YouTube is one of the most popular online platforms, with billions of users watching videos every day. Even with continued threats from users like TikTok , YouTube remains the preferred choice among most users. Google has continually improved the YouTube experience with privacy features and new features. Here are the best nine hidden features to improve your YouTube usage.
So what are these hidden features? And how can you start using them to make your YouTube experience even better? Read on to find out!
9 Hidden YouTube Features
Google has continually improved the YouTube experience with privacy features and new features. Here are the best nine hidden features to improve your YouTube usage.
1. Set a reminder to take a break
Opened YouTube to see your favorite breeder’s new upload and you’ll end up watching cute cats for an hour? It happens to the best of us. Before YouTube’s clever algorithms lure you into watching more videos and ruining your day (and potentially your night), set a reminder to take a break or when it’s time for bed.
- Open YouTube on your phone.
- Tap your profile picture in the top right corner and open Settings.
- Select General, then turn on Remind me to take a break and Remind me when it’s time to sleep. Set a reminder frequency for the first and add bedtimes for the second.
2. Stop YouTube search history
YouTube uses your search and watch history to show video recommendations in your home feed. Suppose someone else (your child or a guest) uses your YouTube account on your smart TV or tablet. In that case, you can temporarily stop your search and view the history, and save yourself from irrelevant video recommendations.
- Open YouTube settings on your phone (see steps above).
- Select History and Privacy.
- Turn on Pause watch history and Pause history search commands.
The trick is useful when you want to hide your YouTube search and see your better half’s history. However, there is no way to automatically disable both options. You must open the same History and Privacy menu to revert the change. You can also enable Incognito mode on YouTube, which provides 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 stumble across offensive or adult content on YouTube. You can enable YouTube’s restricted mode to hide potentially mature videos. This will help ensure your kids are browsing a safer version of YouTube.
- Open the General menu in YouTube Settings (check the steps above).
- Turn on Restricted Mode switching.
4. Disable automatic playback of the next video on YouTube
YouTube allows autoplay by default and automatically plays the next suggested video. If you no longer want to automatically play suggested videos, use the steps below to disable the behavior.
- Launch the YouTube Settings menu on your phone (see steps above).
- Open the Autoplay menu.
- Deactivate the +Autoplay function in the next video.
5. Create a GIF from a YouTube video
Here’s how to create a GIF from a YouTube video and start trending on Twitter and Instagram .
- Open a YouTube video on the desktop.
- Select the address bar and add GIF to the web URL. For example, changing the address bar from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxxxxxxxxxx to https://www.gifyoutube.com/watch?v=xxxxxxxxxx .
Once the URL is adjusted, press the Enter key, and open the same video on GIFs.com.
- Crop the video and then add a caption, padding and blurring. You can also use other editing tools from the left sidebar.
- Select the start and end time and press the Create Gif button in the upper right corner.
- Add GIF information, stickers, watermark, or sound and click Next.
- Share your GIF on social media or download it to send it via WhatsApp or Telegram.
6. Create a shareable link to start at a specific time
There is no need to ask the recipient to forward the YouTube video to a certain time. You can easily create a shareable YouTube link that starts at a specific time.
- Visit YouTube on the web and play any video.
- Select the Share button and activate the checkbox next to Start at.
- Select the specific time from which the video should start.
- Click Copy and share the YouTube video.
You cannot create the same from YouTube mobile applications .
7. Check video transcripts
YouTube automatically generates written transcripts for each of the videos. Written transcripts are useful when you want to annotate a quote or a specific section of an educational video; no need to play and pause the video all the time.
- Open any YouTube video on the desktop.
- Select the three-dot menu.
- Click on “Show transcript”
- YouTube will load the auto-generated transcript in the upper right corner.
YouTube does not support all the language needed to create a transcript. You can sometimes make mistakes in generating transcripts with incorrect words or sentences.
8. Learn keyboard shortcuts for YouTube
If you mainly use YouTube on the desktop, you should learn keyboard shortcuts to navigate it faster and easier.
- Open YouTube and select your profile picture in the upper right corner.
- Select Keyboard Shortcuts to check all key combinations to browse YouTube videos.
9. Save YouTube videos for offline viewing
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 your phone.
- Tap the Download button.
- Check all videos downloaded from the library.
You can customize your Download preference from YouTube settings.
- Go to YouTube Settings (see steps above).
- Select Background & downloads.
- Select Download Quality and enable Download over Wi-Fi only to save cellular data.
Use YouTube to your advantage to learn new things
If you frequently use YouTube, get YouTube Premium membership to remove ads, enable offline downloading, and unlock millions of tracks through YouTube’s music streaming service.
YouTube is one of the most popular sites on the Internet, and for good reason. It offers a wealth of content that can appeal to anyone. In addition, Google has been constantly adding features to YouTube to make it an even more powerful tool. If you’re not using all of YouTube’s features, you’re missing out.