What video format does YouTube use

Fortunately, in contrast to other social media, YouTube accepts not only MP4 and MOV, but 8 different video formats. Let’s have a closer look at them and decide which one fits you best.

And don’t forget that not only format is important, there are also other YouTube video requirements to meet!


Another name – 3GPP, it stands for the Third Generation Partnership Project. It is a small-sized format which makes it one of the best for mobile data transfer.

But there is an obvious downside of the advantage – quality loss. Another point – not all the video players are compatible with this format type, so quite often it needs converting.


Audio Video Interleave provides exceptional quality and is supported by most Microsoft tools. It is widely used and accepted by the majority of Internet resources.

On the other hand, high image quality is accompanied by a large size. Being compressed, this format requires installation of a special codec to retrieve it. Another drawback – it doesn’t support embedded subtitles and interactivity.


Flash Video is good for slow connections, even dial ups. FLV files are easy to download and save as they don’t take much space. Web designers love this format, because its content looks the same for all the browsers and operating systems.

Another point, creating Flash content may be very tiresome, and to play one you’ll need special software, for example, Adobe Flash Player.


QuickTime file extension developed by Apple. It’s extremely simple for editing and, being widely supported by all social media, it’s highly recommended for YouTube as well.

The only drawback it has – a relatively large size.


MPEG-4 Part 14 is officially a YouTube preferred video format. Quality/size rate is just perfect, and this type is compatible with all the possible tools, systems, platforms, and services.

The only tiny drawback – it’s not best for editing.


Created by Moving Picture Experts Group, this format provides an excellent quality, which can be lost after compression though.


A Google’s creation, this format was developed specifically for websites, so it ensures the smallest size possible combined with quite decent quality.

Unfortunately, not all the browsers and smartphones support it.


Windows Media Video files may be sent even via email, but, being designed by Microsoft for Windows, this format is poorly comparable with other operating systems.

Best video format to upload to YouTube

In our opinion the best formats ever are MP4 and MOV – just because they are the most “trouble-free”. They are relatively easy to edit, they are compatible with the majority of players and work for all the operating systems.

Convert video to YouTube format

One of the easiest ways to make your video fit YouTube specs – our online service.

Clideo is free and user-friendly, works equally efficiently for all the devices: Windows, Linux and Mac computers, iOS and Android smartphones.

Moreover, you don’t have to keep in mind all the specifications of YouTube or any other social media, because we have ready presets, so you only have to choose the one you need.

Just follow the steps:

  1. Import the recording you need from your personal device or cloud storage to the Clideo’s Video Resizer.
  2. Upload video to change YouTube format
  3. Select YouTube and a post type you need – for example, 1080p Video – 16:9. Choose the crop option and change the output extension if you wish. Mind that when you select the platform you need in the “Resize for” section, the tool shows only the appropriate formats.
  4. Convert video to YouTube format
  5. Export the result to your personal device or cloud storage account. Subscribe to Clideo Pro if you want to remove the watermark.
  6. Download video in YouTube format

We are regularly improving our tools to add new features or enhance your experience. Check our Help Center for the most recent instructions.

If you just need to change a format to any format at all, use our Online Converter.