Compress Videos for YouTube Without Losing Quality

Say, you want to quickly upload a video on YouTube, but the file’s size is too big or you have a video format (like .mkv) that your media player can’t play or let just say, for any other reason, you want to compress a video without cutting corners on quality.

compress videos for YouTube-- handbrake

I had a similar problem few months back. Apparently, I upload a video on my YouTube channel every Saturday, which weight around 500-600 MB for around 5 minutes video.

Now uploading a video of this size with my existing internet connection can take up to 5-6 hours. But since, I often run late on schedule, the only way to upload them quicker is by compressing them. But without compromising the quality. So what is the solution?

I have tried many other video compressors before, but they always ended up reducing the video quality. But handbrake– is an exception.

So, handbrake is a popular open source software (available for mac/windows) for compressing video files. But what make it different from rest is – it’s free, has a simple GUI (unlike FFmpeg) and compress videos without losing much quality (unlike FormatFactory)

But how does it reduces the file size without affecting the quality? Well, the answer is — better encoding. Imagine how we are able to get a two-hour long HD movie under 700 MB. Handbrake does the same.

The working is very simple. Download handbrake (11mb) from here and install in on your computer. Then select a source video and choose a destination for new compressed video and click on start.

Handbrake- compress video without lossing quality

Handbrake will start doing its magic. You do not even need to change any option. The default settings are best. However, if you would like to learn more (like changing resolution, bit rate etc) then watch this video.


I often use handbrake for many of my YouTube videos. I always compare the quality on different resolution including the television set and found no difference.

video file size reduce with handbrake

Here are some results of compresses I get from handbrake both on windows and mac computer.

#1 This video (recording of my desktop screen) was originally 550 MB and after compression only 50MB.

#2 Another video (mostly recorded from camcorder) was originally 720 MB and handbrake compress it to 120 MB, only.

#3 I also compressed a standard tv show and an animated movie, using the same default settings. And the results were unexpected. The file size it increased.


Handbrake is a good tool to compress raw video or something you get out of your video editor. It can shred up to 90 percent of the weight, without compromising the quality. However, for the videos that are already compressed (like movies and tv shows), it won’t work.


About Mrinal Saha

Mrinal is a tech geek who spends half of his day reading and writing about tech. While the nights are spent on shooting or editing YouTube videos. Feel free to geek out with him on-