YouTube has started to deliver uploaded and shared video clips in higher quality high definition (HD) resolution and stereo audio mode so that viewers can have better video playback and watching experience. Previously, users require to use a hack switch of &fmt=18 or &fmt=6 to view high quality video resolution. However, the trick may be pretty useless now as YouTube starts to stream video in high quality officially.

Watch YouTube in High Quality

Now, YouTube starts to offer link for user when viewing supported video clip on YouTube website to play video in higher quality. The link “watch in high quality” will appear below the view count of the video if high definition HD viewing is supported. If you’re already watching the video in high resolution, a watch in standard quality link will be shown instead so that user can easily toggle between higher quality and lesser quality video clip, as streaming in higher quality may not be smooth and video playback may stop for buffering.

For viewer with YouTube account and high speed Internet connection, and want to always watch all YouTube clips available in higher resolution in high quality mode, YouTube has provided an option in user account setting to set higher quality as default mode of playback when viewing video stream. By default, the playback resolution is set to normal, which means lesser quality.

To change your playback settings to force YouTube to always play video in high quality if available, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to YouTube Accoun page:
  2. Under “Account” section, click the Video Playback Quality link:
  3. Select the radio button for I have a fast connection. Always play higher-quality video when it’s available option in order to play video in higher quality by default.

    Set Higher Quality Video as YouTube Playback Default

  4. Click the Save Settings button to make the change effective immediately.
  5. To revert the selection, choose either Choose my video quality dynamically based on the current connection speed or I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality video.

Update: The option has been removed and no longer available on YouTube. YouTube now automatically select the best resolution for YouTube video based on Internet connection speed that it detected, with option to change the video quality during playback. Alternatively, use one of the YouTube extensions for Chrome to automatically playback YouTube videos at quality you desired.