Here are quick directions on exporting a video in Adobe Premiere Pro to a compatible format (H.264/MP4) for playing on computers, tablets, smartphones and can also be used for uploading to YouTube and Vimeo.

Be sure to SAVE your Premiere Pro project before starting this process.

STEP 1 – Select the Sequence

Select the Sequence you want to export in the Timeline panel.

You’ll notice the border around the selected sequence panel turns to orange when selected.

Premiere Pro CS6 Timeline

STEP 2 – Export Media Settings

Select FileExportMedia… from the menubar.

Premiere Pro CS6 - How to get to export menu

STEP 3A – Export Settings | Format

On the right in the Export Settings window, Format: select H.264.  H.264 will create an MP4 video file that is playable on most computers, tablets, and smartphones.

Premiere Pro Export H.264 Format

STEP 3B – Export Settings | Presets

From the Presets dropdown, move your mouse to the bottom of the giant list of options and click on the black upside-down triangle to move down the list to the Vimeo & YouTube options.

Adobe Premiere Pro H.264 Presets

Based on your sequence settings, choose the best output.

[CLICK TO VIEW] Adobe Media Encoder H.264 Presets for YouTube and Vimeo.
[CLICK TO VIEW] Adobe Media Encoder H.264 Presets for YouTube and Vimeo.

STEP 3C – Export Settings | Output Name

Click on the Output Name to give the file a custom name and setup the save location on your hard drive.

Premiere Pro defaults to the last location an export was saved.  ALWAYS click on the Output Name to double check the save location, so you’re not left searching for the file later.

Premiere Pro Output Name

STEP 3D – Export Settings | Export or Queue

It is recommended that you only export a video when you are done with all your work and are not going to perform any more tasks on your computer.  The export process requires a lot of computer memory and it is recommended to close all other programs while this tasks is running.

OPTION 1 | EXPORT – Click the Export button at the bottom to start exporting the file.

OPTION 2 | QUEUE – If you know you want to keep working and export the file later, select Queue to send the export job to the Adobe Media Encoder program.  The Adobe Media Encoder allows you to export a batch of videos at a later time.

Premiere Pro Export and Queue Buttons

STEP 4 – Play Before You Upload

Before uploading the video to YouTube or Vimeo, be sure to play it on your computer to ensure the final product is of the highest quality you expect for your viewing audience.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Computer is slow or freezes when exporting.
    • Turn off all programs except for Premiere Pro.
      You might even try turning off some of those little programs that are running down by your clock that you know you don’t need running like Google Drive and Dropbox.  Be careful not to turn off your sound card or your video driver software! 
    • Shut down your computer and then restart it.
      When you restart your computer, turn off any background programs that you can think of or that you’re capable of turning off to free up memory.  Then start Premiere Pro.

If you have any questions or additional tips on exporting video in Adobe Premiere Pro, please leave a comment below.


  1. helpful …thank you … however I can’t find where the exported file ended up on my computer so I can upload it to your Tube. appreciate your help

    • I’m glad you found the resource helpful. To locate your missing file, just use the search function on your computer. Hopefully you remember what you named it. Maybe try the process again to see what name comes up by default and that may shed a clue on the name you gave your file the first time. Good luck! :)

  2. This didn’t help at all. I’ve done the exporting but how do I turn a premier pro video into an mp4 video file so I can put it somewhere on my computer and upload it to YouTube. YouTube doesn’t let you upload Premier Pro files so I need to make the video an actual video instead of just staying in Premier Pro! So frustrating.

    • When you export the video using the directions outlined on this page, you will end up with an MP4 video file saved somewhere on your computer. The final step will be to go to YouTube and upload the MP4 file.

  3. Dear Jerrad.

    Everything is ok when I playback the video using VLC. After uploading to FB and Youtube. No sound for my video. The source video is MOV.

    Kindly hope your reply soon.

    Thank you

    • For YouTube or Facebook, I recommend using H.264 as the video format.

      Also, have you tried playing the video using a different web browser, computer (without VLC Player), or a mobile device? VLC Player could be causing the problem.

      • Dear Jerrad.

        Thank you for your suggestion.

        The source video is mts. I edit and render to format h.264.

        Its working well when im playing on youtube via pc.

        Not working if im playing on youtube via handphone and via facebook.

        Im headache thinking this problem.

        Please advice me.

        Thank you,

        • When you upload a video to a service like YouTube and Facebook, the video will go through another conversion process by YouTube/Facebook to make the video ready for use with their media player. If the video is playing fine on your PC, I suspect that your phone software is in need of an update. Are you playing the video using the phone browser or the YouTube native app? What is your phone’s version number of the operating system? What about the YouTube app version number?

          • Dear Jerrad,

            Finally I resolved the issue, what I’m doing is ,

            1. Split the audio from the original video and converted it to MP3
            2. Increase the desibel to the highest , 6.02dB
            3. The original sound is stereo, so I’m off the left channel due to noise sound inside the soundclip.

            Upload to above setting as you taught.


            Thanks Jerrad.

            Cheers from Malaysia.

  4. Tnx, not a premiere expert but wanted to do some video composing quickly.. and donot know how to export the video as desired and not having time to go through the tutorials.. :)

  5. Hey Jerrad. Thanks for your article. These youtube presets are missing on my machine. I was wondering if you knew where they are located on the disk or how I could get a hold of them somehow…

  6. Thank you for your help. my machine tends to freeze during exporting a lot i have a 27 inch imac 16gigs of ram, 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. Why does media encoder freezes a lot even on a i minute video when exporting to any format?

    • Do you have any other programs running at the same time? When I do any sort of video work, I close out all unnecessary programs (browsers, word processors, email) and exclusively use the video editing program I’m tasked with using. Another thing you might try is shutting down your computer, wait 5 or so seconds after it has shutoff, and start the computer back up. Do you have all the latest Adobe & Apple updates for your computer? See if any of these tips help you get your video exported.

  7. I am having a very strange problem with Youtube. This tutorial helped me a lot as far as exporting with the right format, but I still seem to have the same problem: when I upload the video to Youtube, the first few seconds of the video are very blurry, then it clears up. This is only in full screen mode. When it is not in full screen, the video is blurry the whole time. Please help! What am I doing wrong?

    • A few things could be causing this.

      1. When viewing on YouTube, at what quality are you viewing the video? Depending on your internet speed, YouTube will set the quality of the video to match the download speed of your internet. On the timeline bar. There are dials for sound, closed captioning, quality, and full screen. Some examples of the quality include 480p, 720p, and 1080p. Let me know this value.

      2. If your video quality is set to 720p or 1080p HD, you may want to pause your video at the beginning to allow your device to download enough video to create a buffer so the video can play while still downloading. HD video requires more data and if the internet is slow, you don’t want it to play and then pause when it catches up.

      Let me know if this helps or not.

  8. i am planning to import an mp4 file to premiere cs6, do some modifications and then export it as mp4. will the quality go down?

  9. Jerrad is amazing! I was having a problem converting a file from premiere pro file to an mpeg4 file. It was coming out very blurry. He helped me very quickly and is very knowledgeable! He emailed me back right away with an answer every time I had a question.
    Thank you so much Jerrad!! You rock!! You made an inexperienced premier pro user feel pretty confident in using the program!!

    • You’re welcome Liz. Thanks for visiting our website and for leaving the kind comments. I’m glad that I was able to help. I hope the resources I referred you to on our website and on were helpful. If you have any more questions about Premiere Pro, feel free to submit your question in the comments section at the bottom of our Adobe Video Editing Resources Page. Thanks again! :)

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