Can I Close YouTube While Processing?

Handling a YouTube channel can be a complicated process, and special care must be given to the final process when you are uploading the video.

Once a video is uploaded onto YouTube, it will start processing your video. And since it can take some time, the urge to close the browser or the app while it’s happening is a little too real.

But you might have nervously wondered – can I close YouTube while processing a video?

Will closing it delete the progress you have made so far or if you should you stand by your browser till the ENTIRE process is done with?


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The good news is you CAN close Youtube while processing!

In this article, I’ll break down what happens behind the curtains when a video is processing and why it’s ok to close your browser.

What Does Processing Mean On YouTube?

When YouTube processes a video, what it is doing is simply converting the video.

Youtube converts the video you just uploaded into a format that can be played on literally any device, with a WHOLE set of different resolutions.

This process is mainly known as RE-ENCODING the video.

How It Works

All videos have some kind of encoding (H.264 and MPEG-2), and this is what allows your computer or other smart devices to decode the video and play it for you whenever you want.

What YouTube does when it is re-encoding your video is simply turning the encoding format into a common standard one that is playable on every device.

There is a small catch here since it CAN reduce the quality of the original video a little bit, but it does not heavily affect the overall quality of the video to the point where it affects the final viewer experience.

And while processing your video, YouTube also makes sure they turn your video into 360p, 480p, 720p, 1080p and many more variations available on the platform.

How Long Does YouTube Processing Take?

If your video is 1080p, it would take 30 to 45 seconds per minute to process your video. So a 20 min video will take 12 to 20 mins to get completely processed.

Anything less than that will OBVIOUSLY be processed quicker.

If you are uploading and processing a 4K video, it will take around 1 to 4 minutes, depending on the fps rate of your video, per minute of footage.

And in this case, a 20 min video could take as long as 80 mins to get fully processed!

So the higher quality and longer the video is, the higher the processing time.

Does YouTube Need To Be Open While Processing?

No, it does not. When YouTube starts processing a video and re-encoding it, the video has already been uploaded to Youtube’s servers.

This means you can close Youtube, or your browser and work on other tasks. It’s even ok to turn off your system and the video will still process.

It also won’t be a problem if you disconnect from the internet, since the uploading part is already done.

So, relax and let YouTube do its job.

Can I Close YouTube App While Uploading A Video?

No, you cannot. Uploading and processing a YouTube video are two VERY different things.

If you are uploading a video, your device MUST stay on, and your device MUST be connected to the internet until the uploading process is 100% complete.

Also Read: Youtube Shorts No Views

If not, your uploading process will automatically come to a halt, or stop entirely. This means you have to start over again, from the beginning.

Maintaining the internet connection and keeping the devices on till you upload the video is important because it is about saving your video on their server.

If that is not done, processing the video can’t take place either.

Why Does YouTube Processing Take So Long?

Sometimes it can take a long time for Youtube to process your video. Here are some of the main reasons for this:

Alternative Video Formats

The recommended format for YouTube videos is MP4.

Sometimes novice content creators go for other heavier formats like mov. And this puts a strain on the processing speed.

When this happens, it takes a longer time for YouTube to actually process the entire video.

The Length Of The Video

If the video you have is a lengthy one that goes for more than 30 mins, your processing time will equally increase.

If there is a LOT of material for YouTube to go through and re-encode, it will take a LONG time for your video to be ready, and if shortening your video is NOT an option you will have to bear the extra minutes!

The Quality Of The Video

Processing a video that is shot in 4k and one that is shot in 720p will have two VASTLY different processing periods.

The former version will obviously take a MUCH LONGER time to be fully processed, compared to the latter since the increasing quality makes the videos a lot denser.

If there are additional enhancements or features (like 3D), it might increase the time too.

Videos Have Copyrighted Content

If there is copyrighted or even inappropriate content in your videos, it might just trigger Youtube’s security system and hold it for a manual review.

This obviously increases processing time.

Large Volume Of Videos

There are millions of creators out there and Youtube has to process everyone’s videos. Back in 2022, Youtube was processing 500 hours of video per minute! It should be higher now.

If there is a high volume of uploads when you are uploading, you are probably in a queue.

So, it might take longer.

Can I Publish YouTube Video Before HD Processing?

Yes you can, but it will be published in very low quality, like 360p.

This happens because YouTube finishes processing videos in lower quality first, before moving to higher quality, thus the low-quality version will be available much sooner.

So if you are going to publish your videos before HD processing, you will be publishing a low 360p quality video.

About Author

Lito James is the founder of He is an entrepreneur and marketing specialist who helps businesses to get more leads, subscribers, and customers. Massive Peak has been featured on G2, Cloudways, Sujanpatel, GetResponse, Renderforest, and many more. Follow on LinkedIn | Twitter

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