When you go to watch a Youtube video, it will often automatically play in a rather low resolution like 480p or 360p even if the video is available in a higher resolution which can get very annoying.
Obviously, you can make it play in a higher resolution by clicking on the cog icon, clicking on “Quality”, and then choosing the resolution you want. But frustratingly, YouTube doesn’t save this setting so you end up having to do that procedure every time you watch a YouTube video.
Luckily, if you’re watching YouTube on your computer using either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, there is actually a way that you can set YouTube videos to always play in the resolution of your choice! (Eg: 1080p, 4K, etc). And in this article, that’s exactly what I’m going to show you how to do.
Prefer to watch a video about how to make YouTube videos automatically play in HD? Click here.
How To Make YouTube Videos Always Play In HD
To make YouTube videos play in HD automatically, because YouTube doesn’t actually have a built in feature for this, you’ll need to use a Chrome Extension if you’re using Google Chrome, or a Firefox addon if you’re using Firefox.
And the process for installing browser Extensions/Addons is actually quite different depending on whether you’re using Chrome or Firefox, so I’ve split this tutorial into two different sections.
If you’re using Google Chrome, you can just follow along with the steps below, but if you’re using Firefox, you’ll want to click here to skip to further down the article where I show you how to install the Firefox addon.
In Google Chrome
To install and set up the Chrome Extension, the first thing you will need to do is click here to view the extension in the Chrome web store.
And then, click the “Add To Chrome” button to begin installing it.
Then, a message will pop up asking if you want to add the extension to Chrome, and you’ll need to click “Add extension” to continue.
Now, after a few seconds, the extension will be installed, and you’ll see a message in the top right corner letting you know it’s been installed.
Now that the extension is installed, you can begin setting the resolution you want videos to play in. To do this, click on the puzzle piece near the top right hand corner of the screen.
And then, you will see a list of all the Chrome extensions you have installed, and in that list, you’ll need to find the HD extension we just installed and click on it to open it’s settings. (It’s the extension named “Auto HD/4K/8K for YouTube TM -…”).
Now, you will be able to choose whichever resolution you would like YouTube videos to play in.
By default, this extension will make every video play in 720p, which is fairly good and it’s noticeably better than 480p, but I would probably recommend setting it to at least 1080p so that the videos will play in full HD.
But if like me, you want everything you watch to look as good as possible and don’t care if it means you will use more bandwidth or have to wait a bit longer for videos to load, you can set it to 8K.
There aren’t actually many 8K videos on YouTube yet, so you will rarely actually watch anything in 8K, but by setting it to 8K, it just means every video will play in the highest resolution possible.
So any 4K videos you watch will play in 4K, and any 1080p videos you watch will play in 1080p.
It’s really up to you which resolution you choose, and you can always come back later and set it higher or lower if you need to, but once you’ve decided which resolution to use, click on the one you want, and that’s all you have to do!
Now, if you go to YouTube and start watching a video, it will automatically play in the resolution you chose!
To install and configure the Firefox addon in Firefox, the first thing you’ll need to do is click here to view the addon on the Firefox website.
And then, click the “Add to Firefox” button to add the addon to Firefox.
Now, you’ll get a popup asking if you want to add the addon to Firefox, and you’ll need to click “Add” to proceed.
Now, the addon will be added to Firefox, and you’ll see a popup message in the top right hand corner of the screen letting you know it’s been added. And you’ll just need to click “Okay” to dismiss it.
So now that the addon is added, you will actually be able to set the resolution that you would like all YouTube videos to play in. To do this, just click on the addon somewhere in the addons bar near the top right hand corner of the screen. (It looks like a little HD symbol).
And then, under “Video Quality”, you’ll see it is set to “Highres” by default. If you leave it set to Highres, any video you watch will automatically play in the highest quality available.
This is great, and it means every video you watch will look as good as possible, but if you have a cap on the amount of data you can use every month, or maybe you have somewhat slow internet, you might want to drop the quality to a lower setting.
To do that, just click on the drop-down menu where it currently says “Highres”…
And then, in the menu that appears, choose the resolution you want. (1080p is good because everything still looks reasonably detailed while still not using a huge amount of bandwidth.)
And that’s all there is to it! Now that the addon is installed and configured, whenever you watch a YouTube video in Firefox, it will automatically play at your chosen resolution!
So now, whether you’re using Chrome or Firefox, you won’t have to go through the annoying process of increasing the video resolution ever again. (Unless you’re on a phone, unfortunately, there’s still no solution for the YouTube mobile app).