How you can remove the black bars around older YouTube videos using YouTube formatting tags. Not only that, we are also going to help you fix the s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g effect that can sometimes happens when the aspect ratio is wrong. How? It’s all down to the addition of a few simple formatting tags. If you have a video that’s performing really well for you but because you uploaded it a few years ago or you may have made a mistake while uploading that you didn’t know how to correct.

1) Add a Tag to Remove Black Bars Around a 4:3 Video
You can ask YouTube to remove these black bars by asking YouTube to “zoom in” to the picture by adding the following tag:
yt:crop=16:9
This will tell YouTube to zoom in on the 16:9 area and remove the windowboxing around the video.

2) Add a Tag to Stretch Video to Fit Wide-screen
If you meant for your video to show in a wide-screen format but that got lost in translation in the upload, then add the following tag:
yt:stretch=16:9
This will fix fixes anamorphic content by scaling to 16:9

3) Add a Tag to Remove Wide-Screen Ratio from Your Video
If you wanted your video to display in 720 by 480 pixels but YouTube are displaying it in wide-screen 16:9 aspect, you can fix that by adding the following tag:
yt:stretch=4:3
That fixes 720×480 content that is the wrong aspect ratio by scaling to 4:3

4) Revert Changes, Deactivate
If you want to ever deactivate these cropping effects, you can add the following tag
yt:crop=off:

5) Make High-quality the Default Format
If you want your video to always play in high quality then add this tag:
yt:quality=high
This Defaults to a high quality stream (available based on the size of the viewer’s player and the size of the browser window). Use this one sparingly because if you force a video to playback in high-quality and the viewer has a very slow internet connection, or is on a mobile device it could lead to a lot of buffering for them. Sometimes it’s best to leave it to YouTube to decide.

Summary of YouTube Formatting Tags
yt:crop=16:9 – Zooms in on the 16:9 area, removes windowboxing
yt:stretch=16:9 – Fixes anamorphic content by scaling to 16:9
yt:stretch=4:3 – Fixes 720×480 content that is the wrong aspect ratio by scaling to 4:3
yt:crop=off – Deactivates cropping effects on the video and reestablishes cropped areas
yt:quality=high – Defaults to a high quality stream (available based on the size of the viewer’s player and the size of the browser window)
yt:cc=on – Forces closed captions and subtitles to be shown in YouTube (Watch Video)