How to change the quality of a YouTube video on mobile and the web


YouTube continues to be the preferred video streaming service for the majority of users. Due to a recent server side change, you might be struggling to find the option to change the quality of the YouTube video. Here’s how to change video quality on mobile and the web.

Change the quality of the youtube video

Following a recent update, YouTube hid the ability to change video quality in the advanced menu. It’s a small change, but it can be difficult for normal consumers to find the option they’re looking for. This will help you save internet data, but if you are already working with unlimited internet data, you shouldn’t be dealing with 480p or 720p (HD) video quality in the first place.

We will start with the YouTube mobile apps and then move to the YouTube website to change the quality of the video.

YouTube app for Android and iPhone

By pinning your default video quality to 480p or 720p, YouTube saves unnecessary strain on their servers. A single device doesn’t make much of a difference, but when you count millions of devices, they do have a good impact on YouTube servers.

As a consumer, you shouldn’t worry about this. You can easily watch your favorite creator in 4K quality using the advanced options menu. Here’s how.

The steps below apply to YouTube for iPhone, iPad, and Android. You get the same user interface everywhere. For reference, here is how you can change video quality on YouTube iPhone app.

Step 1: Open the YouTube app on iPhone.

2nd step: Play a video.

Step 3: Tap the three-dot menu at the top.

Step 4: Select Quality.

Select more menu

Select the quality menu

You have four options to choose from.

Auto: This is the default setting and it will adjust the video quality to give you the best experience for your condition.

Superior image quality: This will increase the video quality at the expense of more data.

Data saver: This will reduce the quality of the video and save data in the process. This is advisable when working with tight data plans.

Advanced: This option will allow you to select a specific resolution for the video to be broadcast on mobile.

Step 5: Tap on Advanced.

Step 6: Select 1440p or 2160p and you’ll quickly see more clarity in video resolution.

Select the advanced menu

Select better video quality

Anything above 1440p would be excessive for cell phones. If the downloaded video supports 60 frames per second for a specific resolution such as 1080p, you should go for that instead of a higher resolution with fewer frames per second. You will notice a better video playing experience on the phone.

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YouTube on the web

YouTube hasn’t messed up the web version yet. This means that the ability to change video quality on the web remains the same as before.

Step 1: Visit YouTube on the web and start playing a video.

2nd step: By default, YouTube selects the streaming quality based on your home or office internet speed.

However, your internet speed is much better than what YouTube thinks and can perfectly execute the video at higher resolution.

For example, whenever we tried to play a video at 100Mbps Wi-Fi speeds in our office, YouTube would start playing the video in Full HD resolution. The Wi-Fi network can perfectly stream video in 1440p (QHD) or 2160p (4K) quality.

Step 3: Click on the Settings gear at the bottom.

Open youtube settings on the web

Select web quality

Step 5: Select a higher video playback from the list and you are ready to use sharper video quality.

Change youtube quality on the web

Change video quality preferences

You don’t have to choose the video quality every time you open YouTube. You can set video quality preferences in the Settings menu. Here’s how.

Step 1: Open the YouTube app on iPhone or Android.

2nd step: Tap the profile menu at the top.

Open profile menu

Step 3: Go to Settings and select Video Quality Preferences.

Select youtube settings

Select video quality preferences

Step 4: Select mobile networks or Wi-Fi.

Step 5: Touch Better image quality and close the menu.

Select a higher image quality

After that, YouTube will play the video with higher picture quality. There is no way to change the video quality preferences on the YouTube web.

Enjoy high resolution YouTube videos

Watching videos in a higher resolution on a phone, monitor, or TV that supports high resolution is fun. Use the solutions mentioned above to change the resolution of YouTube video to higher quality if your internet speed at home / at work allows it.

Last updated on December 27, 2021

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