Force YouTube to play HD videos every time

You'd think YouTube would realize you always want the highest possible resolution. Here's how to make sure you always get it.

YouTube videos such as <a href http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyHVQT8aIBM”>Beyonce Knowels' “All the single ladies”</a> demand high resolution.

YouTube videos such as Beyonce Knowels' “All the single ladies” demand high resolution.

Yesterday we talked about customizing your YouTube homepage settings -- and protecting your privacy while you're at it.

Today, let's look at the videos themselves and how you can maximize your enjoyment of them. I'm speaking, of course, about watching at the highest possible resolution.

My preferred method of viewing YouTube vids is full-screen. However, when I click the player's Full Screen button, I'm treated to rather grainy video. That's because YouTube doesn't automatically bump the resolution to its highest available setting. I have to click the resolution selector and choose it myself.

I'm a busy man. I don't have time for that!

Fortunately, there's a setting that will force YouTube to switch to HD playback whenever you switch to full-screen viewing. Here's how:

1. Go to YouTube and sign into your account (if you're not already signed in).

2. Find your username in the upper-right corner, click it, and then choose Account.

3. Click Playback Setup, then enable the following option under Video Playback Quality: Always play HD when switching to fullscreen (when available).

4. Click Save Changes and you're done!

Keep in mind that not all videos offer an HD option, and that playback may get jerky if you have a slow connection. A little trial and error might be in order.

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Tags applicationsPhoto / videowebsoftwareinternetyoutubevideo

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Rick Broida

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