If you’ve ever uploaded a video to YouTube, you know that your video can take quite a while to process, sometimes hours! So just how long does it take YouTube to process a video? And why does it take so long? Keep reading to find out.

What Does it Mean When Your Video is “Processing”?

youtube processing

Processing means that YouTube is still working on encoding your video so that it can be watched by others. This process can take some time, depending on the length and quality of your video. You can see the estimated encoding time in the processing bar.

If your video is processing, you will not be able to view it yourself. However, you can still publish it, and other people will be able to watch it once it is processed.

What Factors Determine the YouTube Video Processing Time?

1- Video Quality

Many factors determine YouTube video processing time, including video quality and how many videos you’re uploading to your channel. If you want to publish your content quickly, use a lower resolution and avoid choosing higher-resolution video files for uploads.

On average, one hour of high-quality HD video takes about 30-50 minutes to process and 720p videos can be processed in approximately 10-15 minutes.

youtube video quality settings

Although uploading multiple videos may slow down overall processing time for all videos on your channel, lowering your video resolution will speed up processing without affecting quality too much.

2- Video Length

The more you can optimize your video for fast processing and fast streaming without sacrificing quality or resolution will be in your benefit.
As a general rule of thumb, shorter videos are better than longer ones.

youtube video length

A good benchmark is 5 minutes or less; so try to shorter your videos in length for faster uploading on YouTube.

3- Broadband Upload Speed

Upload speed is one of several factors that determines how long it takes to process a YouTube video. Broadband upload speeds are measured in bits per second (bps), and they indicate how fast you can upload or download data using your international connecion.

internet uploading speed

For example, if you have a 5-Mbps upload speed, and you’re uploading a 1 GB video file on YouTube so it will take an estimated 3 minutes to upload your video files from your computer to YouTube’s servers. That’s because broadband speeds often top out at 0.5 Mbps—which means you could be looking at processing times of 15 minutes or more if you’ve got an average broadband connection.

4- Resolution

The processing time of a YouTube video depends on its Resolution as well. Let’s first discuss what we mean by resolution in a YouTube video.

The resolution is determined by combining its aspect ratio and pixel dimensions.

youtube video recommended resolutions

When you upload a new video to your channel, it gets scaled to different resolutions. Based on YouTube recommendations, 1080p is the most popular video resolution, used by the majority of Youtubers today without compromising the quality of the video, it also takes less time to upload. Below are different available resolutions with their pixel size (Height & Width).

  • 1280×720 — HD / 720p
  • 1920×1080 — FHD (Full HD) / 1080p
  • 2560×1440 — QHD/WQHD (Quad HD) / 1440p
  • 3840×2160 — UHD (Ultra HD) / 4K 2160p
  • 7680×4320 — FUHD (Full Ultra HD) / 8K 4320p


5- Frame Rate

The frame rate refers to how many frames of picture it’s take per second. This is also referred to as frames per second or FPS. The higher the frame rate means that a video will be smoother, more vivid, and more pleasant to watch.

YouTube recommends uploading videos with a frame rate of at least 30 fps for 720p HD and 48 fps for 1080p HD (includes 60 fps for 2160p UHD). For some particularly content or extremely niche subjects like gaming videos, YouTube might allow you to upload at even higher frame rates. When in doubt, though, it’s best to stick with their recommendations.

6- Bitrate

Bitrate refers to the number of bits that are conveyed or processed in a given unit of time, The higher bitrate produces higher quality videos, YouTube will allocate more time to process them. If you upload a high-quality video (such as 4K), YouTube will have to process it longer before showing it on their channel.

This is why uploading with less resolution can sometimes be better for getting faster processing times. Suppose you’re hurrying to get your video up and online. In that case, low-resolution files are typically processed faster than high-resolution ones.

Troubleshoot Errors / Troubleshooting Errors:

YouTube videos are processed in two steps:

  1. Encoding 
  2. Uploading.

If you see an error that reads, Error uploading your video to YouTube, or ERROR – You cannot upload a video of this type, or something similar. There’s a problem with one of these two steps. To troubleshoot errors related to processing speed, first, try to optimize your video by making sure it meets YouTube’s recommended bitrate and resolution guidelines (see above).

How long does it take for YouTube to process a video?

It usually takes a few seconds to hours to process a new video. However, that time may be extended if the video is high resolution, bigger file size or contains copyrighted material. 

YouTube Process Time For Different Video Resolutions:

YouTube processes videos differently for different video resolutions. The time it takes to process a video is also affected by the video’s file size and the quality of the video.

Here is the approximate time it takes to process a video for different resolutions, file sizes, and quality levels:

youtube video process time according to resolution

1- How long does YouTube take to process 1080p?

A short video (under 5 minutes) will take about 3-5 minutes to encode in 1080p. Whereas, a longer video in length could take up several more minutes.

2- How Long Does it Take to Process a 4K Video?

4K video processing on YouTube can be a little slow, but it will eventually get done. Depending on the length of the video, it can take time from a few minutes to a few hours for getting fully processed. Once the video is processed, it is available in all the usual formats and resolutions.

3- How long does it take to process a 1440p video on YouTube?

The amount of time it takes YouTube to process a 1440p video will depend on several factors, such as the speed of the user’s internet connection, length, and fps of video. Generally, YouTube takes between 15 to 25 minutes to fully process a 1440p video.

Youtube Process Time For Different Video Length

1- How Long Does a 20-minute Video Take to Process on YouTube?

If you upload a video that is 20 minutes long, it will be processed in about 10-15 minutes. But if you are using a slow internet speed connection such as 3-4mbps then it may take up to 20 minutes to process. 

2- How Long Does a 40-minute Video Take to Process on YouTube?

The entire YouTube video process time for a 40-minute video uploaded with an average frame rate (around 24 frames per second) is about 30 to 40 minutes. This includes your YouTube video getting processed, transcoded, and added to your channel. You’ll also be able to watch a rough cut of your video on YouTube in that time, which is neat! The bigger the frame rate, the higher the time it will take.

3- How Long Does a 1-Hour Video Take to Process on YouTube?

According to YouTube, A 1-hour long video that’s uploaded at 1080p resolution can take 40-59 minutes to process and be available for users to watch. A 4K Ultra HD resolution video of similar length can take up to 1 hour.

4- How Long Does a 2-hour Video Take to Process on YouTube?

If you upload a 2-hour long video, it will take about 2 hours for YouTube to process it. If your video is longer than 2 hours (say, 4 hours), then YouTube estimates that it’ll take up to 3.5 hours to process.


1- What factors impact processing time?

Processing time is based on many different factors, including the length of the video, resolution of a video, and speed of your internet connection.

2- What happens when your video reaches 1000 views?

So, you published your video on YouTube and waited patiently for it to hit 1000 views. What happens when it reaches that milestone? Nothing, at least not right away. Once your video has reached thousand views, it can take anywhere from an hour to several hours for YouTube to process these new views (and their associated likes, dislikes, and comments).

This all depends on how many users are accessing YouTube at any given time; when usage is highest (during prime time hours), processing times tend to be longer. You’ll just have to sit tight until your new views are finally processed by YouTube. You can check back later or keep refreshing your stats page until they show up as a live view count.

3- Is there any way to speed up processing time?

Unfortunately, you can’t speed up YouTube video processing time. As explained in the YouTube Creator Academy guide on why videos take so long to process, YouTube has built extra redundancy into its upload and processing systems. When it encounters a corrupted chunk of data, it can automatically fix it instead of stopping your entire video from uploading.

You could try making sure you don’t have any errors or inconsistencies with your uploaded file before processing your video; that may help speed things up slightly.

4- Why are my videos blurry on YouTube after uploading to YouTube

There could be a few reasons why your videos are blurry after uploading them to YouTube. One possibility is that the video resolution is too low. 

To fix this, make sure that you’re exporting your videos at a high resolution. Another possibility is that you’re using the wrong file format. Make sure that you’re exporting your videos in a format that YouTube supports (like MP4). 

5- Can I close YouTube while processing the video?

No, you can’t close while YouTube processing the video, You have to wait until it’s completed and uploaded to the YouTube server.

Brett J.

I'm an enthusiastic American solo traveler. Since childhood, I had a great interest and passion for filmmaking; that's why I chose media sciences as a career and started Vlogging as a full-time profession.

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