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How To Upload Videos to YouTube [a Step-by-Step Guide]

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Jun 11, 2024• Proven solutions

Want to learn how to upload videos to YouTube? Millions of people watch YouTube every day. Creating and posting YouTube videos can be a lot of fun, and if you get a lot of views and become popular you can also make money. YouTube videos are a creative way to connect with people all around the world.

These simple steps can assist you in learning how to upload YouTube videos from a desktop computer. You are going to Learn:

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Part 1: Basic Rules You Need to Know Before Uploading

Clicking the ‘upload’ button is easy, but during the upload process, there are things you can do to help your video get views and maintain its quality. You should also keep an eye on the length and file size limits. The more basic things you need to consider carefully when you upload are the title, description, and tags of your video. These are part of what determines if and where your video comes up in people’s search results. There are also slightly more advanced video specs, like your video’s resolution, which will be helpful for you to understand as somebody who will be producing video content frequently. These sorts of specs will affect how long it takes your videos to upload and how much of the quality they maintain.

1. How Long Can my Video Be?

By default, your YouTube videos can only be 15 minutes long. You can post longer videos by going to the upload page and clicking on ‘Increase your Limit’ at the bottom. After you have followed the steps to verify your account you will be able to post videos that are a maximum of 11 hours long.

2. How Big a File Can I Upload?

Your file size was capped at 20GB, initially. If you follow the same steps for posting videos longer than 15 minutes then you can also increase your maximum file size to 128GB.

3. Other Basics

After you click the ‘upload’ button on YouTube you are taken to a page where you choose a category for your video and add a title, description, and tags. These are all important for getting hits so you should put some thought into them.

Title: Keep your title under 70 characters so none of it disappears into a ‘…’. The best titles make people curious or elicit an emotional response. Terms like ‘video’, ‘how-to’, and ‘tutorial’ are often typed into people’s searches so if they apply to your video it can help to put them in the title.

Description: A short synopsis of your video which includes your most important keyword. You have about three lines before your text is hidden by a ‘show more’ tab. If you are including the URL of your channel or other videos then you should make sure they are above the ‘show more’.

Tags: Use a lot of them. These are the keywords and terms people will be searching for when they find your video. YouTube will suggest some after you start adding. A quick way to find good keywords to use is to search for videos similar to yours and check out their tags. A while ago YouTube started hiding video tags by default but you can download a free, YouTube-certified, extension for Google Chrome which will allow you to see them from

4. Digging Deeper

To get your viewers to subscribe to your channel you will need to make sure your videos are not losing quality when you upload them. Here are some things to be aware of if you want your videos to look great on YouTube.

Resolution: the number of pixels in your image. For example when a video has a resolution of 1080p that means it has a grid of pixels that is 1920 x 1080. The more pixels you have the sharper your image.

Bitrate: Bitrate is a measurement of how compressed your file is, and the less compressed it is the more information there is per frame. Higher bitrates mean larger file sizes.

Your resolution and bitrate should complement each other. If you have a higher bitrate than is needed for your video’s resolution your file will be unnecessarily large. If your bitrate is too low for your resolution then you will not see the quality you expect.

YouTube has a list of recommended resolutions and bitrates at

Aspect Ratio: the dimensions of your video, in terms of width and height. YouTube’s aspect ratio is 16:9, so your videos should also be 16:9. If they are not then you will get black bars on either side of your video after you upload it. The most common way that people end up with the wrong aspect ratio is by creating videos on their smartphones and holding them up and down instead of sideways.

Part 2: Steps to Upload Videos to YouTube

Uploading YouTube Video on Desktop: 

1. Sign in to your YouTube account

2. Hit the upload button

3. Select your video type (Public, Private, Unlisted)

4. Manage the upload

5. Choose your thumbnail 

Step 1: Sign in to your YouTube account

In order to upload videos to YouTube, the very first thing you need to do is sign in. The sign-in button is located at the top right corner of the YouTube homepage. If you have multiple accounts registered to one device, you will be asked to choose one to log in to.

sign in YouTube account

Step 2: Hit the upload button

It is a simple step that you will have to follow right after you log in to YouTube. As soon as you enter YouTube, after using your Google account and password for login, you will find the upload button in the top right corner of the screen. Click on this button and it will take you to the dedicated upload page.

Step 3: Select your video type (Public, Private, Unlisted)

Choose your audience. If you wish to make your video available to everyone on YouTube, simply go to the privacy settings and choose the “Public” option from the drop-down menu.

If you do not want your video to be searchable, but still want to be able to easily share a link to it with your friends and family, choose the “Unlisted” option.

Those who wish to keep their video personal can choose the “Private” option from the drop-down menu. You can still share a private video with a limited number of people (as long as they have Google accounts).

The “Scheduled” option is available for choosing a future date and time to make the video available to viewers. Once you have selected your privacy level, simply upload your video from your device storage.

YouTube Upload

Step 4: Manage the upload

As soon as you have confirmed your video upload, you will find a progress bar on the screen. It will take some time depending on factors such as the resolution of the video and how long it is. In the meanwhile, you can write a title, description and add relevant tags for your video so that YouTube knows what search results to include it in and viewers can find it. Remember that YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the Internet, so take some time to optimize your keywords

Step 5: Choose your thumbnail

Once your video uploading is complete, it is time to choose a creative thumbnail for your video. The system provides you with three options to choose from automatically, all of which will be screenshots from your video. It is usually better to upload your own custom thumbnail, as thumbnails are a very important factor in attracting viewers. Hit the “Done” button or use the “Publish” button to finalize your upload.

That’s how to upload a video on YouTube! Any questions?

author avatar
Richard Bennett
Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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