Remove Black Bars from Existing YouTube Videos

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If some of your older YouTube videos are cropped, stretched, or showing black bars on screen, the streaming platform offers a simple way to fix them. This guide will walk you through how to reformat your existing YouTube videos without having to reupload them to your channel.

How To Remove Black Bars from YouTube Videos

YouTube features several formatting tags that can be used to instantly change the appearance and format of your videos.

YouTube Formatting Tags

yt:quality=high - Play video in HD (by default).

yt:crop=16:9 - Remove black bars around video by zooming in on the video area.

yt:stretch=16:9 - Stretch a video and remove the vertical black bars on each side.

yt:stretch=4:3 - Scale down (4:3) a stretched video.

Reformat Your YouTube Videos

Sign in to your YouTube channel, click on your profile picture > Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos.

Select the video you want to edit and then click on the Edit button. Go to Info and Settings > Basic Info and enter the desired tag(s) in the Tags field:

Click on Save Changes to apply your new settings.

Jean-François Pillou

Jean-François Pillou - Founder of CCM
Better known as Jeff, Jean-François Pillou is the founder of He is also CEO of CCM Benchmark and digital director at the Figaro Group.

Learn more about the CCM team