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How to Upload H.265(HEVC) Videos to YouTube Easily without Errors

Uploading an HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) video to YouTube is quite straightforward. HEVC, also known as H.265, is a modern video compression standard that allows for higher quality video at lower file sizes. While YouTube primarily uses the AVC (Advanced Video Coding) or H.264 standard for video playback, it accepts HEVC uploads, which are then transcoded to AVC for compatibility with a wider array of playback devices.


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Table of Contents

How to upload an HEVC video to YouTube, step by step guide

  • Step 1 Verify Your Video Format: Ensure your video is encoded in the HEVC format. You can check this by looking at the video file properties or using a media info tool. YouTube supports a range of video formats, but starting with HEVC can be beneficial for maintaining quality during the transcoding process.
  • Step 2 Sign In to YouTube: Open your web browser and navigate to the YouTube website. Sign in with your Google account if you haven’t already. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to create one.
  • Step 3 Initiate the Upload Process: Click on the camera icon with a “+” inside, usually found at the top right corner of the YouTube home page, then select “Upload Video” from the drop-down menu. This will take you to the YouTube Studio upload page.
  • Step 4 Select Your HEVC Video File: You will be prompted to select files to upload. You can either drag and drop your HEVC video file into the browser window or click the “SELECT FILES” button to navigate through your computer’s file explorer and pick your video.
  • Step 5 Fill in Video Details: While your video is uploading, fill in the essential details:
  1. Title: Give your video a compelling title.
  2. Description: Provide a description of your video’s content.
  3. Tags: Add relevant tags to help with search visibility.
  4. Thumbnail: Choose a thumbnail that accurately represents the video. You can select one of the auto-generated ones or upload a custom image.
  5. Playlist: Optionally, add your video to one of your playlists for better organization.
  • Step 6 Video Privacy SettingsSelect the appropriate visibility settings for your video: Public, Unlisted, Private, or Schedule for a future time.
  • Step 7 Additional SettingsNavigate through the additional settings tabs (e.g., Audience, Age Restrictions) to customize your video according to your preferences.
  • Step 8 Publish or SaveOnce the upload and processing are complete, and you’ve adjusted all your settings, hit the “Publish” button to make your video live if you selected “Public” or “Scheduled”. If you chose “Private” or “Unlisted”, it would be saved with those visibility settings.
  • Step 9: Share Your VideoAfter publishing, you can share your video link on social media, websites, or directly with friends and family.


  • Uploading HEVC videos might take a bit longer to process due to the conversion process on YouTube’s servers.
  • Ensure your internet connection is stable during the upload to avoid any interruptions.

By following these steps, your HEVC video will be successfully uploaded and made accessible to your audience on YouTube.

There are several things to keep in mind when uploading HEVC videos to YouTube

  1. Processing Time: HEVC videos may take longer to process after upload due to their complexity and the compression efficiency.
  2. Compatibility: Ensure that your video editing software supports exporting in HEVC format if you wish to take advantage of this codec.
  3. Quality vs. File Size: While HEVC offers better compression and potentially higher quality at lower bitrates, ensure your target audience has devices compatible with HEVC playback. Most modern devices support it, but some older systems might struggle.
  4. Bitrate Guidelines: Follow YouTube’s recommended upload encoding settings for the best results. Although HEVC can achieve higher quality at a lower bitrate, adhering to YouTube’s guidelines helps ensure your videos are of high quality after processing.

When you upload an HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265) video to YouTube, it is processed by YouTube’s servers to make it accessible in various resolutions, including standard resolutions like 1080p, 720p, 480p, 360p, and 144p. YouTube does this to ensure that videos can be streamed smoothly across different devices and connection speeds. The platform automatically generates these different quality options as part of its encoding process.

The availability of resolutions like 1080p, 720p, 480p, 360p, and 144p for your video depends on a few factors

  1. Original Resolution and Bitrate: The resolution options available on YouTube depend on the original resolution and bitrate of the video you upload. If you upload a video in 4K, YouTube will process and offer it in 4K (2160p), 1080p, 720p, and so on, down to the lowest resolution available. However, if your original video is 720p, YouTube won’t upscale it to higher resolutions like 1080p or 4K.
  2. Processing Time: Higher resolutions and the full range of quality options might take longer to appear after you’ve uploaded your video. Initially, only lower resolutions might be available because those are processed faster. Give it some time, and higher resolutions should appear.
  3. Viewer’s Device and Bandwidth: The range of quality options visible to a viewer also depends on their device capabilities and current internet bandwidth. If YouTube detects a slow connection, it might not immediately offer higher resolutions like 1080p or 720p to ensure smooth playback.
  4. Browser and App Support: The availability of HEVC playback can also depend on whether the viewer’s browser or the YouTube app supports it. While HEVC is a more efficient video codec that provides better compression without losing quality, not all devices or browsers fully support it yet, which can influence playback.

When you upload an HEVC video to YouTube, the platform transcoding process ensures that your content is accessible to a wide audience, despite the original codec or format. YouTube aims to deliver the best viewer experience by automatically adjusting video playback quality based on the factors mentioned above.

Why are my uploaded HEVC videos only showing in lower resolutions on YouTube?

When your HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265) videos are displaying in lower resolutions on YouTube, a few factors could be at play. Understanding and addressing these can ensure your videos show at their intended quality. Here’s a concise guide to troubleshoot and understand this issue:

  1. Processing Time: Upon uploading, videos undergo processing. Higher resolutions, like 4K or 1080p, often take longer to process. Initially, only lower resolutions might be available. Depending on the video’s length and the current load on YouTube’s servers, this can take from a few minutes to several hours. Consider waiting a bit longer and then check again.
  2. Upload Settings: Ensure your video meets YouTube’s recommended encoding settings. YouTube specifically suggests certain bitrates, frame rates, and resolutions for different video qualities. Not adhering to these might result in suboptimal processing, causing the system to default to lower resolutions.
  3. Browser or Playback Device: Sometimes the issue isn’t with YouTube but with the browser or device you’re using. Some browsers or devices might not fully support HEVC playback or may default to lower resolutions for smoother playback, depending on internet speed or device capabilities. Try switching browsers or devices to see if that affects resolution availability.
  4. Viewer Settings: Users often overlook the simple resolution settings within the YouTube video player itself. On desktop or mobile devices, you can manually adjust playback quality. Ensure it’s not set to auto or a lower value by default.
  5. YouTube Studio: Check your video’s processing status in YouTube Studio. It may give you clues if the video is still processing higher resolutions or if there were any errors during upload that could affect video quality.
  6. Re-upload: If all else fails, there could have been an issue during the initial upload or processing phase. Try exporting your video again from your editor, ensuring it follows YouTube’s recommended settings, and then re-upload. Ensure to delete the old video or keep it private to avoid duplicates confusing your viewers.
  7. HEVC Compatibility: While HEVC is efficient for video compression, ensuring broad compatibility and meeting YouTube’s codec recommendations is crucial. YouTube predominantly uses the AVC (H.264) codec for video streaming due to its wide compatibility, though it also supports HEVC. Ensure your video’s codec specifications aren’t limiting its processing or playback on YouTube.

Addressing these aspects can typically resolve most issues related to video resolution on YouTube. If problems persist, consulting YouTube’s help center or forums may provide additional insights specific to your situation.

Can I manually choose the resolution options for my HEVC video on YouTube?

When you upload a video to YouTube, you cannot manually select specific resolution options for your HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265) video. Instead, YouTube automatically processes and encodes the video in various resolutions based on the original upload quality and format. This automatic process is designed to accommodate a wide range of devices and internet speeds, ensuring that viewers have the best possible experience suited to their playback conditions.

What happens when you upload an HEVC video to YouTube?

  1. Automatic Encoding: YouTube transcodes the uploaded video into different resolutions (360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p, etc.), depending on the original resolution and aspect ratio of your video. If you upload a high-resolution video, YouTube is likely to offer it in a broad range of lower resolutions to ensure compatibility across all devices and network conditions.
  2. VP9 and AVC: Besides keeping an HEVC version, YouTube also transcodes the video into VP9 and AVC (H.264) codecs to ensure compatibility with all devices, as not all devices support HEVC playback natively.
  3. Adaptive Bitrate Streaming: YouTube uses adaptive bitrate streaming, which automatically adjusts the video quality based on the viewer’s internet speed and device capabilities. This means the available resolutions viewers can choose from depend on how YouTube processed the video and the viewer’s playback environment.
  4. Processing Time: High-resolution videos, especially those in 4K or 8K, may take longer to process. Initially, lower resolutions will be available soon after uploading, with higher resolutions and HDR options (if applicable) becoming available after further processing.
  5. Advanced Features: For advanced users, YouTube Studio offers some settings that impact video processing, such as whether the video should have HDR or SDR processing. Additionally, for VR videos, you can specify the video is in 360 or VR180 format. However, specific resolution control beyond the original file’s parameters is not user-selectable.

While you cannot manually select specific resolution options for HEVC videos on YouTube, the platform optimizes the available playback resolutions automatically based on the original file. Ensure your original upload is in the highest possible quality and the correct format to maximize the number of resolutions YouTube generates for your viewers.

Is it possible to customize the encoding settings for HEVC videos on YouTube?

Yes, it is possible to customize the encoding settings for High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC or H.265) videos that you upload to YouTube, although the platform itself manages several aspects of video processing after upload. YouTube supports HEVC uploads, and doing so can help reduce file sizes while maintaining quality, which is particularly beneficial for 4K and high frame rate (HFR) videos. Here are some general tips on how to approach this:

1. Video Editing and Encoding Software:
First, you’ll need video editing or encoding software that supports H.265 encoding. Popular options include Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, and free software like Handbrake. These programs allow you to adjust various encoding settings, such as bitrate, frame rate, and resolution.

2. Optimal Settings for YouTube:
While specific settings can vary depending on the content, resolution, and frame rate of your video, there are generalized settings that are often recommended for YouTube uploads to ensure a balance between quality and file size:

  • Resolution and Aspect Ratio: Match the source video, ensuring it conforms to standard aspect ratios like 16:9. For 4K content, this typically means a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels.
  • Frame Rate: Keep it consistent with the source material; YouTube supports up to 60fps.
  • Bitrate: Follow YouTube’s recommended upload encoding settings, which suggest bitrates for different resolutions and frame rates. For HEVC, these can often be about 40-50% lower than suggested for H.264 due to the efficiency of the codec.
  • Audio Codec: AAC-LC is preferred, with a bitrate of at least 128 kbps for stereo.

3. Customization and Trial:
Customizing beyond standard recommendations could help in situations where you’re trying to strike a balance between file size and visual fidelity, especially in videos with a lot of motion or fine detail. Experiment with variable bitrate (VBR) settings, test different compression levels, and even adjust the GOP (Group of Pictures) size for more control over how the video is compressed.

4. Keep YouTube’s Processing in Mind:
After upload, YouTube re-encodes videos to work across multiple devices and bandwidth conditions, which might alter the final viewing quality slightly. While you can control the upload encode, you can’t control this aspect of YouTube’s processing, but providing the highest quality source file can help ensure the best possible outcome.


While you can’t directly influence how YouTube processes videos post-upload, customizing the encoding settings before you upload can have a significant impact on the quality of your video. Experimenting with these settings in your encoding software, while keeping YouTube’s guidelines in mind, will help you find the sweet spot for your content.

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