YouTube’s new desktop video player ditches black bars

Portrait videos before the update

Portrait videos before the update

Some people are complaining that the videos are too big now, or that the full screen option no longer works properly. The new player also dynamically supports videos with an aspect ratio other than the traditional 16:9 ratio.

Last week, YouTube rolled out an update to its video player on desktop that will make a big difference to how videos of different aspect ratios play on the platform.

Unlike the previous rollout of this functionality to the native apps on iOS and Android, desktop viewers don't actually need to do anything in order to benefit from the change. The update was first announced on its user forum last week and later reported by Android Police.

The desktop version of YouTube, the one that loads in your web browser, just received an update which is meant to improve the viewing experience regardless of that size (aspect ratio) each video was recorded at, but not everyone is happy with the changes.

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The desktop website now displays portrait videos without those annoying black bars.

"Historically, for non wide-screen videos (non 16:9) like vertical and square videos, we would show black bars alongside the video, making the video really small".

See below for a before/after example of what vertical videos will look like following this update.

YouTube is also enhancing videos that are already in an easy to handle 16:9 aspect ratio by using the available white space on the page. "Either give us a way to opt out of this, or fix it". So, for anyone watching those videos, it should be immediately evident that the black frame around the media has now been entirely removed and that the experience can better adjust to different window sizes depending on the computer and the screen size that is being used to watch the video.

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