How to Navigate YouTube Videos Like a Pro

Whether you occasionally dive into the world of YouTube or enjoy several hours of viewing each day, knowing how to find your way around videos can be helpful. The faster you can navigate through videos, the more videos you can watch or the more time you’ll have to spend on something other than YouTube.

The Google-owned video platform has added plenty of tricks you can use that go beyond just clicking play, sitting back, and watching the content unfold before your eyes. And there are different tricks you can use depending on the device you are watching on.

Jump to the best tracks

You probably know that you can click and drag (or if you’re on your mobile device, tap and drag) on ​​the timeline under a video to navigate through it. But YouTube has added a “most replayed” graph just above, letting you see the moments in a video that users keep coming back to. These are usually picks that will usually direct you to the best bits in a clip, so if you’re looking for something specific that should save you some research time. As of this writing, this feature is still rolling out, so you may not be able to see it yet, but it should be available to all YouTube users soon.

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

Navigate with transcripts

Many videos on YouTube come with transcripts, either because the creator added them or because YouTube automatically generated them from the audio. On the desktop, you can find them by clicking on the three dots under the video, then View Transcript; on mobile, tap the video description, then View Transcript. You’ll see a list of timestamps with the written transcript, and you can click or tap on any of them to jump to that specific point.

Change playback speed

This is an older, more well-known feature, but you may not have come across it before: if you click the cog icon under a video (in a browser) or tap the cog on the video control overlay (in a mobile app) you will find a Reading speed setting. You can set this to watch your favorite youtubers up to twice as fast, and it’s a useful way to quickly skim through a video, as long as you can keep up with what’s happening and what’s being said.

Jump forward (or jump backward)

If you want to quickly skim through a YouTube video on a mobile device, you can double-tap the right side of the video to skip forward 10 seconds, or double-tap the left side of the video to skip back 10 seconds. You can also adjust the skip duration, up to 60 seconds, if needed: On the front screen of the YouTube app, tap your profile picture (top right), then choose Settings, Generaland Double tap to search.

Loop a video

Whether it’s a relaxing playlist you want to listen to again or a tutorial for a task you’re trying to master, it can be helpful to play videos on a loop rather than ending normally. To do this in a web browser, right click on a playing video and choose Loop in the menu that appears. If you’re using a mobile device in the YouTube app, tap the cog icon in the upper-right corner of the playback window, then choose video loop.

skip chapters

Many longer YouTube videos come with chapter markers, dividing the footage into separate sections. These chapter markers are listed below the video in the description, but there’s a quick way to navigate them forward and backward in the YouTube app for mobile devices: double-tap with two fingers on the video while it’s playing to navigate, using the left side to go backward and the right side to go forward.

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

Record particular points in videos

Sometimes you’ll only be interested in a part of a video, and to save you from having to go back to a particular section every time you come back to the clip, you can access a YouTube URL that includes a timestamp in your browser from desk . Find the relevant point in your video, then right click on it and choose Copy video url to current time– you can then save that URL in a document, put it in an email, bookmark it, or whatever you want.

Raymond T. Helms