How Long Can YouTube Videos Be?

How Long Can Youtube Videos Be

Since launching in 2005, YouTube has evolved in several ways.

It currently holds the record for the most popular video streaming platform and with good reason.

YouTube accommodates all types of niches as long as your videos adhere to its policies and guidelines.

One question among fans regularly is how long a YouTube video can be.

This question is vital to creators who want to know how long a video can be and the ideal length or viewers simply curious about the maximum length.

Quick Answer

The maximum length of a YouTube video depends on your account status. Non-verified accounts can only upload a maximum of 15-minute videos, while verified accounts can upload 12-hour or 128 GB videos. Still, YouTube features several long videos, the longest being a compilation of clips from different sources at 596 hours, 31 minutes, and 10 seconds. Videos over 12 hours are not typical on YouTube and require special applications to upload.

If you’re curious about how long YouTube videos can be and the ideal length for creators, read this post to the end.

Overview of YouTube Video Length

As mentioned earlier, the maximum video length you can upload on YouTube depends on your account status.

Unverified accounts can upload up to 15-minute videos, while verified accounts can upload 12-hour videos. The same rule applies to YouTube livestream, which have a maximum length of 12 hours.

However, YouTube offers some exceptions to livestream if the creator has a tangible reason for running the livestream longer.

Usually, the creator will need to request an extension. The maximum extension period is 12 hours making 24 hours the total maximum length for YouTube live streams.

Am I Verified on YouTube?

Here’s how to check if your YouTube account is verified on your PC:

  1. Launch your web browser and sign in to your YouTube account.
  2. Click the profile icon at the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Select “Settings.”
  4. Go to the “Your YouTube Channel” section at the center of the page and click on “Channel status and features.”
  5. Go to the “Feature eligibility” tab.
  6. Check if there’s an Enabled” button next to “Standard and “Intermediate features.
  7. If the button is there, then you can upload 12-hour-length videos.

If the Enabled button is only available for the standard section, your account is yet to be verified, meaning you can only upload 15-minute videos.

In most cases, verification is straightforward. If the button next to Intermediate features says eligible, you only need to verify your phone number to upgrade your account.

How YouTube Video Length Affects Creators

If you’re a creator researching how long YouTube videos can be, it’s vital to consider the type of video, your target audience, and your capability.

Regarding content consumption on YouTube, users tend to favor shorter videos over long ones. This is because long videos demand concentration and patience.

If the viewer doesn’t consider the content exciting enough, they exit and move to another video.

Watch hours are a significant consideration to many creators as it determines their income on the platform. However, keeping your videos within a digestible length offers the best outcome.

The best video length for YouTube creators is between 10 and 15 minutes. However, there are a few exceptions depending on the type of content.

For example, for explainer and how-to videos, the length should be as long as it takes to achieve the video’s intention.

Because the maximum video length for YouTube videos is 12 hours, some users may be curious why thousands of longer videos are on the platform.

The truth is uploading such content requires special permission from YouTube. If you are tackling a particular topic or wish to do an experiment requiring more than 12 hours of video, you can apply for an extension.

Top 3 Longest YouTube Videos

Here are examples of the top 3 longest YouTube videos:

  • The Longest YouTube Video by Jonathan Harchick. This video is a compilation of clips from various sources, including movies and TV shows. It is 596 hours, 31 minutes, and 8 seconds long.
  • The Longest YouTube Video Ever by TVFilthyFrank. The video is 571 hours, 1 minute, and 9 seconds.
  • Sudarshan Kriya Live by International Yoga Festival. It is 401 hours, 50 minutes, and 8 seconds.


YouTube videos can be 12 hours long for verified accounts and 15 minutes for non-verified.

This rule also applies to live streams.

You can ask YouTube for an extension if a video requires more upload hours.

Usually, YouTube grants a 12-hour extension making the total length 24 hours.

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