How to export 4K video in Premiere Pro CC for YouTube and Vimeo

Way back in 2012 I wrote a blog post about my export settings for high definition videos in Premiere Pro. That post went on to become one of the most popular posts on my site. Wanna know what the second most popular post was? My video export settings for Instagram videos in Premiere Pro.

There’s a trend here, and I realized that with the advent of 4K video, I had the opportunity to create a new text and video tutorial about the settings that I use when shooting with my Sony A7Sii. As I prepared to create this tutorial, I decided that this would be the perfect time to revisit those posts about my high definition and Instagram export settings, and create videos for them as well. Today you can watch my 4K export settings tutorial and read my complete text guide below, and in the near future, I’ll be posting new updated articles about my settings for high definition and Instagram exports.

Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2017 doesn’t look very different from CS5. 

My text guide is how to export 4K video in Premiere Pro CC for YouTube and Video

First, make sure you have Adobe Premiere Pro. Don’t have Premiere Pro?! You can download a 7-day free trial here.


Before I get to my export settings, I need to discuss the sequence preset that I use. Premiere uses the term “sequence” to describe the timeline that you will use when editing your video. It is important to select a sequence preset that is the same as the video settings that you used when filming with your camera. You can use “Ctrl + N” or go to “File > New > Sequence” to open the new sequence dialog box. For the video clip I use in this project, I filmed in 3840×2160 resolution at 23.976 fps with the Sony A7Sii. I need to select a new sequence preset that is the same as these video settings.

The New Sequence Preset Window


Once you have opened the New Sequence window, you have many presets to choose from. Because there aren’t any available for 3840×2160 footage, I would instead select “Digital SLR > 1080p > DSLR 1080p24” and then select the “Settings” tab at the top of the window. Under the “Video” heading, change the “Frame Size” to “3840 horizontal” and “2160 vertical”. Keep the rest of the settings the same as the preset.

New Sequence Settings


Click “Save Preset” at the bottom and save your settings as a new preset. I named mine “3840×2160 23.976fps” so I can easily remember it when editing future videos. Next select your newly made preset, and edit your video clips on the timeline you have created.

Save your sequence preset.


Once your video is edited and ready to render. You need to set your “In” and “Out” points. Do this by moving the video playhead to where you want the opening frame of your rendered video to begin and press the “I” key on your keyboard. Then move the playhead to the end of your video and select the “O” key on your keyboard. The timeline will turn a darker color where your in and out points are selected. It is now time to export your video! With the timeline selected you can either press “Ctrl + M” on the keyboard, or navigate to “File > Export > Media” in the menu.

Set your “In” and “Out” points.


You’ve now opened the “Export Settings” dialog box and there’s approximately 3,000 settings you could change. Don’t freak out though, we’re going to tackle this one section at a time. First, under the “Export Settings” heading on the left, next to “Format” select “H.264” from the drop down menu. For Preset select, “Custom.” Click the blue text next to “Output Name” and select a name and location to save your video file. Make sure both the “Export Video” and “Export Audio” boxes are checked.

How the export settings dialogue box looks upon opening it for the first time.

The export settings heading of the dialog box.


If you are uploading your video to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, or any other video site that supports 4K, I recommend using the below settings. The file sizes will be quite large, but this will ensure that your video retains its quality when you upload it to these sites and they convert it into different formats and resolutions. Also, if you want to know my reasoning for choosing these settings, please watch the tutorial video.

Select the “Video Tab” in the middle of the export settings dialog box and set “Profile” to “High” and “Level” to “5.2”. Then make sure your “Width” is set to “3,840” and your “Height” is set to “2,160”. Set your frame rate to “23.976”, and check the “Render at Maximum Depth.”

Under “Bitrate Settings” set “Bitrate Encoding” to “CBR” and your “Target Bitrate [Mbps] to “100.” Lastly, check “Use Maximum Render Quality” at the bottom.

Basic video settings and Bitrate settings.



If you are not planning on uploading your video to an online video site, and instead are giving it to a client, I would recommend using these bitrate settings because the file size won’t be nearly as large. 

For “Basic Video Settings” use the same settings as you would if you were uploading to an online video site. For “Bitrate Settings,” change “Bitrate Encoding” to “VBR, 2 Pass.” Set “Target Bitrate [Mbps]” to “40” and Maximum Bitrate [Mbps] to “60”. Lastly, check “Use Maximum Render Quality” at the bottom.

Basic Video Settings and Bitrate Settings for clients.


Click the “Audio” tab in the middle of the Export Settings window and for “Audio Format” select “AAC”. Under Basic Audio Settings, set the “Audio Codec” to “AAC”, Sample Rate to “48000 Hz”, “Channels” to “Stereo”, and “Audio Quality” to “High”. Lastly, for “Bitrate Settings” set “Bitrate [kbps]” to “320” and under Advanced Settings set “Precedence” to “Bitrate”.

Audio export settings.


Now that you have created your video settings, click the down arrow icon to the right of your “Preset” at the top, and name your new Export Preset either “3840×2160 23.976 100mbps cbr” or “3840×2160 23.976 40,60 vbr” depending on whether you are saving the 100mbps CBR preset or the 40,60 VBR preset.

Video Export Preset


You are ready to click “Queue” or “Export” at the bottom of the dialog box and render your video!

I hope this video and tutorial has been helpful to you. As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave one below or get in touch. Expect high definition and Instagram export settings videos soon!

  1. It has been the best way to watch the videos on internet that I always like to see to have some enjoyment. It sure has been the idea that I am sure to share with others.

  2. Just found your video and it is one of the most informative videos I have watched for a while.
    Thank you for sharing your amazing knowledge. 🙂

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