Top 10 YouTube tips and tricks

According to Alexa, YouTube is the third most visited page on the Internet which means you have probably visited the page in the past. These tips and tricks help make your experience more enjoyable and if possible, productive.

YouTube keyboard shortcuts

YouTube has several keyboard shortcuts that can be used while watching YouTube. Keyboard shortcuts like pressing the spacebar to play and pause or using the arrow keys to fast forward and rewind can make a big difference while on YouTube.

Share a video at any point

YouTube Current timeNot everyone wants to watch a full video, link to the exact location you found most entertaining instead of making your friends or family watch the full video. To do this get to the location you want and pause the video. Once paused right-click the video and select Get video URL at current time and then copy the link created.
Alternatively you can manually add the time by adding "#t=XXmXXs" at the end of the URL, where XXm is the minutes, and XXs is the seconds into the video you want to start. For example:
would become
to link to the video 33 seconds into the video. If you wanted to link 4 minutes and 20 seconds into a video add #t4m20s to the end of the URL. Alternatively you can use only seconds, so 4 * 60 (seconds in a minute) = 240 + 20 = 260 seconds for 4 minutes and 20 seconds into the video.

Find out what is popular on YouTube

YouTube can be a great place to find the most popular videos because of its popularity. Visit the Popular on YouTube to find the most recent popular videos, recently released music videos, top cute videos, latest trailers, events, and much more.

Add videos to Watch Later

Watch laterSometimes you just do not have the time to watch a video or maybe you just do not feel like watching an hour long video at this time. In the bottom right corner of every video is a Watch Later button that will add the video to your watch later list. Once you are ready to watch the video or if you saved a video to share with someone else you can find the video in your Watch Later Playlist.
Bonus Tip: Each of the thumbnails of videos on YouTube also shows the Watch Later icon when hovering over the thumbnail of the video.

Take advantage of search filters

YouTube usually does a great job giving you search results but is not always perfect. Take full advantage of their search filters by clicking the Filters button to get a list like that shown below. In the filters list you can refine the searches to when the video was uploaded, length of the video, view count, and features like HD (High definition) and 3D.
YouTube search filters

Watch live videos on YouTube

YouTube is not just pre-recorded uploaded videos they now also feature YouTube Live, which has live events, sports, news, gaming, music, education, and much more.

Take full advantage of YouTube tools

Not many people know that YouTube also has several helpful YouTube Tools that can help extremely helpful when creating new content. For example, the YouTube editor allows you to edit uploaded videos, create videos, and adjust settings like the brightness and contrast, pan and zoom, stabilize, slow motion, and rotation. Other tools include a slideshow creator, YouTube capture, captions, audio library, and YouTube analytics.

Bypass regional restrictions and other blocks

Some videos may have restrictions that prevent them from playing on a certain device, playing in a certain region, or other restrictions that prevent you from playing the video. You can bypass some of these restrictions by changing how the URL is entered into your address bar.
For example, copy the id of the video (shown in red) in the URL.
Once the id of the video has been copied erase everything after the .com/ and add "v/<id>" where id is what was copied earlier. Once this is done your URL should resemble the example shown below.
Loading this URL opens the video in a full screen, but because of how it is loaded many of the restrictions YouTube may have on the video are ignored.

Set the default video quality

Watch all videos at the highest quality by adjusting your settings to use the best quality. To adjust your settings click on your profile icon in the top-right corner of the window and click the YouTube Gear settings icon as shown below. In the YouTube Account Settings, select Playback and then select "Always choose the best quality for my connection and player size." If you have a slow Internet connection or YouTube videos frequently need to buffer, select the "I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality video" option.
Change YouTube video quality

Alternative ways to watch YouTube

There are dozens of ways to watch YouTube today. Most Smart TVs already have an app that allows you to watch YouTube videos on your TV using your remote. For those who do not have Smart TV or have a Smart TV but do not like the interface (it is not easy typing on a remote), there are also other solutions.
ChromecastOur current favorite method of watching YouTube on the TV is using the Google Chromecast. The Chromecast allows you or anyone else with a smartphone or computer to stream YouTube videos to your TV with a click of a button. The Chromecast is the easiest solution to stream videos to your TV, and you can type on your phone or computer or use your voice to search for videos instead of using your TV remote.
Other popular alternatives of watching YouTube
  • Apple TV - The Apple TV is another great solution for watching YouTube and other content.
  • Consoles - Consoles like XboxPlayStation 3, and Wii all have a YouTube player.
  • Lean Back - YouTube Lean Back is a completely different way of watching YouTube videos and allows you to browse and watch videos on alternative devices.
  • Roku - The Roku is another great device that connects to your TV to watch YouTube and other content.
  • TiVo - The TiVo DVR is another fantastic method of watching YouTube, your shows, and other content.

Additional information

  • See our Top 10 tricks section for a listing of other top tips and tricks.
  • See our YouTube definition for further information and related links on this term.