How to Upload iPhone (4K) Video to YouTube without Quality Loss

By Kayla Collins Updated: Oct. 29, 2019

Uploading video from iPhone to YouTube is easy to be done. A simple YouTube mobile app can make it happen. That being said, it still leaves something to be desired. One major gripe from iPhone users is that the convenience comes at a heavy price of severe video quality loss, alongside with unsatisfied time consumption and annoying device laggy issue.

You're not alone. Welcome to the club! I had also met this awkward issue when I uploaded iPhone recordings to YouTube using YouTube mobile app. The video quality gets insanely lost as YouTube auto badly compresses iPhone video so as to make it upload a little bit faster. However, that's not what I want. Therefore, I resorted to computer to upload iPhone video to YouTube. To surprise me, I got a totally different result. The iPhone video quality looks much better and uploading time is just 1/5 of that on mobile. You can read on the below actual test to see the difference between mobile and computer in video quality and time cost. Or just scroll down to Part 2 to learn how to upload iPhone 4K/1080p/720p video to YouTube on your desktop without losing quality.

Part 1: Upload iPhone Video to YouTube on Mobile or PC?

I had uploaded the same iPhone 4K recording to YouTube via different platforms, mobile and computer. And the results vary a lot. Prior to checking the results, have a basic understanding about the background information.

Devices Operating System Processor Memory Graphics
iPhone 11 iOS 13 A13 Bionic 4GB PowerVR (four-core graphics)
Windows Windows 7 Ultimate Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3470 CPU@3.20GHz 3.60GHz 8GB Intel Ivy Bridge Graphics Controller (64MB)
iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011) Mac OS X Yosemite 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 8GB 1333 MHz DDR3 AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512MB
iMac (27-inch, Late 2013) macOS High Sierra 3.2GHz Intel Core i5 8GB 1600 MHz DDR3 NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M 1024MB

The detailed information of the iPhone 11 recorded 4K video is shown as below:

Video format: MOV (H264); resolution: 4K (3840px2160p); frame rate: 30FPS; duration: 1 minute; shooting mode: landscape mode.

Do you wonder the iPhone 4K video uploading speed gap between mobile and computer platforms? The following table explains everything.

Upload Platform Upload Time Note
YouTube Mobile App
(on iPhone 11)
14 minutes No any video editing or processing. The video uploading task is in a place with 10M bandwidth connection.
YouTube website
(on iMac 2011)
3 mins 46.85 secs The whole video uploading process is under the same network condition with the above one. Other tasks including music playback and website browsing proceed at the same time.

Obviously, the video upload mission runs much faster on computer than that on your iPhone 11 via YouTube mobile app, which can save your 73% uploading time. As for video upload speed, your desktop beats the pants off your mobile device.

How about the upload video quality for playback on different platforms? Read on and you would be amazed with the test result.

Playback Devices Maximum Playback Quality
(video uploads via mobile app)
Maximum Playback Quality
(video uploads via desktop)
iPhone 11 480p 1080p
Windows 1080p 4K
iMac (27-inch, Mid 2011) 480p 1080p
iMac (27-inch, Late 2013) 1080p 4K

This is a self-explanatory table, from which you could distinguish the winner and the loser at a single glance. Apparently, you can provide YouTube users with much better video quality (even original 4K video) if you upload iPhone video to YouTube on your computer instead of mobile device since the general desktop has much stronger hardware configurations for YouTube to handle iPhone video uploading without badly compressing or losing video data.

To sum up, irrespective of video uploading speed or video quality, your desktop is always superior to your handheld gadget to cope with this iPhone video to YouTube uploading task. Therefore, you're strongly recommended to use your computer to upload iPhone recordings to YouTube. How to upload? Read on.

Part 2: How to Upload iPhone Recordings to YouTube via PC

Before you embark on the video uploading journey, you may need to edit your iPhone footage first to upload iPhone video highlights to YouTube. To customize your iPhone recordings, VideoProc, an all-in-1 iPhone video processing software, is your best mate.

Enhance video quality: use VideoProc to brighten your iPhone dark video, adjust your video contrast/hue/gamma/saturation, add special effects to your iPhone recording (Vignette, Vintage, Sharpen, Mirror, Negate, Painting, etc.), remove background/ambient noise from iPhone video and stabilize iPhone shaky video.

Improve video upload speed: enable its Cut feature to cut off the unwanted parts and just save the highlights you need to shorten video upload time. Crop feature is accessible to narrow video image. You can also lower 4K 60FPS to 30FPS and ajust bit rate around 30-40% to make file smaller and uploading faster.

When your iPhone (4K) video is well modified, you can proceed to the next phase - upload iPhone video clips to YouTube on your computer. Let's get it started!

Step 1: Transfer video from iPhone to Mac (MacBook, MBP, iMac Pro, Mac Mini) or Windows (10/8/7) using Photos app or third party iPhone manager. You can check this iPhone to Mac video sync guide if you have no idea about this.
Step 2: Launch your web browser > open YouTube website > log into YouTube account using your Google account.
Step 3: Click the video recording icon (create a video or post) > tap "Upload Video" from the drop-down list.
Step 4: Tap the upward arrow > choose the iPhone video from your desktop > wait for your video uploading.

Note: you're allowed to modify the basic information about your video (video title, description, tags, etc.), add translations and adjust advanced settings (comments, caption certification, age restriction, video language, etc.).

upload iPhone recordings to YouTube
Step 5:Click "Publish" to upload iPhone 4K/1080p/720p video to YouTube with original video quality. Actually, YouTube website also encourages you to upload original 4K/1080p/720p iPhone clips to enable better quality playback. Just a few minutes later, your iPhone footage will be successfully live on YouTube. Go to "My Channel" under your YouTube account to check the video status. Also learn how to use VideoProc to help send large videos to WhatsApp on iPhone.
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Kayla Collins

Kayla Collins, a senior member of Digiarty software for 5 years, knows a thing or two about digital devices & video processing software like GoPro, DSLR camera, Drone, iPhone iPad, iMac, iMovie, etc. and is glad to share her knowledge to help people out of trouble. She's also deeply passionate about yoga, jogging, roller-skating, handcraft, reading, music, movie and more.

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