handle with practice. Professional and experienced video content creators probably have many custom presets saved for their projects. However, for beginners and people who want to start using more advanced video editing software for their projects, the settings above are all that’s needed to produce good quality MP4 videos for YouTube.