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YouTube on Desktop Now Plays Vertical Videos Without Black Bars

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Matt Southern
Matt Southern SEJ STAFF
YouTube on Desktop Now Plays Vertical Videos Without Black Bars

YouTube has finally started playing vertical videos in their native aspect ratio on desktops, which means no black bars on the sides.

This is an update that first rolled out to mobile devices last year. A post on Google’s YouTube help forums confirms that it has now been rolled out to the desktop video player.

“We launched an update to the YouTube video player on desktop – the player now automatically adapts to provide the best viewing experience based on the video’s size (aspect ratio) and your computer’s screen/browser size.”

This update applies to any video that is not recorded in widescreen format, which also includes videos in 4:3 aspect ratio (also referred to as “full screen”).

“Historically, for non wide-screen videos (not 16:9) like vertical and square videos, we would show black bars alongside the video, making the video really small. This update moves away from the need for black bars. We launched this update on mobile awhile back (both Android and iOS) so this change also aligns the desktop and mobile viewing experiences.”

Recording in widescreen, or “horizontal mode,” is arguably the best way to capture video content — but vertical videos are still very much a part of today’s mobile-first world.

When you want to capture something within a moment’s notice, grabbing your phone and recording vertically may be the fastest way to do it without missing anything.

Now you can upload those vertically shot videos without any concern for a lesser viewing experience.

See below for a before/after example of what vertical videos will look like following this update.

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Matt Southern

Lead News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a degree in communications, Matt ... [Read full bio]

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