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The simplest way to upload videos to YouTube

by Casey Schmidt  |  May 11, 2020

3 min. read
A person holding a tablet using YouTube.

Uploading a video to YouTube has powerful potential to boost social presence, earn money or promote a business. There are quite a few details to consider before deciding how and what to upload to YouTube. This guide will walk you through the easiest method to uploading videos to the popular video platform. Plus it will cover all the minor yet important details concerning your files.

How to upload a video to YouTube

The following list gives you the most direct, step-by-step manner to put your videos online:

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to YouTube
  2. Sign in to your account, or register if you haven’t already
  3. Click the ‘Create Video’ button in the upper right
  4. Choose ‘Upload Video’
  5. Click the ‘Select files to upload’ image
  6. Choose the video from your computer
A computer using YouTube.
The only thing required to put videos on YouTube is an account and internet access.

You’ll be able to immediately share the link to your video, though it may take a few minutes to appear at its highest resolution. The uploaded video will be stored inside your video library. This is where all the videos you upload are placed. Access the library for future reference and editing, should you need it.

Are there upload limits?

There are time limits to videos on YouTube, unless your account is approved for extended uploads. The limit is ten to fifteen minutes per video. This can be upgraded by request. YouTube adheres to strict copyright limitations, including music. Make sure your video doesn’t have copyrighted songs, even if it’s playing in the background. In order to get music into your video, find music that is available for free.

The maximum size limit of a video upload to YouTube is 128 gigabytes. This is unlikely to restrict the quality of even the largest video files. As resolutions continue to improve, YouTube should (as it has done in the past) adapt to the changes in normal video file sizes. This makes switching to other sites unnecessary (in terms of file size/length restrictions).

A woman using a laptop.
The YouTube upload limits are temporary.

Next steps in the process

Now that you’ve initiated an upload, the rest of the process is just tidying up the smaller details. First, fill out the information of the video on the upload page while everything is being processed. Things like the title, keywords and description help people locate the video through search. Then, ensure the thumbnail fits the main idea of the video. If it doesn’t, you can switch to a different one. If none of the options YouTube presents to you fit, upload an image of your own.

YouTube has analytics that inform you of how well your video is doing in terms of views and length of video watched. To take advantage of these, which is highly recommended, start by examining the available data to see if there is anything out of place. Next, make sure the video is visually and audibly perfect. YouTube has editing tools to fix these after the upload if necessary.

Learning how to upload a video to YouTube is just the beginning of your process. Push your efforts to the limit by following the upload with correct management and sharing of the video.