Entertainment Internet

6 Ways to Watch YouTube Without Going to YouTube

Dan Price Updated 23-06-2020

Do you sometimes get tired of YouTube? No, we don’t mean tired of YouTube’s ocean of content. We’re talking about YouTube’s interface, with its suggestions, comments, and clutter. The interface is just too messy. But did you know that it’s possible to watch YouTube videos on other websites without going to YouTube?

You can use alternative YouTube links, sites, and apps to see the content without ever heading to YouTube.com. Here’s how to watch YouTube videos without YouTube.

1. Toggles


Toogles is a fast and minimalist alternative interface for YouTube. The main page offers trending videos in various categories, but you can also search for specific videos, which load near-instantly. You can use the site to watch any YouTube video that’s not geo-blocked in your area.

The viewing interface is also speedy. There are no comments, no recommended videos, and no other clutter. It means nothing is going to pull valuable bandwidth away from the core task of playing your video as soon as possible.

The video’s description and metadata are shown in the left-hand panel. If you want to see the related videos, you can click on the tab in the upper-left corner when you’re ready to have a look. Toogles even has a Chrome extension for a faster way to search.

If you’re on a slow internet connection and often find yourself running out of patience while waiting for YouTube to load, Toogles is a must-try.

2. ViewPure


ViewPure is another way to watch YouTube videos without YouTube itself. Like Toggles, it strips away all of the junk that can make the YouTube viewing experience so frustrating—there are no comments, suggestions, or other distractions. The site also removes ads from videos, making it ideal for use in classrooms or at home with kids.

Some of the other cool features on ViewPure include custom URLs (which are better for sharing and memorizing than random YouTube URLs) and a bookmarklet. The bookmarklet can be used to open any video in ViewPure while you’re looking at it on the main YouTube site. There’s also a toggle to flick between a white and black background while watching content.

3. VLC

One of the most oft-overlooked ways to watch YouTube is to skip the browser entirely. Instead, you can use a specialist video player app that’ll stream videos directly from a URL. VLC is probably the most well-known such player, but there are many other video players for Android 8 Best Mobile Video Players for Android Every smartphone needs a video player -- let us help you find the best one for your needs. Read More , iOS, and desktop that provide the same functionality.

Using VLC to watch YouTube is easy. Just make sure you are using the full version of the video player rather than the stripped-out Microsoft Store version.

To play the video, go to Media > Open Network Stream and paste in the full YouTube URL for the specific video you want to watch. When you are ready, hit the Play button and give the stream a few seconds to load and buffer.

4. DF Tube

df tube

DF Tube—short for Distraction-Free Tube—is a Chrome browser extension that lets you improve the original YouTube site rather than offering an alternative YouTube URL.

The tool allows you to hide the YouTube feed, hide the “Related Videos” that pop up at the end of the video you’re currently watching, hide the sidebar, hide playlists, hide the comments, hide the subscription bar, hide live chat, hide the trending tab, and disable autoplay. You can even use it to disable playlists.

We think the last feature is especially noteworthy. One of the most annoying aspects of using YouTube is when you find a video you want to watch only to find it buried deep in the middle of a 100-video-long playlist of rubbish.

5. Kodi

Kodi is another way you can watch YouTube videos without YouTube and outside of your browser. For those who don’t know, Kodi is a free media player that has addons for free movies The 10 Best Legal Kodi Add-Ons for Free Movies Kodi is one of the best ways to watch movies for free. Here are the best legal Kodi add-ons for free movies. Read More , addons for IPTV The 10 Best Kodi Add-Ons to Watch IPTV Kodi is an excellent media player, but a few add-ons can make it even better. Here are the best Kodi add-ons to watch IPTV. Read More , addons for live news The 12 Best Kodi Add-Ons for Watching Live News Cordcutters have always had a tough time watching live news. However, there are now some solid free Kodi add-ons dedicated to live news feeds. Read More , and yes, you guessed it, addons for YouTube.

The best Kodi addon for YouTube is called Plugin for YouTube. It is not an official YouTube/Google app. You will, however, be able to find and download it from Kodi’s official repo, which means that Kodi’s developers have taken a look at it and deemed the addon to be stable enough and reliable enough for widespread use.

The addon offers many of the same features that you’ll find on the main YouTube URL, including a way to add videos to your Watch Later list, adding videos to personal playlists, support for Likes and Dislikes, and a Subscribe button.

6. NSFWYouTube


Despite the connotations of the name, NSFWYouTube is actually a tool that lets you watch any YouTube video—regardless of age restrictions—without logging into your account (or even owning an account).

This has a few benefits. For example, if you’re on a public computer, you might not feel comfortable logging into your account just to watch an age-restricted video. It might also provide a workaround in the event that YouTube has been blocked on your local network by either your school or employer.

To use NSFWYouTube, you don’t even need to visit the site.

Just find a YouTube video that you cannot watch without logging in and type nsfw before youtube in the address (i.e., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhsng72lC4s would become https://www.nsfwyoutube.com/watch?v=Vhsng72lC4s).

Alternatively, grab the bookmarklet and click on it whenever you encounter a blocked video on the main site.

On the downside, because of the way the site works, if the video’s uploader has blocked their video from being embedded on sites outside YouTube, the tool will not let you watch.

Learn More About Using YouTube

Using alternative YouTube URLs is just one small part of maximizing your YouTube experience. You can find alternative YouTube apps for Android and iOS, as well as cracked apps that remove ads and other annoyances.

If you would like to learn more about using YouTube, make sure you check out our other articles on how to watch YouTube together with friends and how to break YouTube videos into chapters You Can Now Break YouTube Videos Into Chapters YouTubers can now add chapters to their videos. Making it easier for viewers to navigate YouTube videos. Read More .

Related topics: 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 Viewpure.com 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. 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 'http://www.youtube.com/v/v2AC41dglnM' cannot be detected. Have a look at the log for details".

  10. 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!

  11. 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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ak4950FQX8, 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.

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

    I really like Toogles. Thanks for sharing.

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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...