Photos for Mac Video Quality Dropped to 720p, Complain Users

Image: Apple

Some Mac users are complaining about the default video quality in the Photos app when viewing videos stored on iCloud, claiming that Apple has quietly downgraded it to 720p in macOS Ventura, which was released back in October.

Apparently, even 4K videos stored on iCloud are now played back locally in 720p or (at most) 1080p on macOS, whereas the Photos app used to play them at full resolution by default before.

“I own the newest MacBook Pro with M1 Max, the Apple Studio Display and an iPhone 14 Pro Max. I also own the most expensive Cloud storage plan for 2TB and have 1 Gigabit internet speed. So when I view something on my device, I want it to look incredible – that’s why I literally spent thousands of dollars on my devices,” said Reddit user Sloppy_Donkey.

Unfortunately, Photos for Mac doesn’t even offer an option for users to specify the playback quality for iCloud videos or choose to play them at full quality. The user in question did find a way to make Photos play a video from iCloud in full quality, but noted that this isn’t something users should have to work around — they should just be able to watch their videos in the native resolution.

“There is no option in the settings or a proper button to watch videos in 4k in the Photos app. The only hack I found is to start editing the video first before watching it which will then download the full resolution video. But what kind of solution is that? Sometimes I watch 10-15 video clips in a row and I dont want to press edit every single time.”

Per one Reddit user who responded to the post, this is actually a bug that Apple is aware of and already working to fix. “They [Apple] basically said ‘that is not of design and will be looked into,'” they said.

According to the Redditor who originally highlighted the issue, it has been present since “the first version of the macOS Ventura public beta,” which came out in June.

Have you experienced this problem or faced any issues with default video quality on Photos for Mac? Let us know in the comments below.