YouTube video quality

This is how to change the streaming quality of YouTube videos on your Android device

There are several reasons you may want to change the streaming quality of YouTube videos. You may want to downgrade the video quality because you want to cut down on the amount of data watching the video consumes. Or you may want to upgrade the video quality because you want to see more detail. Just remember that the video quality will be limited by the quality in which the video is uploaded in the first place.

After you've signed in to the video sharing service, let's talk about changing the streaming quality of YouTube videos. We'll be using the official YouTube app.

Making the change

YouTube overflow menu

You can make the change when you're actually watching a video. Those three dots stacked on top of each other that you see in the upper right-hand corner of the above screenshot are pretty important (that's called the "overflow menu," just so you're familiar with the term). To bring up the overflow menu, you can tap the area of the screen where the video is playing and it'll pop up. It may also automatically show when you're waiting for the video to load.

I'm in a Beatles kind of mood, so I'll use that in the demonstration.

YouTube gear icon

Once you bring up the overflow menu, you'll see something that looks like this. Select the icon in the middle that looks like a gear.

YouTube change streaming quality

The gear icon will bring up a screen like the one above, where you can select the streaming quality. Generally, the higher the quality, the better the image will look. Just keep in mind that the higher-quality videos will eat up more data, which is particularly important to think of if you're not on Wifi and if you're on a limited data plan. And not every video is uploaded at 720p or 1080p.

After you alter the image quality, the video should start playing again on its own after taking a moment to adjust to the streaming change.