Play YouTube Videos in HD Quality when using Full Screen Mode

YouTube Video Quality

YouTube offers most videos in multiple qualities and users can manually choose an appropriate format for playback depending on their Internet connection.

For instance, if you have high-speed Internet access at home, you can afford to play videos in HD formats (720p or even 1080p) without any choppy playback while people with slow Internet may with like to stick with standard formats (like the 360p or the 480p) for smooth playback.

YouTube also offers an option to let users pick a default format for video playback on their computer so that they don’t have to switch formats before playing playing an video. For instance, if you have a slow Internet connection, you can instruct YouTube to always play videos in lower quality by default.

Watch YouTube Videos in HD Quality

To set your defaults, open any YouTube video and click Settings as shown in the next screenshot.

YouTube Playback Settings

You can choose “Never play higher-quality videos” if you have a slow connection or “Always Play HD” if you have a fairly good Internet connection and would like YouTube to switch to HD as soon as you switch to full-screen mode.

These aren’t mutually exclusive settings so you can have an option where embedded YouTube videos play in lower resolution but as soon as you switch to full screen, it used the higher quality or HD format for playback. The setting will be specially helpful while watching YouTube on your TV through a laptop.

Also, this is an account specific setting so you need to be logged in with your Google Account in order to set your playback preferences on YouTube.

YouTube Playback Setup

Related: Watch YouTube Videos in Full Screen

Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal

Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.

Amit has developed several popular Google add-ons including Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory


Awards & Titles

Digital Inspiration has won several awards since it's launch in 2004.

Google Developer Expert

Google Developer Expert

Google awarded us the Google Developer Expert award recogizing our work in Google Workspace.

ProductHunt Golden Kitty

ProductHunt Golden Kitty

Our Gmail tool won the Lifehack of the Year award at ProductHunt Golden Kitty Awards in 2017.

Microsoft MVP Alumni

Microsoft MVP Alumni

Microsoft awarded us the Most Valuable Professional (MVP) title for 5 years in a row.

Google Cloud Champion

Google Cloud Champion

Google awarded us the Champion Innovator title recognizing our technical skill and expertise.

Email Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter to stay up to date.

We will never send any spam emails. Promise.