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How To Watch Full Screen Youtube Videos On Your iPhone 5


One of the major selling points of the iPhone 5 is the larger screen, which measures at 4 inches diagonally.

The larger screen is way better for displaying videos, as long as you get to see those videos at full screen.

This article explains how to get your youtube videos to display at full screen, with no letterboxing or borders.

A short explanation about iPhone screen size & ratio

The iPhone 5 has a larger screen than previous iPhones. This is common knowledge. Not everyone knows that not only the size, but the screen aspect ratio has also changed. The aspect ratio is the ratio between the width and height.

All of the previous generation iPhones have a 3:2 ratio, which is a fairly narrow format. Most videos nowadays, including those displayed on youtube, are in 16:9 format, which is the format of most TVs on the market, known as widescreen. iPhones up to now have displayed a 16:9 format video on a 3:2 screen by putting bars at the top and bottom and shrinking the video down to fit. However now the iPhone screen is wider, it allows full 16:9 images to be displayed, without bars or being shrunk to fit. The following image shows you what this looks like.

16:9 (youtube standard) video being displayed. Old iPhone with 3:2 ratio screen on top, iPhone 5 with 16:9 ratio on bottom


It's pretty obvious that the bottom version is better. This is what you want to see with your new phone.

Unfortunately if you use the app version of youtube then you won't get this effect.The problem with the app version is that when you view a video, then you will find that it has black borders all around the image and the image is not filling the screen at all. You didn't buy a phone with a 4 inch screen to see borders!

The solution to this problem is to open safari, then search for youtube. Find it, then open it. Once you have opened youtube, then select the middle icon.


Then select the 'Add to home screen' option.


You don't really need to rename it, but you can if you like. Otherwise just select the 'Add' button.


That's it! Just use the new icon to access youtube videos. It directs you to the mobile version of youtube, rather than the app version. If you already have the app version on your phone, you'll probably want to delete that otherwise you'll have both versions on your phone.

Now when you watch youtube videos, you will get them full screen rather than the default annoying black bars around the image which show a smaller image than your new phone is capable of displaying.

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Go ahead and celebrate!


I hope this was useful, it's quite a simple guide, but if you don't access youtube this way, then you're not enjoying your iPhone at its full capacity, so it's certainly worthwhile.

If you have any comments please leave them below.

Thanks for reading.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Sudheesh on December 16, 2012:

Thanks for the share bro...

it was really worth...

mj on December 05, 2012:

this was such a big help for me to use my iphone 5...thanks a lotttt

G on November 21, 2012:

thank you so much

dommcg on October 11, 2012:

Thanks for the tutorial, the pictures with notes were very helpful.

aykianink on September 23, 2012:

Your images are EXACTLY how a 'how-to' should be. I applaud you, Rain. Good stuff.

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