10 cool features of YouTube that no one knows about

Google recently released another mobile update for YouTube, and some users are frustrated that they have to adjust to a new layout once again. However, this change brings a new opportunity.

YouTube has been around for 20 years at this point, so it’s had plenty of time to add new features and tricks that were long forgotten. These tricks can really help improve a user’s experience and if one wants to watch silly clips or long video essays, some of them are even essential.

Set a vacation reminder

It’s really easy to get engrossed in watching YouTube videos for hours on end, losing track of time. Fortunately, YouTube includes a feature that allows users to set an alert for themselves.

This feature can be found in YouTube’s settings menu, under the general tab. “Remind me to take a break” allows users to log out after a set period of time. There is also a “Remind me when it’s time to sleep” option.

Video transcripts

YouTube’s subtitles feature is probably the most advanced on the site. When automatic transcriptions debuted, they were pretty weak. However, after years of work, the automatic signature is much more accurate. However, many users prefer to add their subtitles in multiple languages.

Instead of displaying them as subtitles, it is also possible to display them as a transcript. By clicking the three dots next to the options of any YouTube video, users can open a transcript. This shows the video script with useful timestamps to allow users to follow along.


Clips is one of the new features introduced to YouTube and no doubt comes from its more famous streaming competitor, Twitch. This allows users to share parts of a video, rather than the whole. Since YouTube videos can be quite long these days, it’s very useful.

To create a clip, click the button next to the share button. This will open a small video editor that allows the user to trim from five seconds to one minute of footage. Notably, this clip still directs people to the original video. This is good for creators because it means that the look of the clip goes to the video.

Full auto screen

While some prefer cinema mode, most people prefer to watch YouTube in full screen mode. This is especially true on mobile, where it can be difficult to tell what’s happening on the screen. Manually clicking the full-screen button can be a hassle, so it’s a good thing YouTube has a solution.

In the settings menu accessible by clicking on the user icon, there is the Playback tab. The toggle for “always play fullscreen HD” can be found here. It’s worth noting that not all videos will look good in full screen, but they’re still best on mobile.

Linking accounts

In the modern age, most websites can share information with each other. After all, Google accounts are often automatically linked to YouTube. That being said, many more websites can link to YouTube than you might expect.

Most social media accounts can be linked to a YouTube channel, which is obviously for brand awareness reasons. Stranger is the ability to link accounts like Discord and Steam. This is mainly used for YouTube affiliate programs, which allow some users to receive benefits through links.

Pause, rewind and fast forward shortcuts

These basic controls are the backbone of the TV, but they’re a little more obscure on YouTube. On mobile devices, someone may have accidentally activated them. Tap the screen to pause the video, and double-tap the right and left sides to go forward and backward, respectively.

What’s more surprising are the keyboard commands for these features. Spacebar is used for pause, rewind and jump forward left and right arrow keys. Most obscure of all is the ability to change the length of jumps in YouTube’s options. Works for mobile and keyboard controls.

Manipulate history

The history of videos watched and searches can be very personal, so it’s good to be able to access them. Although you can view your video watch history from the Watched tab, to access more features, you’ll need to access the My Activity tab in your channel’s Google Account. This account controls your search and watch history for YouTube.

Here, search and viewing histories can be deleted. Not only that, but it can also be interrupted. This blocks it temporarily when users need to lend their account to someone else. It’s a bit cumbersome to make, but there is a use for it.

360 Videos

While many video games need mods for VR support, YouTube has it built in. Watching YouTube videos in a virtual space is actually an easily accessible feature of most VR headsets. What many people don’t know is that there are also videos with full VR support.

360 videos take time and effort to shoot, so there aren’t many of them. They do exist, however, and include some of YouTube’s most exciting yet unknown corners. They are distinguished from classic non-VR videos by a button at the top left. It is definitely something the audience should not miss.

dark mode

Most used websites offer some kind of dark mode. While websites traditionally had white backgrounds, when eye strain became a problem, most offered darker backgrounds to reduce it. Despite being one of the most popular websites, YouTube doesn’t seem to have a clear dark mode.

However, he does exist and can be found by clicking on his profile picture. This allows you to change the appearance of the page with the aptly named “Appearance” tab. On mobile, dark mode is in place of settings, which has its own “Appearance” tab in general options. This should significantly reduce glare and eye strain.

Frame by frame

This feature is great for editors and movie buffs, and is another keyboard shortcut, but much less well-known than Skip Through Episode. This feature also only works when the video is paused, which adds to its obscurity.

Pressing the comma key rewinds the video by one frame. Pressing the dot key moves it one frame to the other side. With these two combined, a controlled movie of a video can be obtained with more control than the playback speed options. Although its uses are limited to the average Joe, everyone has access to it and everyone should know about it.

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