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How to get more out of YouTube (with keyboard shortcuts)

My favorite YouTube keyboard shortcuts and privacy/security settings. 🤓

Written by Eva Dee on (about a 3 minute read).

I'm busy, okay, and don't have time to watch videos at their normal speed 😊!

No, but seriously, I don't watch YouTube that much, but when I do, it's mostly tutorials and conferences, and sometimes people waffle a lot!

When I'm in learning mode, I also like to take notes, and this is where quick pausing and going back 10s is really handy (pun intended!).

Or sometimes you just want to skip ten seconds ahead because there's clapping or people are faffing around with their cables or something.

Anyway, below I collected the list of my favorite YouTube keyboard shortcuts, and I also added a couple of my recommended privacy settings (controlling what other people can see about you and, of course, deleting embarrassing videos from your history).

YouTube Keyboard shortcuts ⌨️ permalink

Pause, play, and 10s jumps 🏃‍♀️ permalink

These are my favorite shortcuts and basically where my fingers are positioned by default when I'm watching a YouTube video, hit:

  • k to play or pause

  • j to rewind 10second

  • l (as in lower-case L) to fast-forward 10 seconds

Quickly navigate through a video 📹 permalink

If you want to skip around and quickly navigate through the video, you can use any of the number keys (1-9) to go to that percentage (times 10) of the video.

For example: if you hit 6, you'll jump to 60% of the video, 9, is 90% etc.

Frame-by-frame control 🔬 permalink

If you want to move through the video frame-by-frame (like they do in CSI shows! now zoom in! yes, I can see the license plate now 🤷‍♀️), you'll need to first pause the video and use comma , and period . keys to move backward and forward.

Playback speed permalink

I watch most YouTube tutorials on 1.5x speed (for conference talks, you can go up to 2x).

To change the playback speed, use:

  • shift + comma (to decrease the speed)
  • shift + period (to increase the speed)

Viewing modes 🍿 permalink

hit 🥊:

  • f for full-screen (hit f again to untoggle the mode)

  • t for theatre mode

  • there's also i for the tiny window on the bottom-right (when you want to keep the the video in the background while still browsing YouTube)

Quickly mute 🔈 permalink

Press m to mute or unmute.

Other miscellaneous tips 🤔 permalink

Ads permalink

Use uBlock Origin to skip ads

Privacy settings permalink

If you want to make your viewing activity and subscription private, head over to the Privacy settings page and untoggle:

  • Keep all my saved playlists private
  • Keep all my subscriptions private

History permalink

You can remove watched videos from your history on the History page.

You can also disable history or auto-delete it from your Google account YouTube settings page.