YouTube aspect ratio is wrong?

Date: 25 May, 2009
Posted by: admin
In: hints & tips|internet, web design & development

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You’ve uploaded a video to YouTube and the aspect ratio is wrong. What do you do?

Fix aspect ratio of YouTube videos

You’re uploading or reviewing a video on YouTube and notice that the aspect ratio is wrong – the video image is squashed or their are black bars around the video. It’s really easy to fix!

Prior to upload

YouTube actually have good advice about this:

  1. Sign into your YouTube account, and click the yellow upload button.
  2. On the next page, click the “upload video” button. Then, select the file you’d like to upload from your computer.
  3. As the video file’s uploading, you’ll see categories below the upload progress bar, including the category “Tags“.
  4. Depending on how you’d like to format your video, type on of the following tags into the “Tags” section:
    • Tag: yt:crop=16:9
      (zooms in on the 16:9 area, removes windowboxing)
    • Tag: yt:stretch=16:9
      (fixes anamorphic content by scaling to 16:9)
    • Tag: yt:stretch=4:3
      (fixes 720×480 content that is the wrong aspect ratio by scaling to 4:3)
    • Tag: yt:quality=high
      (default to a high quality stream, depending on availability
  5. Once your video uploads to the site, it should be formatted according to the formatting-tag you added while the video was uploading.

Can I fix aspect ratio after upload?

Sure you can. Simply add one or more of tags above by editing your video information on the YouTube site. You can only do it for your own videos however.


It might look initially like it hasn’t worked. YouTube don’t update the preview image that shows on the page prior to the video starting, but provided you’ve added the right tag then the video itself should be the correct aspect ratio.

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13 Responses to "YouTube aspect ratio is wrong?"

[…] Fix aspect ratio of YouTube videos – toimii sitten vain omille videoille […]

S. says:

This was so helpful! Thank alot! I never knew you could do that post uploading.

SnapShow82 says:

Thank you so much!!! This information totally saved me from chucking my video camera onto a busy highway! :)

But seriously, this was EXREMELY helpful!

admin says:

@S, SnapShow82 – no bother, saved me endless reuploading too!

Nigel says:

Marvelous! Thanks a lot.

Matt says:

I’ve just tried this but it doesn’t seem to have done anything :(

admin says:

Can you give a link to what video you tried it on?

J says:

Bloody brilliant. Very, very helpful thank you.

Robin says:

Wow. This was so helpful. Thank you so much. ^_^


Thanks for this info. I am investigating aspect ratios before uploading youtube videos and this helped.


Katie says:

THANK YOU! Very helpful, it fixed all my videos. :D

admin says:

No worries glad to help.

Todd Smitts says:

Thanks! This helped! I always hated the squished look on some of my uploaded vids. They look much better now.


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