Even with constant threats from TikTok, YouTube remains the preferred choice of most users. Google has steadily improved the YouTube experience with privacy features and thoughtful add-ons. Here are the top nine hidden features to up your YouTube game.
1. Set a reminder to take a break
Have you opened YouTube to check out your favorite artist’s new upload and ended up streaming a giraffe dance or a black hole explainer for an hour? It happens to the best of us. Before YouTube’s smart algorithms trick you into watching more videos and ruining your day (and possibly night), set a reminder to take a break or when it’s bedtime.
- Open YouTube on your phone.
- Tap your profile picture in the top right.
- Open settings.
- Choose General.
- Do that… on Remind me to take a break toggle and set a reminder frequency.
- Do that… on Remind me when it’s bedtime Toggle and add bedtime to display a reminder during the set time.
2. Stop YouTube search and look at the history
YouTube uses your search and watch history to show video recommendations in the home feed. Suppose someone else (your child or a guest) is using your YouTube account on your smart TV or tablet. If so, you can temporarily pause your search, view history, and protect yourself from irrelevant video recommendations.
- Open the YouTube settings on your phone (see above).
- Choose History & Privacy.
- Do that… on Pause playback history and Pause search history switches.
The trick is useful when you want to hide YouTube search and watch history from your significant other. However, there is no way to automatically disable both options. You need to open the same History & Privacy menu to undo the change. You can also activate incognito mode on YouTube, which serves a completely different home feed and shows ads in videos (even for YouTube Premium subscribers).
3. Use restricted mode
You don’t want your little ones to accidentally come across explicit or adult content on YouTube. You can turn on YouTube’s restricted mode to hide potentially adult videos.
- open that General Menu in YouTube settings (check above steps).
- Do that… on Restricted mode Switch.
YouTube does not guarantee restricted mode to be 100% accurate. Also, Restricted Mode will not be enabled for your account on other devices. The filter only applies to your current phone or tablet.
4. Disable YouTube’s next video autoplay
By default, YouTube turns on autoplay and automatically plays the next suggested video. If you no longer want to automatically play suggested videos, follow the steps below to disable the behavior.
- Launch the YouTube settings menu on your phone (see above).
- open that Auto play Menu.
- Switch off Play next video automatically Switch.
5. Create a GIF from a YouTube video
Found a trending YouTube video and want to make a GIF out of it? Here’s how you can make a GIF from a YouTube video and get announced on Twitter and Instagram.
- Open a YouTube video on the desktop.
- Select the address bar and add gif to the web url.
For example, change the address bar from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4I7c4GY-3I&ab to https://www.gifyoutube.com/watch?v=b4I7c4GY-3I&ab.
Once you’ve adjusted the URL, press Enter and open the same video in gifs.com.
- Crop the video and then add caption, padding and blur. You can also use other editing tools from the left sidebar.
- Choose the start and processing time and press the create gif button in the top right corner.
- Add GIF information, tags, watermark or sound and click Next.
- Share your GIF on social media handles or download it to send via WhatsApp or Telegram.
6. Create a shareable link from a certain point in time
You don’t need to ask the recipient to forward the YouTube video to a specific time. You can easily create a YouTube shareable link that starts at a specific time.
- Visit YouTube on the web and play any video.
- Choose Split button and check the box next to it start at.
- Select the exact time you want the video to start from.
- click Copy and share the YouTube video.
You cannot create the same through YouTube mobile apps.
7. Review the video transcripts
YouTube automatically generates a written transcript for each individual video. Written transcripts come in handy when you want to write down a quote or a specific session from an instructional video. No need to keep playing and pausing the video.
- Open any YouTube video on desktop.
- Choose the three-dot menu.
- click View Transcript.
- YouTube loads the auto-generated transcript in the top right corner.
YouTube does not support all of the languages required to create a transcript. Sometimes there can be errors in creating transcripts with incorrect words or phrases.
8. Learn YouTube keyboard shortcuts
If you use YouTube primarily on desktop, you’ll need to learn keyboard shortcuts to navigate like a pro.
- Open YouTube and select your profile picture in the top right.
- Choose keyboard shortcuts to check all keyboard shortcuts for navigating YouTube videos.
9. Save YouTube videos for offline use
YouTube Premium subscribers can download videos for offline viewing. Your YouTube video downloads remain available for 30 days without an internet connection.
- Open a YouTube video on mobile.
- Tap the Download Button.
- Check all downloaded videos from the library > Downloads Menu.
You can adjust the download settings in YouTube settings.
- Go to YouTube settings (see above).
- Choose Background & Downloads.
- Choose download quality and enable Download only via WiFi save cellular data.
Use YouTube to your advantage
If you use YouTube frequently, get YouTube Premium subscription to remove ads, enable offline downloads, and unlock millions of tracks through YouTube Music streaming service.