Publishing to Vimeo or YouTube from Adobe Premiere Pro

Publishing to Vimeo or YouTube from Adobe Premiere Pro

Once you’ve edited your masterpiece, it’s time to share it with the world. Two of the most popular sites, Vimeo and YouTube, limit the size of file you can upload. Compress the files for faster upload times and better playback quality.

Here’s how to make compressed video right inside Adobe Premiere Pro:

  1. Choose File > Export > Media or press Cmd+M (Mac OS) or Ctrl+M (Windows). The Export Settings window opens.
  2. From the Format pop-up list, choose H.264.
  3. Click the Preset list and choose the correct preset. You’ll find ready-to-use settings for both YouTube and Vimeo. Be sure to choose the HD presets if your source video is HD.
  4. Select the Use Maximum Render Quality option. This will take a little longer to process, but the quality is worth it.
  5. Click the underlined text next to Output Name. This lets you name the file and specify a destination.
  6. Click the Export button to create your file.


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About the author

I'm a Beach Bum from Florida who's fascinated by the convergence of Technology, Art and Marketing. I've spent 20+ years training Content Creators on how to profit from their work through organizations like the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Digital Video Professionals Association (DVPA), National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), Wedding and Event Videographers Association (WEVA), and the Computer Graphics Society (CGS).

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  1. J.R. Shepard

    Hi, Thanks so much for your directions. Was very intimidated about doing my first film-compressing.

    Unfortunately, it’s not working! I’m working on Premiere Pro CC, and am compressing a 27 minute film with a lot of special effects (Rotoscoping, etc. via After Effects.)

    The compression started off really well, but now it’s frozen at 52% done. Would you have any thoughts why this might be?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge, beach bum!

    1. David

      First make sure after effects is still open as needed even if you have completed tasks in that program.
      In the Export Media option (Ctrl+M, Windows) set the format to “H.264″ and under “Preset” press Y and go to “YouTube 1080″ or 720 as preferred. If you have the full suite you should be able to render the video out separately in Media Encoder by pressing “Queue” instead of “Export”. In Media Encoder check the setting are still correct and click the play > button to start creating the finished video. Then you can upload the video file to YouTube.

    2. Cristina

      I followed the directions as well and I’m getting an error code. I’m using Premiere Pro CC as well and when I select the box for Use Maximum Render Quality the system is automatically changing the Present from my YouTube selection to Custom. And then when I try to export it I’m getting an error code that says Accelerated Renderer Error, Unable to Produce Frame. Any ideas on why this is happening?

      1. ste

        something changed. uploading to youtube used to be ok, now not so ok. also with vimeo it used to be ok, but then stopped working, apparently now you have to use a vimeo extension in order to upload from pr pro, or it doesn’t work. maybe there is one for youtube, i dunno.

      2. Brandon Jones

        Basically, you can’t select a YouTube preset and also check the box for “Use Maximum Render Quality.” The moment you check that box, your YouTube preset will be changed to “Custom.” That might be the problem.

  2. mariana

    Is there a way i can export on adobe premiere pro cc direct to youtube ? Adobe elemets have the option to share so you can export direct to your youtube channel i can’t find that option on adobe premire pro. I hope you can answer

  3. Tyler

    Thank you so much for posting this! So many other posts about exporting give all these other exceptions and such. Yours was very straightforward and exactly what I needed.

  4. Jeff Poole

    Just what I needed thanks. It is so long since I last exported files, I couldn’t remember how to optimise them.


  5. Lizz

    I am exporting to YouTube, but the export never finishes completely. It gets to “Uploading File” and never gets any further – 0%. I have logged into YouTube via the export settings in Premiere Pro. The sequence exports without issue.

    1. Meeka

      I’m having a similar problem. My edited video gets to “Uploading File” and doesn’t even upload. How were you able to fix that issue? I’m very frustrated and I don’t want to edit this video again.

  6. Dani

    hi guys,
    i made a screen capture with from my display(1366 x 768) with WebM (VP8) High Quality.
    now i want edit it in adobe premiere CS5 and export it to youtube.
    which settings i must use for opening the project and which settings for Export?

  7. Phil

    How about bitrate settings? How can you write this post and not even mention what proper bitrate settings are preferred for vimeo and youtube. Very amateur info here. Need more work.

  8. Leo

    This is my first time ever actually making a video, so I have no idea where it exports to. Does it go directly to YouTube? I seriously don’t know. Any help at all would be great.

    1. Don

      Hi Leo,

      You can direct export; however, I recommend not doing that for this reason. It is a good practice to view your video file after you export it to you system. I can not tell you how many times doing so I notice something I want/need to change. Maybe something in my setting was off…etc…

      Warm Regards,

  9. Amanda

    I can do all this, but it still takes 3 hours+ to upload a less than 3 minute video to Youtube. How can I make this faster? I have it set at 30 fps, 720p, and compress it in Premiere Pro, but it still takes forever to upload. Help, please.

  10. teresa s howes

    When exporting the video to Youtube, it only exports the first segment of the video no the entire video. What do I need to do?, the video is 4 minutes 65 seconds, it only exports 1 minute 17 seconds.

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  14. kofi Nuel

    thanks, i tried it and it working. but the video file is big. the duration for the edited video is 27 min. and it took 8 hours to render and exporting. i ended up having 5GB. which is too heavy for me. Can you help so i can get a smaller size?

    1. Ashmcc

      Hi Nuel,
      It’s awful, but 5GB and 8 hours for 30 min sounds pretty typical to me, but maybe I’m doing something wrong too. You should be able to run the file through Media Encoder to reduce the file size.

  15. Kyle Koch

    The Adobe Presets for YouTube and Vimeo guarantee poor quality. The bitrate results in blockiness and digital artifacts on any gradients, dissolves, and fast motion.

    The on-line services take the file and compress new ones so any low bitrate file gets even worse.

    20Mbps CBR will guarantee great quality when uploading to YT or Vimeo. 15Mbps for low complexity imaging. 10Mbps would be the minimum to balance file size with low quality. A single person with a simple backdrop where the shot doesn’t change (basically a low complexity image) can get away with 8Mbps, but it will still show artifacts around the person and any contrast areas.

    If you really need to have high quality, then ProRes is an even better option. 422HQ for ultra-high quality. 422 for excellent quality. LT and Proxy can also deliver reasonable quality. Keep in mind that 422HQ is likely 10x the file size of a 20Mbps h264 because of the quality of the image.

    SIDE NOTE – VBR (variable bit rate) was used primarily for CDs that limited space available.

    PERSONAL NOTE – it is sad that on the FB forums it is incredible how many people recommend using Premiere’s YT and Vimeo preset. It really isn’t good advice and many of us who work in the industry, are trying hard to address the posts that support bad workflow.

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