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YouTube Video Dimensions/Size: Guide for Upload Settings

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May 21, 2024• Proven solutions

Every social media offers a distinct range of dimensions and settings for their publication. So does YouTube.

It's acutely important to be aware of your setting choices and choosing the right video, thumbnail and screen dimensions of a YouTube video to elevate the user experience.

Merely watching the videos on YouTube is much easier but being able to upload a video there using the right size matters a lot more than one thinks of.

But how can one master it all by himself? Here we are to guide you all along the way! So sit back and relax and enjoy your first-rated content!

You will Learn :

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The right YouTube video size for you

Resolution Equivalent Name Quality
3840×2160 2160p 4K
2560×1440 1440p 2K
1920×1080 1080p Highest YouTube HD video resolution
1280×720 720p Least YouTube HD video resolution
854×480 480p Standard definition
640×360 360p Conventional website resolution
426×240 240p Least YouTube video size available

Important guidelines for YouTube Video dimensions

Maximum acceptable size of a YouTube video 426 x 420p
Minimum acceptable size of a YouTube video 3840 x 2160p
The right aspect ratio of a YouTube video 16:9
Maximum size of a YouTube file 128GB
The maximum length of a YouTube video 12 hours
Compatible YouTube video formats
  • avi
  • mov
  • mp4 (best video format for YouTube)
  • 3GPP
  • webM
  • flv
  • mpeg
  • mpegps
  • wmv

In order to grasp all of the aforementioned configurations thoroughly, a pictorial depiction is a must. So here it is to give you a vivid vision.

youtube video dimensions

Image from learn.g2

What's the best YouTube video size for you?

It is recommended by professionals to use the YouTube video dimensions 1080p, or 1920 x 1080.

These ones are the ideal because it will not only facilitate the video with a professional and elite look but also consumes relatively much less data. Moreover, if you use a phone for recording your videos then using the quality higher than the ones mentioned above will cost you with ample memory.

If you are a newbie to the world of YouTube and want to up the device's storage game then 720p would still do wonders.

What is the video aspect ratio?

This term refers to the proportion of your video. In other words, the video aspect ratio can be defined as the width or breadth (of an image or screen) with respect to its height. Such a ratio can be expressed or represented in the form of "width x height.

That means an aspect ratio of 4x3 refers to an image that is 4 unit wide and 3 units high. Similarly, it can also be expressed with a colon in between the units such as 4:3 or 16:9.

The aspect ratio of a video merely refers to the relationship among the width and height respectively and not the actual physical size of the image.

The most common aspect ratios used in the video are depicted below for sound understanding:

dimensions of a youtube video

Image from learn.g2

The aspect ratio is the proportion of your video. This image displays the three most common aspect ratios.

Aspect ratio refers to the ratio of height and width although dimensions refer to two separate measurements of height and width rather than a ratio with "pixel" as its unit.

Standard aspect ratios

Below are the most common aspect ratios used for the video. There may be certain amendments to the ones mentioned below but the following formats are used mostly by the film and video makers.

Let's review the quick breakdown of the available aspect ratio options that you can opt accordingly:

Aspect ratio Application
1:1 or 1x1 This aspect ratio will mostly be seen in the Instagram video. This 1:1 ratio gives a video a perfect square shape.
4:3 or 4x3 This aspect ratio was mostly seen few ages ago in almost the amidst 20th century on the TV. This was used to be a standard television format back then. So if you are a 90's kid or an adult then you must be familiar with this format while watching your favorite old schooled sitcoms!
16:9 or 16x9 The format was enhanced to 16:9 aspect ratio for more HD quality and better viewing experience. This format is widely being used in televisions, theatres, DVD or high definition professional videos.
21:9 or 21x9 For more than merely an HD video quality and astonishing user experience, the formats have been upgraded to 21:9 aspect ratio. This is dominantly being used in the cinema for movie theatre releases.

The right aspect ratio for YouTube videos

YouTube recommends using an aspect ratio of 16:9 according to the video player that YouTube uses. You are also given an option to upload your videos vertically but this will amend the aspect ratio respectively.

When you upload a video with an aspect ratio other than the one mention formerly then YouTube will automatically place the black bars on the sides. This is done to display the best quality video with the right resolution otherwise it will be displayed as distorted or cropped.

A vertical ratio with may be 4:3 video aspect ratio will be displayed like the image given below:

youtube video dimensions 1080p

Image from learn.g2

The correct video image and YouTube screen size

Videos are undoubtedly the most important asset of YouTube but we cannot ignore the significance of the optimal images there! Using the right channel images will enhance the user experience and will ultimately level up your game!

The appealing and attractive cover photos, banners, thumbnails, channel icons possess equal importance as the video itself.

So don't forget to tune your images! Just grab a cup of coffee and see how your views increase exponentially by this simple yet most important change!

Just skim through the checklist given below and you will be ready to nail it!

1. Perfect size for your YouTube profile photo

The profile photo of YouTube, often called a YouTube channel icon, is preferably a facial picture when is run by an individual and a respective logo if run by a brand or a business.

The suggested YouTube screen size of your YouTube profile picture or channel icon is 800 x800 pixels.

youtube screen size

Image from metricool

2. Perfect size for your YouTube thumbnail photo

What is YouTube thumbnail?

A thumbnail photo is the picture of one of the frames of your video that you select to let the viewers see the quick glace or snapshot of your video while they browse YouTube.

You can choose any of the snapshots, technically known as a thumbnail, right after uploading your video on your channel. Either you can let YouTube choose any thumbnail or you choose your own.

Why is it important?

Choosing the appropriate thumbnail is one of the most important factors you cannot neglect. In order to gain views the most on your videos, a wise selection of a perfect YouTube video thumbnail dimensions will attract the viewers. Hence this will can uplift your views to a drastic extent.

A quick tip for the perfect YouTube thumbnail

Take a look at the popular you tubers and see what strategies they use when uploading their thumbnails. Usually, the video content is not as appealing as the thumbnail itself. That's what you need to understand! Just see by yourself how large text and striking images will do wonders!

YouTube video thumbnail dimension for a perfect thumbnail image:

The preferred YouTube screen size of your thumbnail image is 1280 x 720 pixels.

Similar to the YouTube video, the aspect ratio of your thumbnail is 16:9.

For even more clear understanding, look into this illustration:

youtube video thumbnail dimensions

Image from learn.g2

3. Perfect size for your YouTube banner

YouTube offers two main areas for image display of your channel. One is an icon image while other is what YouTube calls "Channel Art". This is the same as Facebook's cover photo. People often call it "YouTube banner". It is a header image displayed at the top of your channel.

youtube video size

For each kind of display (mobile, desktop, and TV), channel art (or banner) dimension changes accordingly.

Either your cover photo or your YouTube banner is displayed at the top of the channel so it's highly significant to consider what you are depicting about your channel through these images.

Hence, this being said or realized, selecting the appropriate banner resolution should be among your topmost priorities.

The recommended banner dimensions of a YouTube video as suggested by YouTube are 2560 x 1440 pixels. But the dimensions may slightly vary with the variation in the devices being used by the users.

Displays Banner image Dimensions
Video display 2560 x 1440 pixels
Desktop display 2560 x 423 pixels
Tablet display 1855 x 423 pixels
Television 2560 x 1440 pixels

For a thorough understanding, refer to the image below:

best video format for youtube

Image from learn.g2

The right cover photo size on TV:

The image displayed when accessing YouTube from TV will appear and be uploaded full or maximized. So a wise image size must be opted. So the accurate resolution would be 2560 x 1440 pixels which will cover the entire background of your channel.

The right cover photo size on desktop displays:

The image size may vary to some extent as per the browser you are accessing with or the desktop itself. But generally, the suggested cover photo size for desktop displays is 2560 x 423 pixels.

The right cover photo size on Tablet displays:

As per the recommendation for uploading the image while specifically considering the table display is 1855 x 423 pixels. This will cover the area appropriately.

FAQs about Youtube upload settings


What is the maximum YouTube upload limit of size?

The allowed maximum video file size for uploading is 128GB at present.

What is the maximum YouTube upload limit of length?

The allowed maximum video length today for uploading is 12 hours.

How the default upload setting is reset on YouTube?

Step 1: Sign In to your YouTube account using a browser.

Step 2: By clicking your profile icon on the top right corner of the pane, you'll see the YouTube Studio option. Click on it.

Step 3: Go on settings option where a pop-up window will appear.

youtube upload limit

Step 4: Look for upload defaults and change the configurations on 2 tabs.

Step 5: Click on save button.

How is YouTube video uploaded using the mobile application?

Step 1: Sign in to your YouTube channel using your mobile phone.

Step 2: Tap on the video camera icon to upload a video. Grant access to your photo gallery and camera is asked by the app while uploading for the first time.

Step 3: You may "Go Live" or simply drag an already made video file to upload.

Step 4: Click "Next".

Step 5: Enter the video name, select visibility level and then click upload.

How is YouTube video uploaded using a web browser?

Step 1: Sign in to your YouTube account in a web browser.

Step 2: Click on the video icon appearing on the top of the pane.

Step 3: Click on upload video in the drop-down.

best video format for youtube

Step 4: You will be redirected to the video upload page. Click "public" under "Select files to upload" option and choose visibility level (public, private or scheduled).

Step 5: Click on a large arrow for video file selection or simply drag the file onto the page.

Step 6: You may enter miscellaneous information related to the video while the video is being uploaded.

Step 7: Click on publish and you are done!

Read More to Get : Best Video Websites Like YouTube >>

Basic terminologies that you should know

Video Format

A file format is a way that is standard for the storage of information in the encoded form within the computer file. It entails how exactly the bits are used while encoding the information in a digital storage medium.

So, a video file format is basically a type of file format in order to store the digital data of a video in the computer system. Mostly, video is often stored using the lossy compression in order to reduce the file size.

Frame Rate

"Frame rate" essentially entails the frequency (rate) at which the simultaneous images display on the screen. These images or called "frames". Frame rate is expressed in "frames per second or FPS". The unit or term is applicable for film, cameras, motion capture, video, and computer graphics. This is also known as "frame frequency", expressed in the unit "hertz"


Resolution is a measure to entail the clarity and sharpness of an image and most often used as a metric to judge the quality of cameras, monitors, printers, etc.

It basically refers to the number of different pixels in each dimension which can be viewed in any display device.

File Size

File size refers to the space that a file occupies in a storage medium, like hard drive or USB. The measure of file sizes can be expressed in bytes (B), kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), terabytes (TB), and so on.

As shown in the picture below, the files listed in the Windows Explorer assorted as per the file with the largest size first. The file with the name "family-safety.jpg" occupies the largest size of 47 KB and the smallest one with 32 KB size.


Codec is a device or maybe a computer program that is used to encode or decode a stream of digital data or signal. A codec is a short form of "coder-decoder".

The basic function of a coder is to encode the stream of data or signal for storage or transmission, usually in an encrypted form.

While, a decoder decodes the encoded (possibly encrypted) data, which is merely a reverse process of a coder. The application of codec are in streaming media, videoconferencing, and video editing applications.

Aspect ratio:

This term refers to the proportion of your video. In other words, the video aspect ratio can be defined as the width or breadth (of an image or screen) with respect to its height. Such a ratio can be expressed or represented in the form of "width x height.

That means an aspect ratio of 4x3 refers to an image that is 4 units wide and 3 units high. Similarly, it can also be expressed with a colon in between the units such as 4:3 or 16:9.

Need a YouTube support?

If you need any support, guidance or may face any queries related to anything regarding your YouTube channel, here's the link of YouTube support.

Download Filmora9 Win Version Download Filmora9 Mac Version

Final Verdict

Hopefully, with this detailed guide, you are now ready to make a wise decision regarding customizing your videos and channel as per viewers likeliness. So get ready to see your channel grow drastically!

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