Best Youtube Video Format
4 minutes read

Starting a YouTube channel can be complicated, nerve-racking, and time-consuming, given all the things that go into creating content and putting it out there. 

Along with the creative part, you also have to consider the technical side of the process, and that would be the format for your videos.

You’ll have to make sure that you choose the very best format to upload to YouTube.

Although many people overlook this aspect, YouTube video formats are actually fundamental since they impact the quality of your videos.

To help out, we’ll explore the different video formats that are out there and help you decide which ones to use when advertising on YouTube

Supported YouTube Video Formats

First things first.

If you want to avoid getting an error message when uploading your video or ending up with low-resolution videos, here are all of the recommended YouTube file formats that you should use: 

  • .MOV
  • .MPEG4
  • .MP4
  • .AVI
  • .WMV
  • .FLV
  • 3GPP
  • WebM
  • DNxHR
  • ProRes
  • CineForm
  • HEVC (h265)

However, if you already have your video ready for upload and it’s in none of the above formats, make sure you convert it before putting it on the platform.

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Best YouTube Formats to Use

For a full HD video (1920×1080 px), the best video format for YouTube, according to the platform, is the MP4 file type in combination with an H.264 codec, 15-20 Mbps, a standard aspect ratio of 16:9, and audio codec AAC-LC.

While the platform supports several video formats, it’s best to go by their recommendation and adapt your video to the best format for YouTube.

What is the best format for YouTube in terms of size and aspect ratio?

As far as other technical requirements go, you’ll also have to pay attention to the file size you’re uploading.

The maximum size allowed is 128GB or 12 hours, so make sure not to exceed this limit.

However, if your video is longer than that, you can compress it using a video editor before uploading it.

For the best YouTube video format, you’ll also need to stick to the 16:9 aspect ratio that will look good both on desktop and mobile devices.

Another accepted standard aspect ratio is 4:3, but if you upload it at 16:9, you’ll be able to change it to 4:3 by adding black letterbox bars.

What video format is best for YouTube as far as resolution goes?

The best format to upload to YouTube should first be recorded in 1080p to be considered HD.

This will look great on any type of device, especially if you’re also using a good frame rate, which should be at no less than 30 frames per second.

The maximum is 60 fps, but above anything else, make sure you’re not using less than the advisable 30 fps, or else your video will end up looking blurry.

What else should I know regarding the best formats for uploading to YouTube?

As mentioned above, the best file format for YouTube should use an H.264 codec, but other viable options are the MPEG-4, and the MPEG-2 codec, as both will render pretty great results.

All three are set as default, so when uploading the video, you only have to confirm if it’s set on one of these.

If you record the video on your phone, you can rest assured there’s no need for a high-quality camera to make a great video, but you do need a pretty decent camera phone.

In order to achieve the best format for YouTube, it’s best to use a smartphone that can record up to 2160p.

Create Your Video Thumbnail and Channel Cover with Creatopy

While YouTube will automatically generate a few thumbnails that you can choose from, these are totally random and might not look that great.

Instead, you can go ahead and use Creatopy to create your own customized thumbnail.

Along with this, you also have the possibility to create your own YouTube personalized banner for your channel cover. 

Follow the steps below and create your own channel covers and thumbnails.

Step 1

Go to Creatopy’s dashboard and type “YouTube” in the search bar from the screen’s left side.

The search results will show you the two different options you can use: one for creating a channel cover and the other one for creating a video thumbnail.

Step 2

Create your channel cover or YouTube video thumbnail choosing from one of the available templates or upload your own and get creative.

There is a wide variety of templates available in the editor, and you can personalize them however you see fit.

In just a few clicks, you can change the text, the font, the font color, or the background image.

Step 3

When you’re done making all the edits, just download your banner or thumbnail, and you’re all done.

Upload your creations to your YouTube account and enjoy the result.


Creating and uploading the best video formats for YouTube does not have to be a challenge if you know the basics we’ve covered in this article and follow the recommendations.

Make sure to go through all the necessary steps, and you’re definitely bound to end up with a great video. 

Ana Darstaru
Content Marketing Manager by day // avid foodie by night. Passionate about content creation, advertising, human psychology, carbs, and TV shows. Still obsessed with Sherlock (the TV show). Patient, yet impulsive.

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