Install The (Shockingly Late) Official YouTube Channel On Your Wii [Currently USA Only]

Justin Pot 24-11-2012

wii youtube channelInstall the official YouTube app on your Wii. Watch the best cat videos from the comfort…

Wait!” says the reader. He only read one-and-a-half sentences, but immediately rushed to the comments. Someone was wrong on the Internet. “You totally just screwed up. You meant Wii U. Why would Google waste its time…”

Shut up and listen” I snap, glass of whiskey in hand. I turn around to look out the window, staring at the mountains, then speak quietly. “I’m not joking, and I didn’t screw up. Nintendo just added YouTube to the Wii Shop Channel. It’s on their website and everything.”

I pause.

“This is real” I say. “Google just now, in November 2012, announced an official YouTube App. For the Wii. Regular old, controller-that-looks-like-a-TV-remote, Wii.”

Well…” says the reader, confused, “What’s the point of that?

Let’s find out.

Using YouTube for Wii

Fire up the YouTube channel. If you’re signed in, you’ll see your subscriptions and playlists; if not, you’ll see the standard categories from YouTube.

wii youtube channel

The visual style is not Wii-sque at all, which is probably a good thing in this case. It’s modern, clean and content-focused. Click a video to watch it or use the + and – buttons on your WiiMote to browse longer lists.

I signed in almost immediately, because I love my channels dearly. Doing so was elegant – no typing your password using an on-screen keyboard here.

wii youtube

You’ll need a computer or phone handy to sign in, but you only need to once. Explore your channels, again using the + and – buttons to browse completely lists

wii youtube

One thing that’s really nice: YouTube for Wii will keep playing after a video ends. This is great if you’re catching up on videos for a particular channel.

wii youtube

Playback is pretty good, considering most videos on YouTube are HD at this point while the Wii itself is not HD capable.

The built-in search means you can quickly find any YouTube video quickly.

wii youtube channel

This is perfect for YouTube parties. And considering that, for many, the Wii is the only Internet-capable device connected to their TV, I’m sure it will see some use for just that. It’s just a shame this didn’t exist…you know…years ago.

Installing YouTube For Wii

Note that the YouTube Channel is, as of this writing, only available in the US of A. Sorry, most of earth’s population: you’ll have to wait a while longer. Good thing you’re used to that, I guess.

Installing is simple – just fire up the Wii Shop Channel – assuming your Wii is connected to the Internet. Nintendo released an update for the Wii Shop Channel earlier this month; you’ll need to install it in order to download YouTube.

Homebrew users – don’t worry about this update. It only updates the Wii Shop channel, and won’t affect the Homebrew Channel, assuming you followed my Wii homebrew tutorial How to Install Homebrew on a Nintendo Wii Using LetterBomb Installing Homebrew on your Nintendo Wii can unlock its full potential. Here's how to do that using LetterBomb. Read More or something like it.

If you’ve been messing with things outside my tutorial, however, like installing a custom IOS or playing backup copies of games, proceed with caution as always.


It’s insanely late for Nintendo and YouTube to be offering this – something around 2007 would have brought YouTube to the medium.

Feel free to leave comments below, but only if you do in narrative form. And be sure to check out this related announcement by Google:

Related topics: Nintendo, YouTube.

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  1. Joe
    April 28, 2013 at 9:37 am

    YouTube channel for the wii worked fine for me but when it told me to update it i did and every since i did that it has gone to crap i can't even watch a 3 minute video with out it always want to buffer with out the update it worked fine for me but with the update its crap

  2. Pissed Off
    April 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I was just forced to update the old youtube channel to the new one and then new one only buffers a video to 30 seconds or so and sometimes less and it takes 1 hour to watch a 10 minute video. To this I have to give both nintendo and youtube the bird.

    • Justin Pot
      April 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Man, that sucks. Haven't had any updates on mine...I'll try to keep it that way.

  3. Jackal
    January 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    "Homebrew users - don’t worry about this update. It only updates the Wii Shop channel, and won’t affect the Homebrew Channel"

    THANK YOU! I have been searching online for weeks trying to find out what the update actually updates and if it would brick my Wii since I have Homebrew installed. You don't know what a relief this is knowing that I can safely install the update. Can't wait to try the new YouTube Channel.

    • Justin Pot
      January 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Shout out to the good people at for answering that question for me! Can't believe I forgot to include this link in the article, because it's how I figured it out:,71822

      • Lance Torgerson
        March 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm

        Is there a way to use a USB keyboard to search when using the wii youtube channel? I was having trouble with that but it would be a lot e-z ier to use a keyboard to search there!

        • justinpot
          March 6, 2013 at 8:23 pm

          Have you tried just plugging the USB keyboard in? I know it works in the Internet Channel, so give it a shot.

  4. Robbie Pence
    December 7, 2012 at 1:39 am

    The Wii is my favorite console because of mods, not official support. Which is good, because Nintendo didn't do a good job of that,

  5. Zanny
    November 29, 2012 at 5:30 am

    The Wii YouTube channel would be great if it actually f***ing worked for me. And I live in the US. But nearly all the videos that are over a month or so old are "not available", and about half of the newer ones give me the same message, or just have an infinite loading circle. YouTube XL on Wii internet worked MUCH better for me, at least all the videos actually played. I can't access it anymore (starting today) though, I just get a message that says to download the YouTube channel from the Wii shop. I seriously cannot figure out why the YouTube Channel doesn't work for me, or how I can get it to work. I just updated my Wii about a week ago, so it shouldn't be that.

    • Justin Pot
      November 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Odd, for me it works far better than YouTube XL ever did...

    • zeldagamer9
      December 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      i'm having the same problem, but it's with every CCR song i want to play, and youtube xl quit on me too. it was discouraging

    • Zanny
      December 7, 2012 at 6:38 pm

      Since posting this comment the YouTube channel seems to be working a lot better than it did, at least nearly all the videos I want to watch actually play (there are a few that still don't: I'm looking at you, Siouxsie And The Banshees' "Kiss Them For Me").

      Also I forgot to mention this before but I love Glove and Boots, found out about it several years ago on the radio but I'd forgotten about it until I read this. Watched the Hostess video and laughed so freaking hard. And I've always loved the Polyphonic Spree video. I have to catch up on a bunch of them, though.

      (bleh, sorry if this posts twice, the login fields were covered up and I forgot to scroll up...)

      • Justin Pot
        December 7, 2012 at 8:04 pm

        Glad it's working now, and that you rediscovered Glove and Boots. That alone means I can end the day feeling like I've contributed.

  6. Austen Gause
    November 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    thats a little ridiculous that it was just released trying to watch it before was complete crap.

    • Justin Pot
      November 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      Yeah, YouTube was terrible on the Internet Channel. This works.

  7. Spencer Vincent
    November 25, 2012 at 3:52 am

    They left it far too late, I moved on from Wii to PS3 last year because it felt like Nintendo made the Wii and forgot about it.

    • Justin Pot
      November 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm

      They made a bunch of good games for it, but that seriously slowed down around 2010.