I have an iPhone 13 Pro that I just purchased.

Whenever I load a YouTube video in my browser, whether that is using Chrome or Safari, every video I come across is automatically played in 320p quality by default. Using the cog icon I can change the quality to a maximum of 720p, there is no option for higher quality. However, on other devices watching the same YouTube video I can watch in 1080p, 4K, and 8K quality.

The App Store YouTube app does not appear to have this problem, however it is annoying having to use a separate app instead of the browser.

No other phone or device in my house has this problem, and I have checked the speed of my fibre internet.

Update to clarify question - How to get higher than 720p YouTube video quality when using Chrome or Safari web browsers. Especially when many videos outright refuse to load in 720p.

  • Can you elaborate on what your question is here?
    – nohillside
    Commented May 21, 2022 at 19:02
  • Related apple.stackexchange.com/questions/118789/…
    – nohillside
    Commented May 21, 2022 at 19:04
  • @nohillside How to get higher than 720p YouTube video quality when using Chrome or Safari web browsers. Actually, many videos outright refuse to load in 720p.
    – questioner
    Commented May 21, 2022 at 19:40
  • Please edit your question to clarify, right now it doesn't actually ask this.
    – nohillside
    Commented May 22, 2022 at 4:21

1 Answer 1


iOS is capable of streaming more than 4k video, so this is more about YouTube servers making a decision to downgrade you.

First step, check your local content delivery networks

Second, make sure you understand your plug in / extensions / content blockers. YouTube won’t waste their money sending you gratuitous pixels if your network can’t handle the bandwidth. If you are signed in, check your YouTube settings.

Third, (and I rarely need this) try the native app for YouTube and see if that offers different results than Safari. Sometimes when YouTube decides they can’t get analytics (money and tracking data) they downgrade you from Picture in Picture and other affordances you might prefer.

The iPhone 11 and newer support AirPlay so it can push 4k content wirelessly to Apple TV so the issue isn’t the hardware or the OS.

4K video sharing With AirPlay, you can share your 4K videos from the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV 4K in full resolution.

Here’s a video that hits about every pixel on my iPhone 11 Pro which has roughly the same resolution as your 13 Pro.

  • I played a video which had 1080 and 4K availability on my Samsung S20, Linux laptop, Windows laptop etc... yet a new iPhone without any apps cannot play high quality videos on Safari (or later in Chrome)... Only the YouTube app provides high quality video options.
    – questioner
    Commented May 23, 2022 at 22:20
  • How good does this look on your phone? youtu.be/nBYZpsbu9ds 1080p should use nearly every pixel.
    – bmike
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 1:01
  • Mike, I also get only 360/720 when playing that video in Safari/Chrome, at least while still showing comments etc. Not sure about fullscreen, didn’t see a way to get the resolution information there.
    – nohillside
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 5:26
  • I think the content delivery networks may be forcing this regionally. Best I can find is webapps.stackexchange.com/a/10675/12331 where tacking on &hd=1 would presumably get you to 720. A support ticket with google may be challenging if you don’t pay them a bunch of money.
    – bmike
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 11:36

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