6 Ways To Watch YouTube Without Going To YouTube

Yaara Lancet 22-02-2013

Do you sometimes get tired of YouTube? No, I don’t mean of YouTube’s content – it’s so diverse you can always find something new and exciting to watch – I’m talking about YouTube’s interface, with its suggestions, comments, and clutter. For me, YouTube’s interface is sometimes a reason all by itself to not watch YouTube videos at all – it’s just too messy.

In the past, we’ve covered many browser extensions for a better YouTube experience Two Chrome Browser Add-ons For A Better YouTube Viewing Experience Few things online can be as fun as YouTube. I can lose myself for hours watching videos. But the basic YouTube experience could use some improvement. Wouldn't it be nice if videos could buffer as... Read More , extensions that dim the light for better YouTube watching 4 Browser Extensions To Dim The Lights & Move The Focus To Any YouTube Video Read More , and others that simply get rid of annoyances and make YouTube better Make YouTube Better & Get Rid of Annoyances With These Add-Ons [Firefox] Watching videos is one of the best pastimes you can find online, and what source for videos is better than YouTube? YouTube is the largest video website online, and when looking for a video, you’re... Read More . These are all browser extensions that take the existing interface and tweak it around to it’s not as annoying, but did you know YouTube’s interface is not a must to enjoy YouTube videos? Heck, even a browser is not always a must. Wondering how? Check out this list of alternative interfaces and ways to watch YouTube. Happy watching!

Desktube [No Longer Available]

watch youtube videos

Desktube is a YouTube viewer for desktop, iOS, and Web, and provides an alternative experience to the one you get on YouTube. You can use Desktube anonymously, or log in with your Google account to like, comment, etc. Desktube comes with its own built-in search, so you don’t have to go through YouTube at all – you can simply launch Desktube and find your daily dose of videos. It also supports playlists, subscriptions and favorites (requires a log in), and group viewing for when you want to watch YouTube videos with friends. If you opt for the iOS or desktop version (requires Adobe AIR), you don’t even need a browser to enjoy your YouTube videos.


6 Ways To Watch YouTube Without Going To YouTube desktube 2

Toogles is a super-fast and minimalist alternative interface for YouTube, with a touch of Modern (Metro) UI feeling. When I say it’s super-fast, I really mean it. This is probably the fastest way to watch YouTube I’ve seen to date, with a beautiful and useful interface to boot. The main page offers trending videos in various categories, but you can also search for specific videos, which load instantly. The viewing interface for individual videos is, you guessed it, fast. There are no comments, but you can choose to view related videos (or hide them), and view the video’s information (which you can also hide). If you’re often running out of patience waiting for YouTube to load, this is a must-try. There’s also a Chrome extension.



On paper, ViewPure is a YouTube viewer that offers some interesting options on top of simple YouTube viewing. In reality, none of ViewPure’s extra options actually work, but it managed to squeeze through on this list because its main function does work: minimalistic YouTube viewing. Copy and paste any URL or video ID from YouTube into ViewPure, and watch it on a white screen with no comments, suggestions, or other distractions. You can try playing with the extra options such as custom URL, password protection, and background color, but for me these didn’t work at all. The provided bookmarklet also returned a warning instead of a video. You can, however, toggle between a white and black background while already watching the video on ViewPure.


6 Ways To Watch YouTube Without Going To YouTube ytinstant

YTInstant is a great place to search for videos if you’re looking for a quick fix and not something specific. It excels in taking your query and instantly getting search results that match it, before you even finish typing. Start typing a word, and see YouTube results change and form as you type. When you finish typing, YTInstant will immediately start playing the first result for this query on YouTube, and display the next ones on the sidebar. There are no comments, and the interface is pretty minimalistic compared to YouTube. You can easily share a link to your search, embed the video, or share it on social networks.



This is a really neat way to watch YouTube videos without using a browser. Many don’t know this, but you can actually watch almost any YouTube video on VLC player 7 Top Secret Features of the Free VLC Media Player VLC should be your media player of choice. The cross-platform tool has a bag full of secret features you can use right now. Read More – a free cross-platform player. In order to use VLC to watch YouTube videos, all you need is the video URL without all the junk appended at the end (like, for example). Now open VLC, and go to Media –> Open Network Stream, paste the URL and click Play. Your video should start playing in VLC.

Make sure your URL is http and not https, otherwise this trick will not work.


watch youtube videos

XMBC is another way you can watch YouTube videos outside your browser, and even on your TV. XBMC is a free media player, or media center if you wish, that comes with plenty of cool add-ons 5 Amazing Add-Ons for the XBMC Media Center Make XBMC even better by adding these amazing add-ons. Whether you're into TV, sports or gaming, these plugins will help you get the most out of your television. Last time, I lamented the end of... Read More you can try. One of these add-ons is for YouTube, and enables you to watch any YouTube video in your XBMC media center.  Installing the add-on is simple, and there’s not much to setting it up. Read this simple guide on how to set up XBMC to play your YouTube videos How To Instantly Send Any YouTube Video To Your TV, Using XBMC Send any YouTube video to your television, instantly. It's perfect for YouTube parties or anytime you want to comfortably watch a video from your couch. All you need to make living room dreams come true... Read More , and you’re all set.

Looking for more alternative ways to watch YouTube videos? These are not the only ones. Here are 10 different ways to browse, watch and enjoy YouTube videos 10 Different Ways to Browse, Watch & Enjoy YouTube Videos Read More .

Know of some more we’ve missed? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Explore more about: Online Video, YouTube.

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  1. UnderWear64
    December 26, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    This website stinkz

  2. poopy
    November 21, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    your website stinks

  3. DANNY
    October 18, 2017 at 3:19 am


  4. Frank Iero
    January 15, 2017 at 4:04 am

    This didn't help no offence tho

  5. Tom
    June 24, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Please check out again. It's been revamped with a new UI.

  6. David
    January 30, 2016 at 10:38 am

    "In the past, we’ve covered many..."

    If you had written, "We've covered many...," nobody would have supposed that maybe you covered many in the future. The perfect tense is not the future tense.

    • lol
      May 10, 2016 at 6:47 am

      youre a fool

    • omniface
      August 28, 2016 at 4:35 am

      Compare past and present past. Since the present is continuous, there's a difference between the last few days and the last few years.

  7. megan
    January 20, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    At school youtube is blocked. is there a way you can go in an "app"/website and look up youtube vids and watch therm on that particular website.

  8. Jessixaa
    March 14, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Maybe, find something that is able to be shared with Google Chrome Webstore? My kids have laptops at home, and need a different way of having it. So, it'd be considered a Chrome App if so. Can't download it, because it's blocked on their school computers.

  9. joeyshabadoo
    March 13, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    I use mixblast to do a batch youtube search, and turn it into a playlist:

  10. GF
    February 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I already knew the ability of VLC to show YouTube videos. However my VLC doesn't work. I have already tried several times using several addresses, but VLC doesn't open those videos. VLC always says "VLC can't recognize the input's format: The format of '' cannot be detected. Have a look at the log for details".

  11. Cerese Minetti
    February 22, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you, I was just talking to my husband about how much I hate the Youtube interface for the exact reason that it is too messy!

  12. GF
    February 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    "In order to use VLC to watch YouTube videos, all you need is the video URL without all the junk appended at the end (like, for example)"

    What you call "junk" is the address of the video!!!!!!!!
    Who is wrong? Me or you?

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 23, 2013 at 7:40 am

      What I call junk can be one of many things that get appended to the URL, depending on where you clicked its link, etc. If you take just the part I mentioned and paste it into VLC, the video will start streaming. The rest of the URL is not necessary in this case.

      • GF
        February 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm

        It's clear now: the address you mentioned is the clean one. I believed it was the polluted one.

  13. Rubis Song
    February 22, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I really like Toogles. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Etescartz
    February 22, 2013 at 9:02 am

    I'm using Minitube

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 23, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Nice one, thanks for recommending it!

  15. Mac Witty
    February 22, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Been using Tube HD on Mac for a while (grab it when it was free). Nice and polished

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 23, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Looks nice, thanks!

  16. Akshata
    February 22, 2013 at 6:10 am

    Likes Toogles but it ruins everything by covering thumbnail with ugly black title overlay.
    If the title is long enough we get entire black thumbnail.

    • Yaara Lancet
      February 22, 2013 at 6:18 am

      A title has to be REALLY long to cover the whole thumbnail, I haven't encountered that happening. But I guess it could...