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9 tricks that will change the way you use YouTube

Fabrizio Ferri-Benedetti

Fabrizio Ferri-Benedetti

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Are you making the most of YouTube? With these nine tricks, you might just be able to transform YouTube into a TV.

YouTube’s already kind of the TV of the 21st century, but it’s not always as easy to figure out how to work your way around a video. What you might not know is that YouTube offers some cool features that’ll bring you steps closer to a TV-like experience.

9 tricks that will change the way you use YouTube

If you’re among the millions that spend hours a day on YouTube, the nine tricks below will you make the most out of the video streaming site.

Watch YouTube as if it were a TV

If you go to, YouTube will take care of everything. With YouTube TV you get videos played full screen, in a loop or randomly, and all just using your keyboard. It’s ideal for evenings when you don’t know what to do or when you just want to sit back and discover new stuff.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV can be controlled easily with the keyboard (even better if it’s wireless)

Hide all comments

Some people enjoy reading YouTube comments. Others find them annoying (to say the least!). If you want to experience YouTube without comments, there’s an extension for Chrome that’ll be very helpful: Hide YouTube Comments. For Firefox, try No YouTube Comments.

Hide YouTube Comments

No YouTube comments. Isn’t it wonderful?

Be the first to try new features with TestTube

YouTube is in constant development, and you can be one of the first ones to test the latest features if you go to the TestTube section. There you’ll find developments such as YouTube Feather, ideal for slow connections, or a music discovery tool. But don’t forget, these features could disappear as easily as they appeared.

YouTube test features

YouTube Feather is an alternative version for slow connections

Change video playback speed (HTML5)

You can watch a video at a slower speed if you have problems understanding some of it or to help you grasp details that you would otherwise miss. YouTube can play videos faster or slower from the options menu.

To do this, first change the default player by clicking here. On that page, request the HTML5 player. This will mean you’re no longer using Flash on YouTube. You can go back to the page if you want to change to the old player again.

YouTube HTML5

After activating HTML5, you can change the speed of any video by clicking the gear icon and selecting the speed.

YouTube video playback speed

Want to have a laugh? Double the speed

Stop videos playing automatically

One of the most annoying things about YouTube, especially for those of use who open a bunch of videos in different tabs, is how videos start playing automatically. Luckily, there isn’t a YouTube problem that can’t be fixed with a browser extension: Stop Autoplay for YouTube (Chrome) and Stop Tube (Firefox).

Stop Tube on Firefox

With Stop Tube you’ll have to click to play the video you have opened.

Replay videos as much as you want

Can you imagine being able to play that song you love over and over again? Or leave a rain background track on overnight. With YouTube you can’t do this yet, but there are browser extensions that add this valuable extra feature. In Chrome you can use Auto Replay for YouTube, and YouTube Auto Replay for Firefox .

YouTube Auto Replay

With YouTube Auto Replay you can repeat the whole video or just a section.

Add videos to the useful Watch later list

I often get sent a video but don’t have time to see it. Don’t let it get lost and forgotten! One of the most useful features of YouTube is the Watch later function, that button shaped liked a clock that lets you add the video to a list.

YouTube Watch Later

You’ll find the list of videos to watch later on YouTube’s main menu.

YouTube Watch Later

Change the settings

It’s worth taking a look at the YouTube playback settings. You can choose if you want videos to always play in high or low quality, disable annotations on videos, or display automatic captions (which are generated by speech recognition).

YouTube Auto Settings

Play YouTube videos with no distractions

QuietTube is a website that loads a YouTube video on a blank page, without comments, advertising, or other features. It can be installed as a bookmark button, but there’s also an extension for Chrome that loads your videos in this no-distraction environment.


“I’ll just watch one last video”

Stay tuned, there will be more tips…

As YouTube evolves, some of these tricks may no longer exist, so use them while you can. We’ll keep a close eye on YouTube and update this article as soon as we see any new features pop up.

Check out another handy tip for YouTube: How to skip YouTube ads by playing videos in VLC.

Fabrizio Ferri-Benedetti

Fabrizio Ferri-Benedetti

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