YouTube can support many different video formats, however in most cases you may need to compress the videos before uploading to YouTube website, and the output quality may vary greatly by the different video formats. So it does help to understand a few basics and create videos in the best video format for YouTube upload. If the original format of your video isn’t the most suitable for uploading to YouTube, iFunia Video Converter is here to help.

YouTube Supported Video Formats

YouTube supports a wide range of video formats. The video files below are all supported by YouTube. Some are the best video format for YouTube videos and are most compatible with certain computers, software or devices.

  • Windows Media Video (.WMV)
  • 3GP (Cell Phones)
  • AVI (Windows)
  • MOV (Mac)
  • MP4 (iPod/PSP)
  • MPEG
  • FLV (Adobe Flash)
  • SWF (Shockwave Flash)
  • MKV (h.264)

What is the Best Video Format for YouTube Uploading?

YouTube supports almost any video format for upload, but for most users we have found the following settings give the best uploading results on YouTube. Here's a summary of the audio and video specifications you will need if you want to learn the best file format for YouTube uploading.

  • Best format for YouTube: H.264, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4
  • Aspect Ratio: Native aspect ratio without letterboxing (examples: 4:3, 16:9)
  • Resolution: 640x360 (16:9) or 480x360 (4:3) recommended
  • Audio format: MP3 or AAC preferred
  • Frames per second: 30
  • Maximum length: 10 minutes (we recommend 2-3 minutes)
  • Maximum file size: 1 GB

For further details about the best file type for YouTube videos, please read the information listed directly below this summary.


Best YouTube Video Format
Resolution Recommended: 1280 x 720 (16x9 HD) and 640 x 480 (4:3 SD)
There is no required minimum resolution - in general the higher resolution the better and HD resolution is preferred. For older content, lower resolution is unavoidable.
Bit rate Because bit-rate is highly dependent on codec there is no recommended or minimum value. Videos should be optimized for resolution, aspect ratio and frame rate rather than bit rate.
Frame rate The frame rate of the original video should be maintained without re-sampling. In particular pulldown and other frame rate re-sampling techniques are strongly discouraged.
Codec H.264, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 preferred.
Best YouTube Audio Format
Codec MP3 or AAC preferred
Sampling rate 44.1kHz
Channels 2 (stereo)

Convert Your Video to Best Format for YouTube

If you do not think your current video file format is supported by YouTube, you may get the best uploading results from converting your file to the best video format for YouTube (say MPEG4 video with MP3 audio) with iFunia Video Converter for Mac. It is a handy tool to help you convert the best file type for YouTube videos. All it takes is just a few clicks.

Click here to free download the best Video Converter for Mac

Keep in mind that each time you convert or "transcode" a video from one type of compression to another, there will be some loss in quality, similar to making a photocopy of a photocopy.

Make sure always shoot video in HD 1080 or HD 720 whenever possible, though this is not necessary. HD 1080p is a high-definition widescreen format with a 16:9 aspect ratio -- the same ratio as that used for big screen motion pictures. HD 720 carries the same aspect ratio, but at 720 pixels tall by 1280 pixels wide. For those who do not shoot in HD, YouTube accepts any size of video in any aspect ratio -- and makes it look good, too. See Resources for How to Upload YouTube Videos in Real 16:9.

Avoid transcoding a highly compressed video into a format that is accepted as this produces poor results. You'll get better results by going back to your original video editing software (where you initially edited the video), and re-exporting in a format such as MPEG4 with MP3 audio.


For those who’d like to download videos from YouTube for offline playback rather than uploading video to YouTube, iFunia Free YouTube Downloader can be a solid solution, which helps you download movies, music videos, HTML 5 videos and HD videos from YouTube in MP4, FLV, 3GP, WebM formats.