Recently, you may have noticed that YouTube changed its uploader. While some creatives are still seeing the old version, the new version offers a bit of simplicity, walking you through the steps to upload your video more effectively than before.

If you’re still seeing the classic interface, click here for our instructions on how to get your video online. If you’ve received the new interface, read on …

Preparing your video file

YouTube supports several file formats, including popular formats like .MOV, .MP4, .MPEG4, .WMV and more. Professional formats are supported as well, including ProRes, CineForm and HEVC (h265). If you are using an unsupported file format, check out YouTube’s Help guide for instructions on how to convert your video.

The platform also supports video resolution up to 8K. You probably won’t see much of that on YouTube though — 4K is probably the highest you’ll see.

Logging in and uploading

Each account has its own YouTube channel, where your videos are stored for the public to view. To login to your YouTube account, simply click Sign In in the upper right corner of the screen.

If you see a circle instead (either with a photo or letter), it means you’re already logged in. To sign out or switch accounts, simply click on that circle.

Once you’re logged in, click the video camera icon with a + on it, and then click Upload video.

Click the Select File button and browse for your video on your machine, or click and drag it into the window. The upload will then start automatically.


The Details section of the Upload video area is where you’ll tell your audience all about your video. Here, you’ll fill out things like a title and description, select or upload a thumbnail as well as choose whether your video should be added to a playlist or not.

When filling out your Description box, it’s recommended that you type out at least 150 words, with the first 2-3 sentences being the most important. This will help grab your audience and make them click on the video. Be sure to also use keywords that are important to the audience you’re trying to reach.

Audience settings

In September 2019, the Federal Trade Commission reached an agreement with YouTube over violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. Because of that, YouTube has added additional privacy settings for children.

YouTube requires you to now say whether a video is made for kids or not. If a video is made for kids, it means that they’re the primary audience, instead of adults. This is based on subject matter, objects that appeal to children and more. YouTube has a great guide for determining whether something is made for kids or not.

If your video is made for kids, it means a number of things for video creators. Several features are disabled, including personalized advertising, autoplay on home, comments and seeing donation buttons. You can see additional feature restrictions on YouTube’s Help page.

In addition to this, you can also set age restrictions for your video, allowing you to restrict it from users under the age of 18.

More options

Hidden in the More options heading are a number of additional settings. These are all optional to set, but some of them default to certain settings. Below are a few notables.

First and foremost, the Paid promotion heading let you determine if you received funding for the video. This can be for something like product placement or an endorsement. In this case, you can also add a message to inform your viewers of the promotion. This is important, because FCC guidelines require you to say whether you received a product for free, or were otherwise paid for an endorsement.

The Tags box is helpful for signifying topics about your video. But it’s most important when something in the content of your video — especially your title — is often misspelled. If you’re uploading a client video that contains their company name, and it’s difficult to spell, this is a great opportunity to provide alternate spellings. Or if you have a name that can be spelled multiple ways, type the other ways it can be spelled in that box.

For Recording date and location, here it’s asking you for when and where your video was recorded. This is helpful because, just like other social networks, viewers can search for videos by location. If your video is all about a recent vacation you took to that really warm and sunny place, setting this might help your video become more discoverable.

Video elements

The Video elements tab holds settings for cards and end screens. Keep in mind you can only work in this tab once your video has rendered, at least in standard definition.


Cards are simple notifications that viewers see in your video. For instance, if you’re talking about that brand-new lens you bought, you might put in a card for people to click on, which would then take them to a link on the manufacturer’s website to learn more about it.

Additionally, you can promote other YouTube videos that might be related, link to a YouTube channel that you want to thank, ask for donations for a nonprofit organization and more.

End screens

End screens are similar to cards, but appear at the end of your video. Here, you can highlight other videos on YouTube channel, call for subscriptions, link to playlists, promote your website and more. You can use end screens to promote up to four separate elements.

Here’s a great video by YouTube explaining the process to set up end screens and cards:


I’m personally quite happy that YouTube made the Visibility tab much more useful than the previous version (which was pretty hidden). Here, you have the option to publish your video right away, or schedule it.

Inside each option you can determine your video’s privacy settings:

  • Public: Everyone can see your video, and it’s discoverable to YouTube’s entire audience (unless you restricted it by age)
  • Unlisted: Anyone can view the video, but it won’t be discoverable. It also will not be listed on your YouTube Channel.
  • Private: Only you and those you invite can view the video.

If you schedule a video, it will automatically become public. Up until the date it publishes, your video will be private, so only you and those you invite can view it.

What’s a Premiere?

If your video is set to be Public, you can also select the option Set as Premiere. This lets you setup your video like a Facebook Watch Party, in that you can have a shareable watch page for your entire audience.


With these updates, YouTube has finally brought its uploader into the modern age. It’s easier to understand than ever before, and it comes with a simple 1-2-3 step process. Have any questions about best practices with YouTube? Post them in the comments below!

Lead photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash