In the world of video editing, Adobe Premiere Pro stands out as one of the top choices for content creators. With its powerful features and user-friendly interface, many professional video editors rely on Premiere Pro to create high-quality videos. One of the most important aspects of video editing is exporting your project in the proper format to ensure optimal playback on various platforms, including YouTube.

Best Premiere Pro Export Settings for YouTube

When it comes to exporting your videos for YouTube, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you achieve the best possible quality for your final output. With the plethora of export options available in Premiere Pro, it can be overwhelming to figure out which settings to choose.

This article is designed to help you understand and guide you through the Best Premiere Pro Export Settings for YouTube to ensure your YouTube videos will look their best and keep your viewers engaged.

Premiere Pro Export Setting Terms

When exporting your video project in Adobe Premiere Pro, understanding the essential export settings will ensure optimal video quality for your YouTube uploads. The following key terminology and concepts will help you navigate the process.

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  • Format: Choose H.264 (.mp4) as the format for YouTube-ready videos. This format is widely supported, and offers a good balance between quality and file size.
  • Frame size (Resolution): Set the appropriate resolution based on your desired output quality. Popular resolutions for YouTube videos include:
    • UHD (4K): 3840 x 2160
    • Quad HD: 2560 x 1440
    • Full HD: 1920 x 1080
    • HD: 1280 x 720
    • SD NTSC Wide: 854 x 480
  • Field order (Interlaced vs. Progressive): Select “Progressive” as the field order for smoother video playback on digital platforms, like YouTube.
  • Frame rate: Match the frame rate of the source video to maintain the same motion smoothness.
  • Bitrate encoding: Use either Constant Bitrate (CBR) for consistent quality, or Variable Bitrate (VBR) with 1-pass or 2-pass for efficient file sizes with good video quality. For YouTube, VBR 1-pass is generally preferred.
  • Target bitrate: This setting determines the amount of compression applied to your video. Higher bitrates lead to larger file sizes but better quality. For YouTube, a target bitrate of 8 Mbps is recommended for 1080p videos, while 45 Mbps is recommended for 4K videos.
  • Maximum bitrate: You can set a limit on the bitrate to avoid spikes in the output file size. However, consider leaving this empty or setting it high enough for better quality.
  • Maximum depth (Render at maximum depth): Check this option if your source video uses 10-bit or higher color depth. This will ensure accurate color reproduction.
  • Profile: Choose “High” profile setting for better quality and compression efficiency.
  • In and Out Points: Define the exact starting and ending points of your video sequence to avoid exporting unwanted frames.
  • Audio settings:
    • Codec: Choose AAC for YouTube-compatible audio. It provides good sound quality at small file sizes.
    • Sample rate: A 48,000 Hz sample rate is recommended for most projects.
    • Channels: Select “Stereo” for a channel configuration suitable for most YouTube videos.

Armed with this knowledge, use the Export menu in Adobe Premiere Pro to configure and optimize your video export settings for the best possible quality on the YouTube platform.

Video Export Settings

Optimal Settings for HD Video

For the best quality HD videos, you should choose the following export settings in Premiere Pro:

  • Format: H.264 (.mp4)
  • Frame size: Full HD: 1920 x 1080 or HD: 1280 x 720
  • Frame rate: Match the frame rate of the source video
  • Field order: Progressive
  • Aspect: Square pixel
  • Profile: High
  • Level: 4.2
  • Bitrate encoding: VBR, 1-pass
  • Target bitrate: 8 Mbps

Here is a quick reference table for optimal HD export settings:

SettingValue
FormatH.264 (.mp4)
Frame size1920 x 1080 or 1280 x 720
Frame rateMatch source
Field orderProgressive
AspectSquare pixel
ProfileHigh
Level4.2
Bitrate encodingVBR, 1-pass
Target bitrate8 Mbps

These settings will give you high-quality videos while keeping the file size manageable for uploading to YouTube.

Best Settings for 4K

To export your video in 4K resolution, tweak your settings as follows:

  • Frame size: UHD: 3840 x 2160
  • Level: 5.2
  • Target bitrate: 45 Mbps

This means that your export settings for 4K video should look like this:

SettingValue
FormatH.264 (.mp4)
Frame size3840 x 2160
Frame rateMatch source
Field orderProgressive
AspectSquare pixel
ProfileHigh
Level5.2
Bitrate encodingVBR, 1-pass
Target bitrate45 Mbps

These settings ensure the highest quality for your 4K videos while maximizing compatibility with YouTube.

Exporting for Different Aspect Ratios

Your video’s aspect ratio will mostly depend on your source footage and intended platform. Some common aspect ratios include:

  • 16:9 (widescreen)
  • 4:3 (standard)
  • 1:1 (square)

To export your video with the correct aspect ratio, select the appropriate frame size and ensure your sequence settings match the source footage. For example, if your source video has a 16:9 aspect ratio, your frame size should be 1920 x 1080 for Full HD or 1280 x 720 for HD.

In case you want to create a specific aspect ratio for your video, you can adjust the frame size by customizing the width and height in the export settings.

Audio Export Settings

Optimal Audio Settings

When exporting your video for YouTube, it’s crucial to ensure that your audio settings are optimized. Here’s a list of recommended settings for audio:

  • Format: AAC
  • Sample Rate: 48,000 Hz
  • Channels: Stereo
  • Audio Quality: High
  • Bitrate: 320 kbps

For a sample rate, the recommended setting for YouTube is 48,000 Hz, which maintains high-quality audio while keeping file sizes reasonable. Lower sample rates can result in reduced audio clarity.

Regarding channels, it’s best to use stereo settings to provide a more immersive audio experience for your audience. Most users listen to audio through stereo speakers or headphones, so this setting is ideal for reaching the widest range of viewers.

Pro-Tips For Audio Export

Here are some pro-tips to help you achieve optimal audio quality when exporting from Premiere Pro for YouTube:

  1. Normalize audio levels: Ensure that your audio levels are consistent throughout your project by normalizing them. This can be done using the “Essential Sound Panel” in Premiere Pro.
  2. Remove background noise: Use the “Denoiser” effect to reduce any background noise present in your audio clips.
  3. Compress audio: Apply some light audio compression on dialogue or voice-over by using the “Dynamics” audio effect. This helps to maintain a consistent audio level, making it more comfortable for the viewer to listen to.
  4. Apply a Limiter: To prevent any audio from clipping or distorting, apply a “Hard Limiter” effect. This ensures that your audio stays within a safe range and avoids unpleasant distortions.

By following these audio export settings and tips, you’ll be able to create high-quality audio for your YouTube videos that keeps your viewers engaged and encourages them to watch more of your content.

Premiere Pro Sequence Settings

Setting In and Out Points

Before diving into sequence settings, it’s essential to set the In and Out points for your Adobe Premiere Pro project. In and Out points allow you to define the specific portion of the timeline you want to export. To set the In and Out points, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Premiere Pro timeline.
  2. Move the playhead to the starting point of the desired portion and press the I key to set the In point.
  3. Move the playhead to the ending point of the desired portion and press the O key to set the Out point.

With In and Out points set, you can proceed to create a sequence that matches your video preferences.

Sequence Presets for YouTube

Determining the best sequence settings for your final export is crucial for a successful YouTube upload. Here are some widely recommended Adobe Premiere Pro sequence settings for various resolutions:

ResolutionFrame SizeFrame Rate (fps)
UHD 4K3840 x 2160Match Source
Quad HD2560 x 1440Match Source
Full HD (1080p)1920 x 1080Match Source
HD (720p)1280 x 720Match Source

To create a sequence with the appropriate preset:

  1. Go to File > New > Sequence.
  2. Browse the available presets and find “AVCHD 1080p” for Full HD (1080p) footage, for example.
  3. Choose the preset that matches your video frame rate and resolution, then click OK to create the new sequence.

Remember that your sequence settings should always match the resolution and frame rate of your source footage. By following these guidelines and ensuring proper use of Adobe Premiere Pro, your videos will be optimally prepared for YouTube uploads.

How to Set the Best Premiere Pro Export Settings for YouTube

Here’s how to set the best export settings for Premiere Pro. Our easy to use guide will show you how to set the best export settings for your video project.

Let’s check out, how to set the Best Premiere Pro Export Settings for YouTube below:

1. Firstly set in and out points

Best Export Setting for Premiere Pro for YouTube: Set in and out points

Once you have finished editing your video you will want to set the in and out points to your video. Move the playhead to where you want the rendering to begin on your video and press “I” on the keyboard. Then move over to where you wish the rendering of the video to end and click “O” on your keyboard.

The grey section will show you where your video begins and ends when exporting (See image above). Once this is done, we are ready to export your video.

2. Go to the Export Menu

Next select File > Export > Media file in the menu – you will then see this menu pop up:

Best Export Setting for Premiere Pro for YouTube: Export Menu

The above export menu will pop up with an image of your video to the left. Here you can select a preset export setting and format. Or you can set your own custom export settings. This will allow you to pick and choose for your preferred platform.

The best format to export from premiere pro is to select H.264.

Best Premiere Pro Export Settings for YouTube: Export format

Then, directly below, choose your preset – I recommend using the YouTube 1080p Full HD preset – but don’t worry – this can be customized to suit; you don’t want to leave it on the exact preset. Remember to make sure that directly below the format and preset, both the audio and video checkboxes are both ticked.

Best Premiere Pro Export Settings for YouTube: Use The YouTube Preset

3. Set the Basic Video Settings and Encoding Settings

Best Export Setting for Premiere Pro for YouTube: Set the basic video settings and bitrate settings

You will then want to click on the Basic Video Settings tab. Here I recommend setting the Frame rate to 23.976 and make sure the “Width” is 1,920 and the Height is 1,080.

4. Set the Bitrate Settings

Best Export Setting for Premiere Pro for YouTube: Bitrate Settings

For optimum bitrate settings, scroll under the Bitrate heading and set the Bitrate encoding to VBR, 2 Pass, then set the Target Bitrate to 15 and Maximum Bitrate to 40. Don’t forget to check the box saying “Use Maximum Render Quality.”

5. Set the Audio Export Settings

Best Export Setting for Premiere Pro for YouTube: Audio Export Settings

For the audio export settings, click the Export Settings tab and set to the following specs:

  • Audio Format – AAC
  • Basic Audio Settings set Audio Codec to AAC
  • Sample Rate to 48000 Hz
  • Channels – Stereo
  • Audio Quality – High
  • Bitrate Settings:
    • Bitrate – 320
    • Click Advanced Settings and set Precedence to Bitrate.

Your video is ready to export!

Finally, click Export, and Premiere Pro will render your video and audio ready to upload to Youtube! If you want to set your own you can follow these simple steps: custom export presets.

If this was a useful article on the best export settings in Premiere Pro, check out our in-depth guide on the best sequence settings premiere pro, the best free premiere pro transitions and finally, how to crop video in Premiere Pro.

Common Export Questions Answered:

How do I adjust bitrate settings for YouTube exports in Premiere Pro?

To adjust the target bitrate in Premiere Pro, go to the export settings and choose H.264 as the format. For optimal results, set the bitrate encoding to VBR (Variable Bit Rate), 1-pass. You can then adjust the target bitrate according to your desired resolution:

  • 8 Mbps for Full HD (1920 x 1080)
  • 45 Mbps for 4K (3840 x 2160)

Higher bitrates will yield better video quality but larger file sizes.

What video codec and format should be used when exporting for YouTube?

The recommended video codec and format for YouTube exports from Premiere Pro is H.264 (.mp4). This format offers a balance between file size and quality, making it suitable for various internet connections and devices.

How do I maintain audio quality when exporting for YouTube in Premiere Pro?

To ensure good audio quality in your YouTube exports, choose AAC as your audio codec with a sample rate of 48,000 Hz and a bitrate of 320 kbps. This will provide clear, high-quality audio for your videos.

We hope this article on Best Premiere Pro Export Settings for YouTube is helpful to you. Please feel free to sign up for our newsletter and blogs for more Adobe Premiere Pro tips and tutorials.

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13 Comments

  1. My Preset wont stay on Youtube 1080 once all the other presets are changed it keeps pushing it back to Custom

  2. I’m curious why to change it to 23.976 fps when YouTube generally plays around 30 fps. Is there a reason for this?

  3. OK – but can anyone tell me what is wrong with Premiere:
    25 min 1080 HD bitrate 20 file size 1,55GB !!!
    2h of 4h movie – 4GB

    No way I can export 1h movie in comparable quality to what you may find…
    Whats wrong???
    thank you