No matter if you’re a casual YouTube user or go looking for the craziest channels you can find, there are all sorts of ways to tweak YouTube to make it just right for you. Let’s look at some URL tricks to get more out of the service.
1. Link to Any Part of a Video
Typically, when you copy a link to a YouTube video, it starts from the beginning. If you want to show someone just a bit of a video or skip a lengthy intro, you can append a time stamp to the URL to start it at that time.
You can do this in a couple of ways. By manually adding &t=YmXXs to the end of a video URL, you’ll set it to start that many minutes/seconds into the video. You can omit minutes, or use only seconds, such as 90s for a minute and a half. So, this video:
Can be shared 90 seconds in using this URL:
If you don’t want to use the manual method, pause the video at the time you’d like to share it at, then right-click and choose Copy video URL at current time.
2. Loop a Video Infinitely
YouTube is a great place for listening to music, especially video game music. If you’re into a song and want to listen to it over and over, you can add repeater after youtube in the URL. This will open the video at YouTubeRepeater.com, which will loop the video for you. So, change this URL:
To this to loop it:
You can tweak the playback using the options below the video if you want to start or end at different points.
3. Bypass Age Restrictions
YouTube has age restrictions on certain videos that are flagged as containing mature content. Whether you don’t have a YouTube account or don’t feel like signing in to watch one, you can perform a little trick to bypass the sign-in.
Take a YouTube URL for a restricted video like this:
Delete the watch? and replace the = with another / to create a URL that looks like this:
This will play the video in full screen mode and let you watch it without signing in. You can try this to access region-locked content, as well.
4. Skip a Certain Amount of the Intro
Similar to the trick that lets you pick the start time, you can also choose to skip a certain amount of seconds at the start of the video. You can’t specify minutes with this one, so use 90 (seconds) for a minute and a half. So, to skip the first 30 seconds of this video:
Add start=30 to the URL and get this:
This is similar to the timing one, but a bit faster to type and doesn’t require you to remember a certain time stamp.
5. Download YouTube Videos
If you’d like to download a copy of a YouTube video for your own records, there are a couple of URL shortcuts that easily let you do that.
Before the youtube.com in the URL, type either pwn or kick to jump to services that will let you download those videos in a variety of formats. So, this URL:
Can be downloaded by changing the URL to either of these:
Remember to play fair; don’t download copyrighted YouTube videos, like music.
6. Check Out YouTube TV
YouTube TV is an interface designed for smart TVs and apps on consoles. It’s still YouTube, but with less clutter and a few shortcuts that are easier for remotes. You probably won’t want to make this your main YouTube interface, but it’s worth checking out for a cleaner look.
Just visit this URL to have a look:
7. Jump Straight to Your Subscriptions
As hard as it tries, many times the suggestions offered by YouTube aren’t useful. Whether your recommendations are filled with strange content or the homepage contains videos you don’t care about, there’s a better YouTube homepage.
When you’re signed in, try changing your YouTube bookmark from the main site to your subscriber upload page using this URL:
This lets you see the newest videos from channels you subscribe to, so you don’t miss any of their new content. Thus, you’re in control of what you see instead of YouTube deciding for you.
8. Grab the Thumbnail of Any Video
It’s common when searching for images to see pictures from YouTube videos, usually titled maxresdefault.
You can actually view a high-quality thumbnail for any YouTube video (if it has one) by visiting the following URL:
Replace the [VideoID] with the text after the v= at the end of a YouTube video. So, to view the thumbnail for this video:
Visit this link:
9. Make a GIF from a Video
Change the URL to this:
You’ll be brought to Gifs.com, where you can add a variety of effects and crop the GIF to your liking. Once done, share the GIF to social networks with an easy link or download it for safekeeping. Note that videos must be under an hour to use with this service.
10. Mash Up YouTube Videos
This one isn’t a URL hack per se as you can’t visit it right from YouTube, but it still uses YouTube URLs so we’re including it. Visit YouTubeDoubler and you can add two YouTube URLs to mix together. You can choose to start either video at a certain time to help them sync up.
Whether you see how two songs sound when played at the same time or want to add some funny background music to a clip, have a look and see what you can create!
Fun with YouTube
These ten tricks will let you get even more out of YouTube! Some of these are built into YouTube itself, while others rely on outside services. It’s possible that any of these could stop working in the future, so your mileage may vary as time passes.
Curious for more YouTube fun? Read through 21 amazing YouTube facts.
Now we ask you: did we miss any awesome YouTube URL tricks? Share your favorites in the comments, along with any GIFs or mash-ups you made from these tools!
Image Credit: Bloomicon via Shutterstock.com
Originally written by Varun Kashyap on April 18th, 2009