how much space does 4k video take up

How Much Space Does 4K Video Take Up: A Helpful Guide

It’s easy to wonder, “How much space does 4K video take up?” especially with modern technology.

4K video has become the standard for most modern media, such as iPhone videos, movies, and video games.

Knowing how much space to allocate can help you pick the right amount of storage for your needs.

What Determines File Size?

We need to consider several factors when answering “How much space does 4k video take up?

Although it provides stunning picturesque landscapes, it’s also far more space-consuming than 1080p.

From the codec to the video’s bitrate, many factors influence the storage 4K video requires.


To put it simply, the bitrate of a video is how quickly the data is encoded.

It’s often described as bit per second, with one bit equivalent to one byte each second.

Bitrate is essential to consider because it can estimate a file’s overall size.

By multiplying the video’s length by its bitrate, you can estimate how much space it needs.

With 4K videos, you’re likely to have a higher bitrate, which means the video quality is better.

Most smartphones have somewhere between 85 and 95 megabits per second, or 690 MB per minute.

Frame Rate

Another substantial influence on file size is the frame rate, which is the number of static frames in each video.

You might see this value expressed as FPS or frames per second.

The higher the frame rates are of videos, the larger their video files and the higher their bitrates.

TV shows are typically displayed at 30 fps, while movies are often 24 fps or higher.

For video games, you’ll find monitors that go as high as 120 fps.

As the shift to 4K becomes more popular, frame rates are starting to settle between 60 and 120 fps.

HDR Settings

If you enjoy shooting on your smartphone, you’ve likely considered HDR settings in the past.

Known as High Dynamic Range technology, it automatically adjusts the contrast of videos to show exceptional detail.

The alternative is SDR or Standard Dynamic Range, which can cause ill-fitting brightness and contrast.

Although HDR is exceptional for quality, it can also be a significant burden for storage space.

As your videos will have higher quality details, their file sizes can be up to two times larger than SDR.

Most professionals will either need ample storage or compression techniques to reduce file sizes.


Codecs are responsible for the foundation of video compression, which is necessary with 4K videos.

Compression allows you to reduce the overall file size of a video and is often done while recording.

This technology is how you can record several high-quality 4K videos on a smartphone without consuming all your space at once.

The industry-standard codec used to be AVC or Advanced Video Coding is still found in most point-and-shoot cameras.

With smartphone technology advancements, HEVC is starting to become more popular, even in the government.

High-Efficiency Video Coding offers extreme compression, meanwhile maximizing video quality.

Even as your 4K videos’ file size is reduced, the quality will remain the same.

Not only will you find this type of codec in smartphones, but it’s also common in streaming services like Netflix.

HEVC allows watchers to indulge in a ton of data without lagging down their devices or internet.


Did you know that when audio is recorded, it’s separate from the video recording?

Audio even has its individual bitrate, which can significantly increase or decrease file size.

Like any video recordings, if the bitrate for audio is higher, the quality is higher, as is the file size.

192 Kbps appears to be the standard for audio files, depending on the number of tracks you have.

This feature is essential to consider if you intend on editing your 4K video shortly.

If you want to add extra tracks, such as background music, expect your file size to get significantly more extensive.

how much space does 4k video take up

How Do You Estimate the Space You Need for 4K Videos?

Even with the emergence of HVEC, 4K videos can cause quite a strain on storage.

Unless you upgrade your phone or computer storage, likely, you won’t be able to keep as many videos at once.

Let’s explore some essential estimates for how much storage you might need for high-quality videos.

How Much Space Does a 60 Second 4K Video Take?

60-second videos are likely the most popular among social media users and digital media fans.

A 60-second video can consume up to 350 MB with standard encoding and 170 MB with modern encoding.

How Much Space Does a 10 Minute 4K Video Take?

Assuming you’re using a smartphone, which features 30 FPS videos, ten minutes of 4K video consumes 3.5 GB of AVC storage.

If you have a newer smartphone that uses the HVEC codec, it may consume only 1.7 GB.

For those wondering, “How much 4K video can 128GB hold?” you can store up approximately 75 ten-minute 4K videos.

How Much Space Does a 30 Minute 4K Video Take?

With fundamental audio tracks and no additional edits, a 30-minute 4K video will take a chunk of space on your device.

Fortunately, most smartphones and computers have plenty of storage to handle moderately-sized videos.

On average, 30 minutes of a 4K video is equivalent to 10.5 GB of AVC encoded video and 5.1 GB of HVEC.

If you’re asking, “How much 4K video can 64GB hold?” you can handle up to six thirty-minute 4K videos.

How Much Space Does 1 Hour of 4K Video Take Up?

It’s easy to estimate how much space your videos will take up now that you have a general idea of how it works.

Since 30 minutes is 10.5GB with AVC and 5.1 GB with HVEC, an hour would be 21GB and 10.2 GB, respectively.

How Much Space Do You Need for 1080p Videos?

If you’re not entirely sold on upgrading your 4K video storage, you can settle with 1080p videos.

Depending on the quality of the media you want to produce, 1080p is still standard for many households.

For example, family movies don’t need to be viewed in immaculate 4K quality.

You’ll be glad to know that 1080p consumes far less space across the board if you have a tight budget.

A few examples of 1080p videos at five Mbps include:

  • One minute: 20 MB
  • Five minutes: 100 MB
  • Ten minutes: 200 MB
  • 30 Minutes: 600 MB
  • 60 Minutes: 1.2 GB

How Many GB Is a 2 Hour 4K Movie?

For Storage

Determining the precise amount of space you need for 4K movies will differ from title to title.

As earlier mentioned, there are many factors to consider ranging from audio files to codec type.

With movies, you need to take visual effects, motion blurring, and other post-production additions into account.

The only way to determine the real value would be to have the native bitrate and codec.

As a general guide, you can expect a two-hour 4K movie to require a bare minimum of 20.4 GB.

For Streaming

In regards to streaming services, such as Netflix, the storage recommendations are different.

Since you won’t hold the file on your HDD, it will be substantially smaller and less of a headache.

With the majority of SD (Standard Definition) videos on streaming services, you’ll use one GB of data per hour.

Since 4K titles also feature Ultra HD, their streams can consume up to seven GB of data per hour.

You’ll consume at least 14 GB of data for a two-hour movie, whether using your mobile data or router.

A good mid-tier option is to consider HD, which consumes approximately three GB of data per hour.

How Much Space Does 4K Video Take Up: Final Thoughts

No matter how you look at it, 4K video consumes ample storage space, but modern devices are prepared.

Most answer “How much 4K video can 128GB hold?” or “How much 4K video can 64GB hold?” with ample storage.

With a current HDD and the best 4K camera, you’ll have plenty of space for high-quality photos.