If you’re anything like us, you can hardly go a day without opening up YouTube to watch a video online. Plus, with the cold winter season settled in and making us want to stay warm and cozy, it’s inevitable that YouTube is in for a boost in viewership. While the popular video streaming site makes it possible to watch videos on any topic, served up by folks from all walks of life, there are still more cool things to be discovered.
Ready for the most entertaining YouTube experience of your life? Check out our top tips, tricks, and hacks to help kick your viewing up a notch.
1. Create an auto-lineup of your favorites
Have a few favorite YouTubers that you binge-watch again and again? You can create a meta playlist that holds ALL of the video uploads from a single uploader (in order of upload date, chronologically). To do this, just add “&list=UL” to any video URL on YouTube.
(GIF via 1 Live)
2. Conquer country-specific videos
Sometimes, YouTube videos can have restrictions based on geographic regions. That’s why you’ll get that “The uploader has not made this video available in your country” pop-up message when you stumble on a cool video from far away. Luckily, this trick lets you watch any video from any country.
Here’s how regular YouTube links appears: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxxx
Copy the string of characters defined by our “xxxx” example above, and paste it so that the URL is: http://www.youtube.com/v/xxxx
3. Watch in HD mode all the time
High definition is ALWAYS better, but sometimes your Internet connection can get in the way. Unlock HD mode by adding a couple of secret codes to the end of your video URL. Get stereo sound and 480×270 resolution with “&fmt=18”, or “&fmt=22” for 1280×720 resolution.
(GIF via declanmckenna.net)
4. Jump through age restrictions
We’re all for keeping PG-13 videos for more mature eyes only, but sometimes the age restrictions on YouTube videos can be bothersome for legal adults. Instead of signing in or clicking through to verify your age, just add “nsfw.” to the beginning of your entire video’s URL, so that it appears like this: nsfw.youtube.com
5. Hunt for all the hidden Easter eggs
Cleverly hidden in YouTube’s source code are secrets just waiting to be discovered and unlocked. Here are some of our favorites:
- Search “Beam me up Scotty” and your results will show up like they were transported through space.
- Repeat any video (forever!) by right-clicking on the video and selecting “Loop.”
- Like old games? Type the numbers “1980” while your video is playing and the Missile Control game will appear.
- An homage to the Wadsworth Constant, a meme that stated the first 30% of any video isn’t worth your time, you can enter “&wadsworth=1” at the end of a YouTube video URL and it’ll auto-skip the first 30% for you.
(GIF via tstotopix.me)
6. Access unique 360-degree videos
YouTube launched their support for 360-degree videos earlier in 2016, letting users have a complete view of key videos and live events. With Chrome installed on your computer, you can rotate around and see every angle just by using your mouse. On mobile through the YouTube app, a simple screen swivel can lead you into new 360-degree journeys.
7. Download videos & turn audio files into MP3s
Take your favorite videos with you, in any file type you need! With Replay Media Catcher, you can download YouTube videos with just one quick drag-and-drop movement and automatically convert YouTube to MP3, WMV, AVI and more popular file formats.
(GIF via gifhell.com)
Did we miss any other awesome YouTube hacks? Let us know on our Facebook page!
This article was originally published January 6, 2017 and has been updated for accuracy.