Low video quality after upload

When you upload a video, it will initially be processed in low quality. This process helps you complete the upload process faster. When the upload flow is complete, your video will be available to stream in low quality, on a wide variety of devices.

Higher qualities, such as 4K or 1080p, can take more time to process. While this processing happens, your video may seem to be missing higher qualities for several hours. Once high-resolution processing is finished, higher qualities will be available on your video.

Best practices for high quality videos

You can always upload your video as unlisted first and make it public once high-resolution processing is complete. By uploading as unlisted first and publishing later, viewers will only ever see your video in high qualities.

If you want HD qualities to show faster after upload, try uploading your video with a lower quality or frame rate. Switching from 4K to 1080p quality, for instance, will mean fewer processing time before HD options are available to viewers.

About processing time

Processing time depends on many factors, like:

  • Video format
  • Video length
  • Frame rate
  • Quality

Higher quality videos, like videos in 4K or 1080p, take longer to both upload and process. The same is true for videos with higher frame rates, such as 60-fps.

For instance, 4K videos are 4 times larger than 1080p videos. It can take 4 times longer for 4K quality to be available after an upload finishes. A 4K video with a frame rate of 30 fps that is 60 minutes long can take up to 4 hours to finish high-resolution processing. A 4K video with a frame rate of 60fps will take longer.

Check video quality

To see if your video has finished processing in higher qualities, check the video’s watch page.

  1. Open your video’s watch page.
  2. In the video player, select Settings .
  3. Click Quality.

If higher-quality options are still missing, processing is still completing in the background. Learn how to change the quality of your video.

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