Google will lower YouTube video quality worldwide due to Coronavirus -- here's how to get around that

YouTube and popcorn

With so many people self-isolating due to the Coronavirus, the internet is getting hammered. No, people are not learning new things en masse on Wikipedia. Instead, they are doing exactly what you'd expect -- watching streaming video from services like Netflix. Look, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a little entertainment -- especially when it can take your mind off a global pandemic. The problem, unfortunately, is that high definition and 4K video use up a lot of bandwidth.

You see, if enough people watch high-quality video all at once, the internet could slow down and become unusable. And so, in some parts of the world, such as Europe, services like YouTube and Netflix are providing lower-quality video streams (480p) to reduce the overall impact on the internet. Sadly, Google has now decided to do this globally with YouTube -- including in the USA -- for at least a month. Ugh. Thankfully, there is an easy way to get around that.

In a statement provided to Bloomberg, regarding this new policy Google says "We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation."

ALSO READ: Donald Trump's White House launches Coronavirus (COVID-19) Roku channel

Here's the deal, folks -- Google is only lowering the default quality of its streams. As of now, it is not preventing users from increasing the quality after the video starts. On desktop, all you must do is click on the gear icon and change the quality to whatever is available -- 1080p, 4K, or even 8K. On mobile, you would tap on the three dots and then tap on the gear to do the same.

As an example, check out the above video I recorded in 8K. Click on it to start the video playing. Next, just click the little gear icon and voilà -- you will see several resolutions available, ranging from the low-quality 144p and going all the way up to the super high-end 8K. Choose whatever you'd like.

The real question, of course, is should you increase the video quality? By increasing the quality, it can be argued that you are being morally irresponsible. After all, if everyone did this, it would defeat the purpose entirely. Your naughty behavior could contribute to the downfall of the internet! Ultimately, only you can make that determination.

Image credit: Riccosta / Shutterstock

8 Responses to Google will lower YouTube video quality worldwide due to Coronavirus -- here's how to get around that

  1. YourBreastsAreHuge says:

    This is a stupid thing to do. The USA isn't having the same internet slowdown as Europe.

  2. MyDisqussion says:

    Yes, you should.

  3. Jamie Maclean says:

    If you are selfish; if you have no sense of civic responsibility, then I am sure you will up the resolution.
    But if you think of others, as well as yourself ...

  4. roborodent says:

    The real question is, does shamelessly directing everyone's internet traffic to your YouTube channel "morally irresponsible" in this time of bandwidth crisis? ;)

  5. V_Dude says:

    The company I work for distributes medical supplies and the increased traffic is interfering with our ability to get those products to the people who need them. We aren't the only company trying to work around those issues..
    Perhaps you should edit the article letting people know that only a giant douchebag would put entertainment ahead of others.

  6. mr nicholson says:

    wow how stupid is the american writing this

  7. gawd21 says:

    People still use that Nazi platform? They block everyone and remove anything that they do not like! There are more ads than anything else that I have ever seen. At one time, I even paid them for the ad free version, and it would still had ads, big banner ads! Youtube is a joke!

  8. Ian Kelly says:

    The world is full of selfish morally irresponsible people who I'm sure will make use of this information. My internet is crap where I live and now I'm sure it will get worse. Thanks buddy!

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