How to only watch the best bits and other tricks to upgrade your YouTube experience

How to only watch the best bits and other tricks to upgrade your YouTube experience thumbnail

Let’s see some videos.


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David Nield
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Published May 25, 2022 10: 00 AM

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Optimize your YouTube viewing. Christian Wiediger / Unsplash

Whether you’re just browsing YouTube for a few minutes or spending hours per day there, it can be useful to know how to navigate around videos. The faster you can navigate around videos, you will be able to watch more videos and spend more time on other things than YouTube.

The Google-owned video platform offers many more tricks than just clicking play and sitting back to watch the content unfold before you eyes. Depending on the device you are using, there are many tricks you can use.

Jump to the best bits

You probably know that you can click, drag (or, if you’re using a mobile device to do so, tap and drag), on the timeline beneath a video to navigate around it. YouTube has now added a graph called “most replayed” to the timeline. This allows you to see which moments are most popular and can be re-reviewed over and over again. These are usually peaks that will point you to the best parts of a video clip. At the time of writing, this feature is still rolling out, so you might not be able to see it just yet, but it should soon be available to all YouTube users.

[Related: The best tips and tricks for YouTube Music]

Navigate with transcripts

Many YouTube videos have transcripts. This is either because YouTube automatically generated them from the audio or because the creator added them. On desktop, you can find them by clicking the three dots underneath the video, then Show transcript; on mobile, tap the video description and then Show transcript. You’ll see a list with timestamps and the written transcript. Click or tap on any one of them to jump to the specific point.

Change the playback speed

This is an older and more well-known feature, but you might not have come across it before: If you click the cog icon underneath a video (in a browser) or tap the cog icon on the video control overlay (in a mobile app), you’ll find a Playback speed setting. This can be adjusted to make it faster to watch your favorite YouTubers.

Skip ahead (or jump backward)

If you want to quickly move through a YouTube video on a mobile device, you can double-tap on the right side of the video to jump forward 10 seconds, or double-tap on the left side of the video to jump backward 10 seconds. You can adjust the jump duration as well, up to 60 seconds, if you need to: From the front screen of the YouTube app, tap on your profile picture (top right), then choose Settings, General, and Double-tap to seek.

Put a video on loop

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing playlist to listen to again or a tutorial to help you master a task, it can be useful to have videos play on repeat instead of ending as usual. To do this in a web browser, right-click on a video as it’s playing and choose Loop from the menu that appears. If you’re on a mobile device in the YouTube app, tap the cog icon in the top right corner of the playback window, then choose Loop video.

Skip through chapters

Many YouTube videos that are longer have chapter markers attached. These markers break up the footage into sections. These chapter markers are conveniently listed under the video description. However, there is an easy way to jump forward or backward through them using the YouTube app for mobile devices. Double-tap with your two fingers on the video to navigate. Use the left side to move forwards and the right side of the video to go backwards.

[Related: Why you might want to sign up for YouTube Premium]

Save particular points in videos

Sometimes you’re only interested in a specific part of a video. To save you from having to navigate back to that section every time you visit the clip again, you can access a YouTube URL with a timestamp in your desktop web browser. Find the relevant point in your video, then right-click on it and choose Copy video URL at current time–you can then save this URL in a document, put it in an email, bookmark it, or whatever you want.

David Nield

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