How Long Does It Take To Process A YouTube Video? (Answered)

Uploading and processing a video on YouTube can take ages and ages. Sometimes you have to wait for hours before you finally see the video fully processed.

It’s just so irritating and tiring, isn’t it? I remember how my first ever video upload on YouTube took over 3 hours and I just couldn’t do anything else but gaze at the screen all that time!

So, how long does it actually take for a video to be uploaded on YouTube? How long does the video process take? What’s the exact time for various video lengths?

If you want to know the answers to these questions, you have clicked the right article because, in this post, I’m going to clear all the doubts and questions you might possibly have about the time it takes to upload a YouTube video and process it.

There will be a lot of numbers, tables, tips, and tricks in this post so let’s just get right into what matters the most!

How Long Does It Take To Process A YouTube Video?

It is going to take anywhere from a few seconds to 180-240 seconds per 60 seconds of a video to fully process on YouTube. This will however depend on factors like format, file size, internet speed, etc.

As already mentioned, there are multiple factors that will determine the processing time of a YouTube video and I will talk about that more in the upcoming paragraphs.

Well, even if the resolution, file size, internet speed, and the length of the video are safe, there are still going to be different time periods for processing depending on the nature of the content/type.

Now before we go any further, let’s quickly learn what YouTube video processing actually means…

No! Don’t worry! It’s not going to be another subheading with loads and loads of chunks of texts. Here’s just what you need to know:

Video processing on youtube! How lo...
Video processing on youtube! How long does it take_

YouTube video processing is a process where YouTube analyzes the nature of your content (matches it with other content pieces and spot sensitive content), compresses the original size of the uploaded video so that it can be accessed by the users/viewers, and optimizes the video so that it can dynamically switch from one resolution to another based on the connectivity of the viewer.

That’s a lot to task for the YouTube algorithm to complete, isn’t it? Hence, the time to upload as well as the process is going to vary greatly.

Let’s now find out and discuss some of the factors that affect how long the process will take…

Factors Affecting The Processing Time

Although there are countless technical and basic factors that are responsible for a video to get processed, the main ones that a content creator or an individual should consider are the following:

  • Internet speed
  • Content in the video
  • Length of the video
  • The browser being used
  • Size of the video
  • The device being used

Speed Of The Internet

Now, this is a pretty obvious differentiator that we have here. Of course, every region is going to have a different level of internet connectivity and it’s definitely going to affect the internet speed.

Whether the matter is to upload a video, download a video, or process a video, your internet speed plays an extremely vital role in each of the mentioned tasks.

If you live in a region where the speed is high/above average (mostly the case with big cities/popular locations, the time consumed will be relatively less and if the connectivity isn’t strong, it’s of course, going to take longer than usual.

You can try and use sites like fast.com to test your internet speed in case you aren’t sure how good a connection you have got.

Content In The Video

Another thing that matters when it comes to YT processing is the content itself. When YouTube adjusts your video for it to be delivered in an optimized way, it also checks the content so that it can figure out whether or not the content piece is an already uploaded video, a sensitive piece of information, or something else that is against YouTube’s policies.

So, if your video has some content that the algorithm ‘doubts,’ the processing is going to take a while because YouTube’s AI as well as the team (in some cases) will have to do a little more work to examine the case.

Length Of The Video

The longer your video is, the longer it is going to take for the video to get processed and that’s nothing new or surprising!

It is obvious that if a video is going to be lengthy, YouTube will take more time to examine it, compress it without compromising on the quality, and make it to the level that it could be distributed to the audience in the most suitable and efficient way.

You can have a look at the table below to estimate the time as the video length because sometimes it might be taking the ‘normal’ time that it should for a certain video length but you might get a bit impatient.

The Browser Being Used

Believe it or not but the web browser you are using also plays a role in whether or not your video will be uploaded and processed fast.

We are living in the fastest growing and ever-changing world now. If you are still someone who’s using browsers like Firefox or Opera, you will definitely face the issue of slow processing and will end up wasting a lot of time.

Most internet users around the world use Google Chrome or Safari because they are the fastest! Hence, your browser will decide the speed/time as well.

Size Of The Video

Another factor associated with the time it will take to process a video on YT is actually the size of your video.

A lot of times, YouTubers/creators use high-quality DSLR cameras that give the output in ultra-high quality. I’m talking about 4K!

And we all know that a 4K video will have a huge size! So, if in case you haven’t compressed it (which most creators don’t), it can take ages and ages to upload and process.

The Device Being Used

And last but not least, your device can also be the reason why your YouTube video is taking so long to process.

When you are using your mobile phone to upload a video, the time for the file to be stored in YouTube’s servers and to be completely processed can take you very long because mobile phones are going to offers a slower speed than tablets and desktops.

The same story goes on when you compare the internet speed between a tablet device and a computer/laptop.

Basically, using a laptop or a tablet will offer you great processing time compared to smartphones/mobiles.

Data For How Long It Takes To Upload & Process

As you have now learned about the factors and found out the average speed, let’s now look at how long does it take for individual videos (of various lengths, resolutions, and sizes) to get uploaded and processed on YouTube.

I first did a little bit of testing on YouTube, did some calculations algorithmically, and considered the average internet speed as 23.9 Mbps (Megabytes per second) to come up with the most realistic data for you:

Please note that the internet speed I have chosen is the average speed we have now across all countries (globally) – 23.9 Mbps. Let’s have a look at the tables now.

How Long Does it Take to Upload a 1 Minute Video on YouTube?

A 1 minute video on YouTube will take between one second and 3-4 minutes to upload on YouTube depending on the resolution, which ranges from 360p to 2160p (60fps) with a global average internet speed of 23.9 Megabytes per second.

The processing time for a one-minute video will be anywhere from one second to 2.5 to 3.5 minutes depending on the resolution (which ranges from 360p to 2160p (60fps) if the internet speed is 23.9 Mbps.

ResolutionAverage file size (MB)Upload speed (Mbps)Time to uploadTime to process
360p623.9InstantlyInstantly
480p14.323.9A few secondsInstantly
720p (30fps)3223.95 to 15 seconds15 to 25 seconds
720p (60fps)6423.915 to 25 seconds25 to 40 seconds
1080p (30fps)7223.920 to 30 seconds25 to 35 seconds
1080p (60fps)14423.945 to 55 seconds30 to 40 seconds
1440p (30fps)12823.945 to 55 seconds30 to 50 seconds
1440p (60fps)25623.91 min to 2 min1 to 1.5 minutes
2160p/4k (30fps)307.223.91.5 min to 2 min1 to 2 minutes
2160p/4k (60fps)614.423.93 min to 4 min2.5 to 3.5 minutes

How Long Does it Take to Upload a 2 Minute Video on YouTube?

A 2 minute video will be uploaded in just a matter of a few seconds if the video resolution is 360p and the same will take around 6.5 to 8 minutes if the quality reaches 2160p (6fps).

The processing time for this length is also going to lie between a few seconds to anywhere from 5-7 minutes, considering the average speed as 23.9 Mbps.

ResolutionAverage file size (MB)Upload speed (Mbps)Time to uploadTime to process
360p1223.9A few secondsInstantly
480p28.623.95 to 15 secondsInstantly
720p (30fps)6423.915 to 25 seconds35 to 50 seconds
720p (60fps)12823.935 to 50 seconds1 to 1.5 minutes
1080p (30fps)14423.945 to 55 seconds1 to 1.5 minutes
1080p (60fps)28823.91.5 to 2 minutes1 to 1.5 minutes
1440p (30fps)25623.91.5 to 2 minutes1 to 2 minutes
1440p (60fps)51223.92.5 to 3.5 minutes1.5 to 2.5 minutes
2160p/4k (30fps)614.423.93 to 4 minutes2.5 to 3 minutes
2160p/4k (60fps)1228.823.96.5 to 8 minutes5 to 7 minutes

How Long Does it Take to Upload a 3 Minute Video on YouTube?

Considering the average internet speed of 23.9 Mbps, a 3 minute video will take anywhere from 5-10 seconds to 12-16 minutes to upload on YouTube, depending on the range of resolution (from 360p to 4K).

On the other side, the processing duration will either be instant or can stretch up to 8-10 minutes, counting on the same parameters/factors.

ResolutionAverage file size (MB)Upload speed (Mbps)Time to uploadTime to process
360p1823.95 to 10 secondsInstantly
480p42.923.915 to 25 secondsInstantly
720p (30fps)9623.940 to 50 seconds1 to 1.5 minute
720p (60fps)19223.91 to 2 minutes1.5 to 2 minutes
1080p (30fps)21623.91.5 to 2 minutes1.5 to 2 minutes
1080p (60fps)43223.93 to 4 minutes1.5 to 2.5 minutes
1440p (30fps)38423.93 to 4 minutes2 to 2.5 minutes
1440p (60fps)76823.95 to 7 minutes2.5 to 3.5 minutes
2160p/4k (30fps)921.623.96 to 8 minutes3 to 4.5 minutes
2160p/4k (60fps)1843.223.912 to 16 minutes8 to 10 minutes

How Long Does it Take to Upload a 5 Minute Video on YouTube?

It will take about 5-15 seconds to anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes for a 5 minute YouTube video to upload considering the standard global internet speed (23.9 Mbps) as well as the video quality (lowest to highest).

Similarly, the process will either be almost instant or can take around 12-22 minutes, which is not that bad.

ResolutionAverage file size (MB)Upload speed (Mbps)Time to uploadTime to process
360p3023.95 to 15 secondsInstantly
480p71.523.920 to 30 secondsInstantly
720p (30fps)16023.945 seconds to 1 min1.5 to 2 minutes
720p (60fps)32023.91.5 to 2 minutes2 to 3 minutes
1080p (30fps)36023.92 to 3 minutes2 to 3 minutes
1080p (60fps)72023.93 to 5 minutes3 to 5 minutes
1440p (30fps)64023.93 to 5 minutes3 to 5 minutes
1440p (60fps)128023.96 to 8 minutes4 to 6 minutes
2160p/4k (30fps)153623.98 to 10 minutes5 to 10 minutes
2160p/4k (60fps)307223.915 to 20 minutes12 to 22 minutes

How Long Does it Take to Upload a 10 Minute Video on YouTube?

The time for a 10 minute video to be uploaded on YouTube will greatly vary from 15-25 seconds for a 360p resolution video to around 32-40 minutes for a 2160p (60fps) resolution video, considering the average speed of 23.9 Mbps).

The processing time for the same will be about a few seconds or between 27 to 33 minutes, taking the same factors and the same speed.

ResolutionAverage file size (MB)Upload speed (Mbps)Time to uploadTime to process
360p6023.915 to 25 secondsA few seconds
480p14323.945 seconds to 1 minA few seconds
720p (30fps)32023.91.5 to 2 minutes3.5 to 4.5 minutes
720p (60fps)64023.93 to 4 minutes5 to 6.5 minutes
1080p (30fps)72023.93.5 to 4.5 minutes5 to 6.5 minutes
1080p (60fps)144023.97.5 to 9.5 minutes6.5 to 8 minutes
1440p (30fps)128023.96.5 to 8 minutes7 to 8.5 minutes
1440p (60fps)256023.913 to 16.5 minutes9 to 11.5 minutes
2160p/4k (30fps)307223.916 to 20 minutes10 to 13 minutes
2160p/4k (60fps)614423.932 to 40 minutes27 to 33 minutes

How Long Does it Take to Upload a 20 Minute Video on YouTube?

You might actually find this repetitive and a bit irritating but that’s the way it has to be described or else it can be a bit confusing.

So, a 20 minute video will take around 35-45 seconds to upload if the resolution is 360p and the same can take as high as 1-1.5 hours if the resolution is 4K. The internet speed (averaged) here is 23.9 Mbps.

For processing, this 20 minute video will take from a few seconds to 50-70 minutes, if the same parameters are chosen. You can be assured that the parameters are genuine and concede with the real-world data.

ResolutionAverage file size (MB)Upload speed (Mbps)Time to uploadTime to process
360p12023.935 sec to 45 secA few seconds
480p28623.91.5 to 2 minutesA few seconds
720p (30fps)64023.93 to 4 minutes7 to 9 minutes
720p (60fps)128023.96.5 to 8 minutes10 to 13 minutes
1080p (30fps)144023.97.5 to 9.5 minutes10 to 12.5 minutes
1080p (60fps)288023.915 to 18.5 minutes13.5 to 17 minutes
1440p (30fps)256023.913 to 16.5 minutes14 to 18 minutes
1440p (60fps)512023.926.5 to 33 minutes17 to 22 minutes
2160p/4k (30fps)614423.932 to 40 minutes19 to 24 minutes
2160p/4k (60fps)1228823.91 hour to 1.5 hours50 to 70 minutes

How Long Does it Take to Upload a 40 Minute Video on YouTube?

40 minutes of video length will take between 1-1.5 minutes and 2-3 hours to fully upload on YouTube according to the different resolutions. The speed averaged is the same – 23.9 Mbps.

Processing time for the very video length will be around 3-4 minutes to 1.5-2.5 hours (depending on the quality and considering the connectivity speed of 23.9 Megabytes per second).

ResolutionAverage file size (MB)Upload speed (Mbps)Time to uploadTime to process
360p24023.91 to 1.5 minutes3 to 4 minutes
480p57223.93 to 4 minutes15 to 20 minutes
720p (30fps)128023.96.5 to 8 minutes14.5 to 18 minutes
720p (60fps)256023.913 to 16.5 minutes20.5 to 26 minutes
1080p (30fps)288023.915 to 18.5 minutes20.5 to 25 minutes
1080p (60fps)576023.930 to 37 minutes29 to 36 minutes
1440p (30fps)512023.930 to 40 minutes29 to 36 minutes
1440p (60fps)1024023.950 minutes to 1 hour35 to 45 minutes
2160p/4k (30fps)1228823.91 hour to 1.5 hours35 to 45 minutes
2160p/4k (60fps)2457623.92 hours to 3 hours1.5 hours to 2.5 hours

How Long Does it Take to Upload a 1 Hour Video on YouTube?

And we are here, we are talking about a 1 hour video! So, how long does it take if the speed is 23.9 Mbps, depending on the resolutions?

Well, anywhere from 1.5-2 minutes to 3-4 hours to upload and between a few seconds to 2.5-3.5 hours to process.

ResolutionAverage file size (MB)Upload speed (Mbps)Time to uploadTime to process
360p36023.91.5 to 2 minutesA few seconds
480p85823.94.5 to 5.5 minutes45 seconds to 1 min
720p (30fps)192023.99 to 12 minutes22 to 28 minutes
720p (60fps)384023.919.5 to 24.5 minutes31 to 38.5 minutes
1080p (30fps)432023.922.5 to 27.5 minutes31 to 38.5 minutes
1080p (60fps)864023.945 to 55 minutes45 to 55 minutes
1440p (30fps)768023.945 to 55 minutes45 to 55 minutes
1440p (60fps)1536023.91 hour to 2 hours50 minutes to 1 hour
2160p/4k (30fps)1843223.91.5 to 2 hours50 minutes to 1 hour
2160p/4k (60fps)3686423.93 to 4 hours2.5 to 3.5 hours

How Long Does it Take to Upload a 2 Hour Video on YouTube?

A 2 hour video on YouTube will take between 3.5-4.5 minutes to 6-8 hours to upload. The variable factor here is the video resolution, which will affect the file size.

And taking the same internet speed, the processing time will be anywhere from 45-60 seconds to 4-6 hours for variant resolutions (ranging from 360p to 4K).

ResolutionAverage file size (MB)Upload speed (Mbps)Time to uploadTime to process
360p72023.93.5 to 4.5 minutes45 seconds to 1 min
480p171623.99 to 11 minutes4 to 5.5 minutes
720p (30fps)384023.919 to 25 minutes46 to 56 minutes
720p (60fps)768023.939 to 49 minutes1 hour to 1.5 hours
1080p (30fps)864023.945 to 55 minutes1 hour to 1.5 hours
1080p (60fps)1728023.91.5 to 2 hours1.5 to 2 hours
1440p (30fps)1536023.91.5 to 2 hours1.5 to 2 hours
1440p (60fps)3072023.92.5 to 3.5 hours1.5 to 2.5 hours
2160p/4k (30fps)3686423.93 to 4 hours2 to 3 hours
2160p/4k (60fps)7372823.96 to 8 hours4 to 6 hours

How Long Does a 4K Video Take to Upload on YouTube?

As we have discussed the factors, average time, average speed, and file sizes, I don’t think it will be a bad idea to state an average duration here…so, here you go:

For every 1 minute, a 4K YouTube video takes around 3-4 minutes to upload and about 2.5-3.5 minutes to fully process, considering the average global upload speed of 23.9 Mbps.

How Do You Speed Up YouTube Uploads?

Well, there are a ton of ways you can upload videos faster on YouTube. Let’s quickly take a look at them and then we’ll discuss them thoroughly:

  • Compress Videos Before Uploading
  • Shift To A Stronger Connectivity Area
  • Use Desktop & Relevant Browsers
  • Minimize Background Data Usage

Compress Videos Before Uploading

This is one of the best ways you can increase your upload speed on YouTube. Most creators don’t even realize that they are uploading thousands and thousands of megabytes to YouTube, and this makes no sense.

What you can do instead is actually compress your videos with the help of online tools like freeconvert.com and it will reduce your file size exceptionally without reducing the quality of your videos.

Now that you have a smaller video file size, you will be able to save a lot of time and it will help you a lot in uploading the videos faster.

Shift To A Stronger Connectivity Area

Sometimes you can have different strengths of Internet connectivity signals within your own house. What you can do is try to shift from one place to another and find out which sport has the highest/greatest Internet connectivity.

Doing this simple thing will greatly improve your upload time and your videos will be processed as well as uploaded way faster.

Use Desktop & Relevant Browsers

Another solution or tactic you can try to decrease uploading and processing time is switching to a desktop and using a relevant browser.

As I have already talked about both of them, I won’t waste your time writing that over and over again. Just make sure you use Google Chrome or Safari.

Minimize Background Data Usage

Often times, you don’t even realize but your data is being used/consumed by a lot of applications and websites on the backend. You can try to optimize and minimize that for the better.

Most of the devices nowadays offer this functionality and you can easily decide where you want your data to be consumed while uploading a video. Also, don’t open different websites while your videos are being uploaded or processed.

What Format Does YouTube Upload The Fastest?

YouTube recommends the H.264 or MP4 format to all creators. Uploading this format will not only upload the fastest but will also take not more than a few seconds to process if everything is under compliance.

You can check out this page from Google to learn more about the H.264 format and what needs to be done about it.

What is The Best Size to Upload a YouTube Video Faster?

According to an article by Lumen5, creators should go with the size that falls under the 720p video resolution and the 1080p resolution.

These are considered as ‘standard’ by YouTube and when you follow the standards, the upload time will be less.

Possible Processing Problems on YouTube

No platform is perfect. Sometimes it’s not your mistake but still, you might face problems with processing times or the processing itself! Let’s now have a look at some of the possible processing problems/issues:

YouTube Video Processing Stuck

I have found a lot of people asking why their YouTube videos get stuck at 95% or 99%. This isn’t something that happens every commonly but it definitely does happen.

And here are some possible solutions you can try:

  • Try removing something that is sensetive
  • Try removing a political comment
  • Try removing a health-related opinion
  • Check if you lost your connection
  • Clear your browser’s cache

If it still takes forever to process, you can leave it to YouTube for a while or try again after some time on a different device.

YouTube Video Processing Abandoned

If you are facing the issue of processing abandoned and you are worried about it, you don’t need to precisely!

It’s not common but it happens as well. So, what you can do to fix this problem is:

  • Click the ‘create’ button and then go to ‘upload new video’
  • Then select the same exact file that you previously uploaded
  • And it will automatically continue uploading the video as it should have

General Tips Regarding Uploading & Processing

Well, now that you have looked at some of the most important data points and answers, here are some tips I want to give you:

  • Stay Patient – sometimes we just overstress ourselves without any reason. Just let it be the way it is. If the uploading and processing is take hours, let it be and it will eventually work out.
  • YouTube’s Best Practices – make sure you follow all the best practices layed out by YouTube to make your work smoother.
  • Look At The Content Type – don’t post repeated content or sensitive content at all. It can delay the process even if you think it’s ‘okay’ to post it.

In Conclusion

I can’t believe we are finally here in the conclusion section. So, it can definitely vary a lot when it comes to how long the upload and process will take on YouTube.

All you can do is follow the best strategies and things will look better than they do for sure.

Well, I hope I was helpful in this post. If you did find it helpful, please share it on your own site or on social media.

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