When you upload a video, it will initially be processed in low resolution. This helps the video to upload faster. Once your upload has been completed, your video will be available to stream in low resolution, usually 360p, on a wide variety of devices.
Higher resolutions, such as 4K or 1080p, can take more time to process. While this happens, your video may appear to be missing high-quality options, such as 4K or 1080p, for several hours. Once high-resolution processing is finished, higher resolutions will be available on your video.
Best practices for high-quality videos
If you want your viewers to be able to watch in HD, upload your video as unlisted at first. Then make your video public once high resolution processing has been completed.
If you want HD resolutions to appear faster after upload, try switching to a lower resolution or frame rate. Switching from 4K to 1080p resolution, for instance, will mean less processing time before HD options like 720p and 1080p are available to viewers.
About processing time
Processing time depends on many factors, like:
- Video format
- Video length
- Frame rate
Higher resolution videos, like videos in 4K or 1080p, take longer both to upload and process. The same is true for videos with higher frame rates, such as 60 fps.
For instance, 4K videos are four times larger than 1080p videos. It can take four times longer for 4K resolution to be available after an upload has finished. A 4K video with a frame rate of 30 fps that is 60 minutes long can take up to four hours to finish high-resolution processing. A 4K video with a frame rate of 60 fps will take longer.
Check video quality
To see if your video has finished processing in higher resolutions, check the video's watch page.
- Open your video's watch page.
- In the video player, select Settings .
- Click Quality.
If higher-quality options are still missing, processing is still completing in the background.