9 YouTube URL Tricks You Should Know

Although YouTube is still the number one video site on the web, you probably don’t think much about customizing it. But whether you’re a casual user or you watch videos online every day, there are all kinds of ways to edit YouTube.

A major category of these are special YouTube link tricks. Let’s look at some YouTube URL tricks to help you get the most out of the service, like turning videos into GIFs.

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Normally, when you copy a link to a YouTube video and open it, it starts over from the beginning. But if you want to show someone a certain section of a video or skip a long intro, you can add a timestamp to the URL to start it at that time.

You can do this in several ways. By manually adding &t=YmXXs at the end of a video’s URL, you’ll set it to start Yes minutes and XX seconds in the video. You can omit minutes or use only seconds, like 90s for a minute and a half.

So for example, this video:

youtube.com/watch?v=Tt5ShaI5hW8

Can be shared two minutes after the start of the video using this URL:

youtube.com/watch?v=Tt5ShaI5hW8&t=120

USE VIDEO OF THE DAY

If you don’t want to use the manual method, pause the video when you want to share it, then right-click and choose Copy video url to current time.

Related: Quickly Share YouTube Videos With These Minimal Tools

2. Loop video infinitely

YouTube is a great place to listen to music you won’t find elsewhere, like video game soundtracks for studying. If you like a song and want to listen to it again and again, you can add repeater after Youtube in the URL.

This will open the video on YouTubeRepeater.com, which will loop the video for you.

So change this URL:

youtube.com/watch?v=shibvkpyb8E

To this to wrap it up:

youtuberepeater.com/watch?v=shibvkpyb8E

Using the options under the video on the new page, you can change the start or end times of the video, if desired.

While we wanted to highlight the URL hacking method, you can also do it natively on YouTube. Just right click on the YouTube video and toggle Loop to continue playing.

3. Bypass Age Restrictions

YouTube imposes age restrictions on certain videos flagged as containing adult content. Whether you don’t have a YouTube account or don’t feel like signing in to watch one, there’s a little trick you can do to bypass the connection.

Take a YouTube URL for a restricted video like this:

youtube.com/watch?v=wvZ6nB3cl1w

Now add nsfw in front of the Youtube part of the link, as shown here:

nsfwyoutube.com/watch?v=wvZ6nB3cl1w

The video will open on a new site with no age limit. If you still see the age restriction message, click the here to try another method text at the top of the page. This will load it to a new page which will hopefully play the video successfully.

4. Skip a certain amount of the intro

Similar to the URL trick that lets you choose the start time of a video, you can also choose to skip a certain number of seconds from the start of the video. You can’t specify minutes with this one, so use 90 (seconds) for one and a half minutes.

So to skip the first 30 seconds of this video:

youtube.com/watch?v=M03bTkQxVUg

Add &start=30 at the end of the URL and get this:

youtube.com/watch?v=M03bTkQxVUg&start=30

This is similar to timing, but is a little faster to type and doesn’t require you to remember a certain timestamp.

Related: How to Message Someone on YouTube

5. Claim a Custom YouTube Channel URL

If you have your own YouTube channel and meet certain requirements, you can set a custom URL for your page. It’s much easier to remember than the default random string, so it’s worth doing for easier linking on social media and other sites.

To get a custom URL, your channel must meet the following criteria:

  • Have at least 100 subscribers
  • Have at least 30 days
  • Have profile picture and channel artwork uploaded

If you do, head to YouTube Studio by clicking on your profile picture in the top right of YouTube and choosing YouTube studio. In the left menu, click Personalizationfollowed by Basic information at the top.

On this page, under Channel URLyou will see the normal URL for your channel as well as the field to set a Custom URL, if you are eligible. Use it to choose your custom channel URL.

You can only have one custom URL at a time. If you already have one, you cannot change it, but you are allowed to delete your current URL and create a new one, if available. It’s only an option three times a year, so don’t change it too often.

Once your custom URL is set up, anyone can access youtube.com/[YourCustomURL] to visit your channel.

6. Go directly to your YouTube subscriptions

Often, the suggestions offered by YouTube are not helpful. Whether your recommendations are filled with weird content or the homepage contains videos you don’t care about, you can set a better YouTube landing page.

Read more: Tired of irrelevant YouTube recommendations? Here’s what you need to do

Once logged in, try replacing your YouTube favorite from the main home page with your subscriptions page using this URL:

youtube.com/feed/subscriptions 

This lets you see the newest videos from the channels you subscribe to, so you don’t miss any of their new content. So you control what you see, instead of YouTube deciding for you.

7. Grab thumbnail of any video

It’s common when searching for images on Google to see images from YouTube videos, usually titled maxresdefault. With a URL tweak, you can easily view a high-quality thumbnail for any YouTube video (if it has one) by visiting the following:

img.youtube.com/vi/[VideoID]/maxresdefault.jpg 

Replace the [VideoID] with text after v= at the end of a YouTube video. So to see the thumbnail of this video:

youtube.com/watch?v=YMbm_SFJugQ

Visit this link:

img.youtube.com/vi/YMbm_SFJugQ/maxresdefault.jpg

8. Create GIF from YouTube Video

Found a YouTube video that has a GIF-worthy moment? You can easily create an animated GIF from any part of a video by adding GIF before the YouTube link.

So, to edit this video to GIF:

youtube.com/watch?v=gy1B3agGNxw

Replace the URL with this:

gifyoutube.com/watch?v=gy1B3agGNxw

You will be taken to gifs.com, where you can add a variety of effects and crop the GIF to your liking. Once done, share the GIF on social media with a simple link or download it for safekeeping.

Note that exceptionally long videos will not work with this service.

9. Mix music from YouTube videos

This one is not a real URL hack, because you can’t visit it directly from YouTube. However, it still uses YouTube URLs, so we’re including it. Visit YouTube DJ and you can add two YouTube URLs to mix their music together. Use the controls to set shortcut points to different parts of the songs and adjust the fade and speed as you see fit.

If you’ve ever thought that two pieces of music would go pretty well together, this site is for you!

Have more fun with YouTube URL tricks

These tips will help you get even more out of YouTube. Some are built into YouTube itself, while others rely on external services. It’s possible that one of them will stop working in the future, so your mileage may vary over time.

Although not a URL hack, did you also know that you can watch YouTube videos with distant friends?

Image Credit: Bloomicon/Shutterstock


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