- There are a bunch of little tips and tricks for YouTube on both mobile devices and computers that you might not have come across yet.
- As I was writing about all these tips and tricks, I realised I use almost all of them on a daily basis.
- I’ve been using YouTube alongside traditional Google searches to find new things and follow topics I’m interested in, and YouTube wouldn’t be nearly as useful had I not known about these shortcuts and features.
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YouTube can either be a place you go for entertainment, or it can become as useful as a Google search to learn something new.
I’ve been using YouTube alongside the old-fashioned Google Search for a couple years now, but it wouldn’t be nearly as useful if I didn’t know about some of the handy shortcuts I’ve learned about from my own experience, and even asking Google itself for some tips.
From useful keyboard shortcuts, to adding captions so I can watch a video without disturbing people around me if I forget my headphones during my commute, there are a bunch of good ways to make YouTube easier and better to use.
On mobile, swipe left of right while you’re watching a video to move on to the next video.
Easily navigate between videos with a simple horizontal swipe. The swipe gesture is recognised anywhere on the Watch page, including in full-screen mode. Swiping left (finger swipe right to left) navigates to the next video, while swiping right (finger swipe right to left) navigates to the previous video.
On mobile, you can double-tap the left or right of the video to rewind or fast forward in 10-second increments.
If you have kids, YouTube has a YouTube Kids mobile app that’s safer to use when you’re around them, or when your kids are watching YouTube videos.
Try using captions when you can’t or don’t want to play a video with sound.
Turning the captions mode on can also translate some videos from different languages. So far, there are two billion videos on YouTube that have automatic captions.
On mobile, tap the three vertical dots to open the menu, then tap “Captions” > your language of preference, whichever is available. Automatically generated captions show up as “auto-generated.”
On computers, click the gear icon on the bottom right of a video, then click “Subtitles” > select the language for subtitles.
Search for videos using similar keywords and techniques as an advanced Google search.
- Add quotation marks to search for a specific term; add plus or minus signs to include or omit results.
- Add “allintitle” in the search box before the keywords, in order to make sure that the results will include all the keywords you searched for in the title.
- Add “HD” to your search query to get high-definition results; you can also add “3D” for three-dimensional content.
- Add “channel” or “playlist” to your search query to get either on the topic you’re looking for.
For the example in the screenshot above, using “allintitle” before the “apple trash can” helped show relevant results. Without using “allintitle,” I got surprisingly irrelevant results. This feature works on both mobile and computers.
Turn on dark mode. It’s easier on the eyes when you’re in a dark room, and it looks sleek, too.
On computers, click on your profile on the top right, then click Dark Theme > enable Dark Theme.
For mobile, head to the YouTube settings, then tap General > enable “Dark theme.”
Save a video for later when you can’t watch it right then and there.
Click the “Add To” button on the right of “Share” underneath the video, then click the “Watch Later” box. You can see your saved videos by clicking the Settings button on the top left of the YouTube screen, and clicking “Watch Later.”
You can share a video that starts at a specific time stamp.
To quickly copy a URL of a YouTube video at a certain point in the timeline, right-click on the video itself, then select “Copy video URL at current time” and paste the URL wherever you want.
Play videos at different speeds.
To play videos at different speeds on a computer – whether you want it faster or slower – hit the gear icon on the bottom right of a video and click “Playback speed,” then choose the speed you want. The video’s audio remains the same, no matter what speed you pick.
On mobile, just tap the three vertical dots on the top right of the screen, and tap “Playback speed.”
On Android devices and iPad, you can get a floating mini window of a video while you do other things around your device.
The feature is called “Picture-in-picture,” and all you need to do is press the home button on your Android phone or iPad while you’re watching a video. You’ll be brought back to your device’s home screen where you can use another app while you have the video in a small window on the bottom-right corner of the screen.
It’s an option you might need to enable if it’s not already enabled by default. To find the option, head to YouTube’s settings in the app, then tap “General” and enable the “Picture-in-picture” option.
On computers, use the Miniplayer to keep watching the video in a small window while you keep browsing around YouTube.
Just press the Mini button on the bottom right of a video to minimise the video while you search for the next video you want to watch. Alternatively, you can press the “I” key to minimise the video you’re currently watching.
On computers, make the video bigger without going full-screen.
On the left of the full-screen option, click the “Theatre mode” button. Alternatively, you can just press the “T” key on your keyboard. This will expand the video’s size without making it go full-screen.
On computers, you can see a preview of a video by hovering the mouse over a video’s thumbnail.
On computers, there are a bunch of keyboard shortcuts that make it easy to control a video’s playback.
- Rewind 10 seconds by pressing the “J” key. Press it multiple times to rewind quickly and further back.
- Press the “L” key to fast-forward 10 seconds.
- Press the left or right arrow keys to rewind or fast forward in five-second increments. It gives you finer control than the “J” and “L” keys that make 10-second jumps.
- Press the “K” key to pause and play a video.
- Press “M” to mute and un-mute.
- Use your keyboard’s number keys to quickly jump around a video’s timeline. The number keys from one to 9 correspond to your video’s timeline progress. So, if you press “2,” you’ll skip to 20% of the video’s timeline. Pressing “0” will restart the video.
Use voice commands to cast YouTube videos from your Google Home to your TV.
After awakening your Google Home, ask it to “play cat videos on TV.” It will work if you have a Smart TV with the YouTube app, Google’s Chromecast, or any other device that runs the YouTube app.
(Pro tip: You don’t have to play cat videos. You can ask to play any video you want.)
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