Force YouTube to play HD videos every time

You'd think YouTube would realize you always want the highest possible resolution. Here's how to make sure you always get it.

YouTube videos such as <a href http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyHVQT8aIBM”>Beyonce Knowels' “All the single ladies”</a> demand high resolution.

YouTube videos such as Beyonce Knowels' “All the single ladies” demand high resolution.

Yesterday we talked about customizing your YouTube homepage settings -- and protecting your privacy while you're at it.

Today, let's look at the videos themselves and how you can maximize your enjoyment of them. I'm speaking, of course, about watching at the highest possible resolution.

My preferred method of viewing YouTube vids is full-screen. However, when I click the player's Full Screen button, I'm treated to rather grainy video. That's because YouTube doesn't automatically bump the resolution to its highest available setting. I have to click the resolution selector and choose it myself.

I'm a busy man. I don't have time for that!

Fortunately, there's a setting that will force YouTube to switch to HD playback whenever you switch to full-screen viewing. Here's how:

1. Go to YouTube and sign into your account (if you're not already signed in).

2. Find your username in the upper-right corner, click it, and then choose Account.

3. Click Playback Setup, then enable the following option under Video Playback Quality: Always play HD when switching to fullscreen (when available).

4. Click Save Changes and you're done!

Keep in mind that not all videos offer an HD option, and that playback may get jerky if you have a slow connection. A little trial and error might be in order.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Photo / videoapplicationswebsoftwareinternetvideoyoutube

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?