The 9 best hidden YouTube features you will want to try

Despite constant TikTok threats, YouTube remains the preferred choice for most users. Google has consistently improved the YouTube experience with thoughtful privacy features and add-ons. Here are the nine best hidden features to enhance your YouTube game.

1. Set a reminder to take a break

Did you open YouTube to watch your favorite creator’s new upload and end up streaming the giraffe dance or black hole explanation for an hour? It happens to the best of us. Before YouTube’s clever algorithms trick you into watching more videos and ruining your day (and potentially night), set a reminder to take a break or when it’s time to go to sleep.

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  1. Open YouTube on your phone.
  2. Tap your profile picture in the top right corner.
  3. To open Settings.

  4. To select General.
  5. turn on the Remind me to take a break activate and set a reminder frequency.

  6. turn on the Remind me when it’s time to go to sleep toggle and add bedtime to show a reminder during the set time.

2. Pause YouTube search and view history

YouTube uses its search and view history to show video recommendations in the home feed. Let’s say someone else (your child or a guest) uses your YouTube account on your smart TV or tablet. If so, you can temporarily pause your search, view your history, and save yourself from irrelevant video recommendations.

  1. Open the YouTube Settings on your phone (refer to the previous steps).
  2. To select History and privacy.
  3. turn on the Pause viewing history And Pause your search history alternates.


The trick comes in handy when you want to hide YouTube search and watch history from your sweetheart. However, there is no way to automatically disable both options. You have to open anyway History and privacy menu to cancel 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 upon offensive or adult content on YouTube. You can enable YouTube restricted mode to hide potentially mature videos.

  1. Open the General menu in YouTube Settings (check above steps).
  2. turn on the Restricted mode alternate.

YouTube does not guarantee that restricted mode is 100% accurate. It also won’t enable restricted mode for your account on other devices. The filter only applies to your current phone or tablet.

4. Disable auto play of next YouTube video

YouTube enables autoplay by default and automatically plays the next suggested video. If you no longer want to auto-play suggested videos, use the steps below to disable the behavior.

  1. Launch the YouTube Settings menu on your phone (refer to the previous steps).
  2. Open the Automatic playback menu.
  3. Turn off the Automatically play next video alternate.

5. Create a GIF from a YouTube video

Have you found a trendy YouTube video and want to make a GIF of it? Here’s how you can make a GIF from a YouTube video and start trending on Twitter and Instagram.

  1. Open a YouTube video on your desktop.
  2. Select the address bar and add GIF to the web URL.

For example, change the address bar from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4I7c4GY-3I&ab to https://www.gifyoutube.com/watch?v=b4I7c4GY-3I&ab.

After changing the URL, hit the Enter key and open the same video in gifs.com.

  1. Trim the video, then add a caption, fill and blur. You can also use other editing tools from the left sidebar.
  2. Select the start and modification times and press the Create GIFs button in the upper right corner.

  3. Add GIF information, tag, watermark or sound and click Next.

  4. Share your GIF on social media handles or download it to send on WhatsApp or Telegram.

There is no need to ask the recipient to forward the YouTube video at a certain time. You can easily create a shareable YouTube link that starts at a specific time.

  1. Visit YouTube on the web and play any video.
  2. Select the To share button and enable the checkbox next to it Start.
  3. Select the specific time the video should start from.
  4. Click copy and share the youtube video.

You can’t create the same from YouTube mobile apps.

7. Check the transcripts of the videos

YouTube automatically generates a written transcript for each individual video. Written transcripts are useful when you want to jot down a specific quote or session from an educational video. You don’t need to play and pause the video all the time.

  1. Open any YouTube video on desktop.
  2. Select the three-dot menu.

  3. Click Show transcript.

  4. YouTube uploads the auto-generated transcript in the top right corner.

YouTube doesn’t support all the language needed to create a transcript. Sometimes, it can make mistakes in generating transcripts with wrong words or phrases.

8. Learn about YouTube keyboard shortcuts

If you primarily use YouTube on your desktop, you need to learn keyboard shortcuts to navigate like a pro.

  1. Open YouTube and select your profile picture in the top right corner.
  2. To select Keyboard shortcuts to control all key combinations to browse YouTube videos.


9. Save YouTube videos for offline use

YouTube Premium subscribers can download videos for offline viewing. Your YouTube video downloads remain available for 30 days without an internet connection.

  1. Open a YouTube video on mobile.
  2. Click the Download button.
  3. Check all the videos downloaded from the Library > Download menu.

You can customize your download preference from the YouTube settings.

  1. Go to YouTube Settings (refer to previous steps).
  2. To select Background and download.
  3. To select Download quality and enable Download over Wi-Fi only to save the mobile data.

Use YouTube to your advantage

If you use YouTube often, get the YouTube Premium membership to remove ads, enable offline download, and unblock millions of tracks via the YouTube Music streaming service.

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