There’s far more to YouTube than merely uploading and watching videos. It has several clever and helpful little-known features that can make your viewing experience that much more fun and enjoyable.
Let’s get you started with these powerful tips.
1. Set an alert to take a break
It’s easy to find yourself falling down a viewing rabbit hole while on YouTube because their algorithm has a way of tempting you to immediately start watching another video after you’ve finished or even while you’re watching your current video. However, there’s a little know YouTube feature to help you stop binging content.
Open the YouTube app on your phoneTap on your profile picture or icon – in the upper right corner of the screenOpen SettingsTap General
Turn on Remind me to take a break – by tapping or toggling rightThen the Reminder frequency window will pop up – you can set the hour and minutes you want and then tap OK in the bottom right of the pop-up window
You can also set a reminder to stop watching videos when it’s bedtime by doing this:
Tap or toggle right on Remind me when it’s bedtime Set your bedtime Start time and End Time in the pop-up windowThen tap OK in the bottom right
2. Check your watch time
There is also a way of seeing just how much time you are spending on YouTube, which can help you decide whether you might need to regulate your time a little bit more:
Open the YouTube app on your phoneTap on your profile picture or icon (make sure you are logged in)Tap Time watchedThe amount of time you have spent watching videos on YouTube will be shown in graph form for today and the last 7 days
The time-watched section also gives you a shortcut for setting a break and bedtime reminders. Just be aware, Time Watched does not include any time spent watching videos on YouTube Music or YouTube TV.
3. Create a link to start a YouTube video at a specific time
There’s an excellent trick to link to a specific time in a YouTube video where it shows a particular segment of your video. This is super handy, especially if your video is long and the part you want to share comes several minutes after it starts playing. It’s easy to link to the exact part of any YouTube video by following these instructions.Open YouTube in your web browserClick on your video of choiceClick Share directly beneath the video to the right of the title
In the pop-up window that opens, click the box next to Start atEnter the time when you want the video to start
To save yourself a step or two, you can also pause the video where you want to start, and the time code will be auto-filled.
4. Pause your search and watch history
If you are logged into YouTube, it will use your watch and search history to select its recommended videos on your home page. As a result, if a friend or family member watches videos under your account, you might find your homepage filled with videos you have zero interest in watching. However, there is a way of pausing your search history and, at least temporarily, cleaning your home page of these videos.Open the YouTube app on your phoneTap on your profile picture or iconOpen SettingsTap History and PrivacyTurn on Pause watch history and Pause search history by tapping or toggling right on both
This is also helpful in case you might want to hide your search and viewing history from friends or family members. Another option is to turn on Incognito mode, which will fill your home screen with random videos.
Open the YouTube app on your phoneTap on your profile picture or iconTap Turn on Incognito
One thing to keep in mind about Incognito mode is that all videos will contain ads, even if you’re a premium subscriber.
5. Disable Autoplay
One more thing that can make it hard to stop watching videos on YouTube is the fact that another video will automatically start shortly after you’ve finished watching one. This is because, for viewers 18 and over, Autoplay is enabled by default. However, this can be easily changed.
Open the YouTube app on your phoneTap on your profile picture or iconOpen SettingsTap AutoplaySwitch Autoplay off by tapping or toggling right on Mobile phone/tablet
Unfortunately, this only disables Autoplay when watching YouTube on a smartphone or tablet.
YouTube is a great way to discover and learn new things. By following these five steps, you can rest assured that enjoying it will be safe and harmless, not a habit you need to kick.
Which one of these features has been most helpful to you? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.