Simple tips and tricks to help you get more from YouTube

Video sharing website YouTube was founded 11 years ago on February 14th. Since then it’s reached a user base of 1 billion users and it’s still growing – people are watching 50% more videos each month.

YouTube is bursting with hidden features from cool effects, to better controls and more advanced ways of searching.

Whether you want to set up a playlist, save videos for later, edit your footage like a pro or just show off to friends, we’ve got everything you need to know about YouTube.


Check out our article: How to upload videos to YouTube

Tip 1: Link to a part of a video

YouTube screenshot - link to video at certain point

You can send a link to someone to a specific point in a video, rather than making them trawl through the whole thing. Get the video to the part you want to link to, right-click it and select Copy video URL at current time. Then paste the link into an email or tweet, and when someone clicks it, the video will start at that point.

Tip 2: Keyboard controls

To pause a video, just hit the Space bar on your keyboard, and then hit it again to resume playing. In a similar vein, you can rewind and fast forward videos by pressing the left and right arrows on your keyboard.

Check out the full list of shortcuts.

Tip 3: Watch later

YouTube watch later

If you want to come back to a video later, but don’t want to have to search for it again. Click the Full Screen button that looks like four corners. Then click the clock face in the top right corner. This is the Watch Later button – it’ll save the video in your Watch Later channel (provided you’ve logged in using a Google account), so you can find it easily.

Tip 4: Subscribe to channels

YouTube tips 4

If you’ve got a Google account you can use it sign into YouTube. The advantage of this is that you can sign up to your favourite channels, making it easy to find the content you like. Head to a channel you like, click Subscribe and when you sign in, you’ll be able to quickly access it from the left-hand column.

Tip 5: Specific searches

YouTube specific searches

You can be more specific in your searches. Add HD after typing what you’re searching for and it’ll show only high definition videos; it’s the same with 3D. Long will show only videos longer than 20 minutes, while Short shows only videos under four minutes. Today or This week, meanwhile, will show only more recently added videos.

Tip 6: Slow Motion

YouTube slow motion

This fun website lets you see your favourite videos in slow motion. Head to enter the URL and use the controls at the bottom to speed up and slow down the video. This site is not affiliated with YouTube.

Tip 7: Production tips

Creator Hub

If you are creating videos to upload onto YouTube visit Google’s Creator Hub. It’s got loads of advice about growing your audience (to hopefully make more money) and a forum where you can chat to other YouTubers from around the world.

Tip 8: Edit your videos

Edit your YouTube videos

YouTube lets you tweak your videos before you upload them to the site. Head to the Video Editor page and you can rearrange your clips without having to buy expensive editing software. You can combine multiple videos to make one longer one, trim your videos, add a soundtrack, and add special tools and filter effects. Better clear some space on the mantelpiece for that Oscar…

Tip 9: TestTube

YouTube Test Tube

If you want to try out future YouTube and other Google products before anyone else you can sign up to participate in Google User Experience research studies at TestTube.

Tip 10: Use the Force, Luke

YouTube Use the Force Luke

This one is less useful, but still quite a neat trick. Type ‘Use the Force Luke’ into the search bar, and you can move videos around with your mouse. It’s the next best thing to using the force.

Tip 11: Quiet Tube

YouTube Quietube

This website lets you watch YouTube videos without distractions, such as adverts and comments. Visit and drag the shortcut quietube to your toolbar. Next time you play a video tap the ‘quietube’ link on your toolbar and it will strip away the extras so you can watch without distractions

12: Want more information?

YouTube stats for nerds

Right-click on any video and click ‘Stats for nerds.’ You’ll see the resolution, volume, connection speed and other technical details.

Tip 13: Leanback

YouTube tips 13

If you don’t want to use your mouse at all, use YouTube Leanback. It will give the site a whole new interface that you can navigate using just your keyboard. Use the up and down arrows to skip between menus, left and right to select a video, and Return to play it.

New to YouTube? Check out our guide to the world’s biggest video sharing website.

Let us know your favourite YouTube tips and tricks in the Comments below.

Ravindra Paradhi

Engineer & Blogger.

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