How to upload a YouTube video

Ready to become an internet star? Here's how to upload your first YouTube video

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As one of the most popular video streaming platforms online, if you want to have your vlog, comedy sketch or music video seen by someone, getting it on YouTube is a must. But if you’re new to the streaming scene, you may be wondering how to upload a video to YouTube.

Note: For the purpose of this guide we will assume that you’ve already made your YouTube/Google account. While those starting from scratch will need to do so, there are many elements involved in its setup and customization that are more subjective and aren’t covered by the scope of a guide like this.

Step 1: Sign into your account

How to upload a video to Youtube

You can’t very well upload a video to your account if you aren’t signed in to it, now can you?

Head to the YouTube homepage and click the sign-in link in the top right-hand corner. If you have multiple accounts associated with the device you’re using you’ll be prompted to choose the appropriate one. Once done so, enter your password and you’ll be taken back to the main YouTube page.

Things may look a little different in terms of video recommendations, but don’t fret, you’re now well on your way to uploading your first video.

Step 2: Click the upload button

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The next step is even shorter than the first. Click the upload button. It’s also located in the top right-hand corner and is represented by an up arrow with a line underneath it. That will take you through to a dedicated upload page, where you can choose where you source your upcoming viral sensation from.

Step 3: Choose video source and privacy settings

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The upload page gives you a few different options to pick from and they’re all worth considering. For starters, you need to decide who you want to see your video, and adjust the privacy settings accordingly. If you want anyone and everyone to see it, choosing the “public” setting in the central drop-down is the way to go. If you want a little more control over who sees it, selecting “unlisted” keeps it from being findable through searches. Instead, people would need to click the direct link or go to your channel.

If you’re just looking to keep the video privately for yourself, or to store something for later unveiling, choose to make your video “private” instead. “Scheduled,” lets you choose a future time and date for a video to become public.

Once you’ve made your decision about who can see your video, you need to select where you’re uploading it from. Do you want to import it directly from Google Photos (It’s better than iCloud you know)? Upload it straight from your device’s storage, or live stream it instead?

There are specific options on the right-hand side for live-streaming and importing, but most will be doing so from their local device. For that, click the large white arrow with a gray backdrop in the center of the screen and pick the video you want to upload from your various files and folders.

Step 4: Managing the upload

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Get ready, because once you’ve confirmed the video you’re uploading you’ll be whisked away to the upload page. It has begun, and you’ll see a progress bar at the top of the screen, letting you know how much of it has uploaded, and how long until it’s completed.

Depending on the length and quality of your video, that may take some time. While YouTube works its magic on it, you can begin getting it ready for prime time. There’s a title to put in, a description, and any relevant tags you feel it needs to help the general public find it. There’s also a button where you can add it to a playlist if you so wish.

For those wanting to go a little more in-depth with their video upload, the “Translations” tab lets you input translated title and descriptions for YouTubers around the world. “Advanced settings” lets you control various aspects such as the category, whether you allow comments and ratings, whether the video is 3D, and if you want community contributions or not.

Those are all interesting aspects of uploading videos to YouTube, and can help make your videos more inclusive and relevant to your audience, but they aren’t a necessity for simply getting a video online.

Step 5: Pick a thumbnail

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Unless you have a verified account, you can’t get too creative with thumbnails, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have some choice. Once your video is completely uploaded and processed, you’ll have a choice of three thumbnails from the video to select from.

Choose your favorite and click the blue “done” or “publish” button to finalize. If you wish to privately share the video, you can click the “share” button on the right instead.

Step 6: Video management

From this point on your video is on YouTube and is publicly available, or not, depending on your preferences. If you want to make any changes to it in the future though, all you need do is head to the “Creator Studio.” You’ll find a link for it in the drop down when you click on your account portrait in the top right-hand corner.

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From there you’ll be able to see your videos, their number of views and other analytics from your channel. You can then click any of the individual videos you want to edit, or click on “video manager” on the left-hand side.

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The video manager gives you full access to any tools you might need, as well as overviews of each video you’ve uploaded in more detail.


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