YouTube 101: How to Upload Videos from Your Phone

How to Upload Videos from Your Phone

What makes YouTube such a special platform is that anyone and everyone can upload their own content. Big players upload their videos to the same site that the little guy does.

But what if you're a little guy who has never uploaded a video before? Or, what if you're a regular YouTuber who doesn't have experience uploading right from their phone? Did you even know you could upload from your phone?

Regardless of your experience level, it's actually pretty simple to upload YouTube videos from your phone. You'll even get a handful of video editing tools and have the option of adjusting privacy settings. So if you're interested in becoming a mobile YouTuber, here's how it all works.

Step 1: Record a New Video or Choose an Existing One

First up, you'll need a video to upload. For this part, you've got two different options: Select a video that you previously recorded, or record a new one within the YouTube app. Either way, start by tapping the camera icon in the YouTube app's Home tab.

From there, tap "Allow Access" if you haven't already, then press "Allow" on the popup to give the YouTube app permission to access your camera and storage. Now, you'll see a screen with a camera viewfinder and video thumbnails. If you want to upload a video you've already recorded, just select it from the list of thumbnails and skip ahead to Step 2. Otherwise, continue reading to see how to record a new video within the YouTube app.

To record a new video from within the YouTube app, tap the camera icon at the top of the screen. From there, tap the red record button, then you'll be able to switch between the front and rear camera using the camera icon switch if you'd like. Once you're satisfied with your video, tap the stop icon to stop recording.

Step 2: Edit Your Video

Once you finish recording or selecting a video, YouTube lets you edit the video — to a degree — before uploading it for the world to see.

To trim, drag either end of your video to your selected time. If you long-press on either end, you can activate "finer" controls, which will allow you to scrub through the video at much shorter increments.

You can also apply filters to your video — 14, in fact — that will change the color or look of your footage. Unfortunately, there's no way to customize each filter. What you see is what you get.

Finally, you can add music. YouTube provides a sizeable collection of free music to use, as well as a way to find selections by genre/mood. If you have an iPhone, you can add music that lives on your device, however, note YouTube will most likely flag your video if you use copywritten music.

Android's experience is ... mostly the same. The main difference comes with the aesthetic. Android squishes both the editor and the upload tool together, and that makes things a bit too cramped. You also can't upload your own music track with your video on Android, which is quite disappointing.

Step 3: Upload!

When you're finally ready to upload your masterpiece, there's not too much left for you to do:

  1. Add a title.
  2. Add a description (optional).
  3. Choose a privacy setting: Public will allow anyone to view the video, Unlisted will allow anyone with the URL to view, and Private will only be visible to you.
  4. Tap the "Upload" button in the top-right corner.
  5. Wait for YouTube to upload and process your video.

Step 4: Share Your Video

So, you've uploaded your video. But what about sharing it to get as wide an audience as possible? Luckily, that process is just as simple as uploading:

  1. From the YouTube app's main menu, head to the Library tab (iOS) or the Account tab (Android).
  2. Tap "My videos."
  3. Tap the menu button to the side of your video (Android/iOS), or long-press to open the options menu (iOS).
  4. Tap "Share."
  5. Select the app or service you'd like to share the video with.
(1) iPhone, (2) Android

That's it! Uploading videos from your phone can be just as easy as from a computer — in some ways, even easier — and adds some fun steps in the mix. There's no excuse to getting something out there. If you have a smartphone, you have all you need!

Cover image and screenshots by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

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