YouTube Marketing

How to Upload a Video on YouTube

8 min read
Sep 8, 2021

Only about 2% of YouTube’s two billion monthly users actually post videos on the platform. But learning how to upload a video on YouTube is easy. Here’s how.

Andrew ConradSr Content Writer

To create a hit TV show or mainstream movie you need a lot of money, permission from seemingly endless gatekeepers, a combination of generational talent, and a lot of luck and hard work.

To create a hit YouTube video, all you need is a smartphone, video content, and a lot of luck. 

Despite the fact that YouTube has more than two billion viewers around the world every month, there were only about 37 million YouTube channels creating content as of 2020. While that is a staggering number of channels, it’s less than 2% of the number of viewers.

What does this mean? With YouTube’s low barrier to entry, there is a golden opportunity for individuals and businesses that want to publish their own video content to expand their reach, market their business to new audiences, and maybe even make some additional income. But around 98% of YouTube users aren’t even attempting to take advantage of that opportunity.

This is where you, a business owner, come in. In this article, we’ll help you get off the sidelines and into the YouTube game by walking you through the step-by-step process of how to upload a video on YouTube. After all, starting a YouTube channel is a great way to reach potential customers, grow your business online, and even make a little extra income through ad revenue.

How to upload a video on YouTube

Before you do anything else, you’ll need a video file to upload. You could spend years practicing and studying to create great video content, or you could be like the Chewbacca Mom and just hit record on your smartphone to create a viral video that gets hundreds of millions of views.

For the sake of this step-by-step, we’ll assume that you already have your video file ready to upload. The next steps will differ depending on whether you are uploading your video from the YouTube app on your mobile device, or through the YouTube website on your web browser.

But first, here are some basics on YouTube accounts.

If you don’t already have a YouTube account, don’t worry, getting one is easy. In fact, if you have a Gmail account (or any other Google login), you already have a YouTube account, since YouTube is part of Google. If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll be prompted to create one when you click “SIGN IN” in the upper right corner of YouTube’s main page (the steps are similar on the YouTube mobile app).

Creating a new Google account through YouTube

Creating a new Google account through YouTube (Source)

Signing into YouTube with your Google account allows you to like and save videos, get personalized recommendations, subscribe to channels, and more. But to upload a video, comment, and make playlists, you’ll also need to create a channel. This is a simple one-click process and you’ll be prompted to do so the first time you try to upload a video, comment, or make a playlist.

Now that you have an account and a channel, you’re ready to upload!

How to upload a video on YouTube using your computer

1. Navigate to to log in to YouTube Studio. (You’ll need to either be logged into your Google account or create one).

2. In the top-right corner, click “CREATE” then “Upload videos”

Finding the “CREATE” button on the YouTube Studio home screen

Finding the “CREATE” button on the YouTube Studio home screen (Source)

3. Click “SELECT FILES” to choose a video file from your computer, or drag and drop the file from your desktop.

4. You’re done! YouTube will handle the rest to get your video published. Uploading can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on several factors, including the size of your video and the speed of your internet connection.


To speed things up, YouTube automatically uploads your video in low resolution first, then makes higher resolutions (1080p, 4k) available when processing is complete. This can take several hours. If you only want viewers to see the higher resolution video, upload your video as an unlisted video, then make it public once processing is complete.

How to upload a video on YouTube using your smartphone or tablet

Uploading a video to YouTube using your phone or tablet with the YouTube app can be even simpler than using your computer, especially if you use your phone or tablet to record the video that you want to upload. Here’s how:

1. Download or open the YouTube app for iOS or Android.

2. Tap the large plus sign (+) on the center of the bottom of your screen.

The home screen of the YouTube app for iPhone

The home screen of the YouTube app for iPhone (Source)

3. Choose “Upload a video” to choose a video from your gallery (You may have to click “ALLOW ACCESS”). You can also choose “Go live” to record a new video straight from your phone.

4. You can adjust the video length with the slider at the bottom of the screen, then tap “NEXT.” (Note that if your video is 60 seconds or less, YouTube will automatically prompt you to upload it as a YouTube Short)

Editing the length of a video with the slider bar in the YouTube app for iPhone

Editing the length of a video with the slider bar in the YouTube app for iPhone

5. Next, you can add details for your video, including a title, description, and location. You can also decide whether to make your video public or private, and add it to one of your playlists.

6. On the next screen, you’ll indicate whether your video is made for kids or not. This is a legal requirement as part of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Videos that are made for children will not feature personalized ads.

7. Finally, tap “UPLOAD” in the top right corner and you’re done!

Now that you know how to upload a video on YouTube, you’re ready to start your own channel and one step closer to becoming a content creator.

Find more resources to help you manage your channel

We hope this guide has prepared you to turn your content into a cash cow. And if you’ve found this article helpful, there’s even more resources for your YouTube channel on our site:

We also recommend taking a look at the tools in our video making and video editing software directories, where you can compare tools’ functionality and usability, as well as read reviews from real users like you.

About the author

Andrew Conrad

Sr Content Writer

Hey there, I’m Andrew. I’m a Senior Content Writer at GetApp. I bring you insights about retail, eCommerce, and marketing. I studied at Loyola University Maryland and have more than a decade of professional writing experience. Home base: Austin. 2 things about me: I am a lifetime Baltimore Orioles fan, and I love walks in the woods. The tech trend I think you should keep an eye on: Mixed reality in retail. Trying on clothes will never be the same.

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