YouTube videos keep defaulting to 480p resolution? You're not alone

YouTube has become a cultural repository over a certain period of time. It is a site where people often spend hours watching old music videos, half-forgotten TV commercials, some wild documentaries, and so on.

Whilst maintaining the image of a cultural archive, YouTube also molds itself timely. For instance, during the unprecedented times of Coronavirus, YouTube decided to reduce the default resolution of videos to 480p globally.

This thoughtful step was taken in view of taking some load off of its servers due to the increase in users’ watch time.


Needless to say, the 480p video quality cap was later removed altogether when things got a little better.

However, an issue (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) has now come to light where YouTube videos are constantly defaulting to 480p resolution. And it is seemingly affecting users’ experience as well as the video quality.

The issue is troubling people even when the video-viewing quality is set to ‘Higher picture quality’. It automatically restores to 480p resolution.


for me too 🥲Even if I select 1440p then the next video some times goes back to 480p

For me too! Even my WiFi and mobile network is good, it always start with 480p.

Moreover, when some people are specifically watching a video at 480p to save their data, YouTube decides to flash their ads at 1080p. Many users find it utterly frustrating.

Dear @YouTube if I am watching something at 480p to save my data how dare you load ad’s at 1080p. @YouTubeIndia

YouTube’s statement

So far, the YouTube team has simply issued a generic statement asking users to change the resolution themselves in the ‘Settings’ option.


But this recurrent issue has not been acknowledged yet. Unfortunately, there is also no workaround that can help fix the issue where YouTube keeps defaulting videos to 480p resolution temporarily.

So, there are two things users can do to deal with this frustrating situation. They can either wait for the video quality to adjust automatically or they can change it manually.

That said, we hope YouTube does something about the quality issues in a manner that is both precise and permanent.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Want to work for PiunikaWeb and enjoy best-in-industry compensation & benefits? You'll be glad to know we're hiring experienced candidates.

Riya Madaan

Weaving a little bit of life into the articles I write. No, not really! That's not really possible for a trash writer like me but I still try. Apart from it, I skate, meditate and medicate. Also keep myself away from troubles as I age.