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July 12, 2017

How to use YouTube for Android

by John_A

How do I use YouTube on Android?

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Keyboard Cat. Muffins. Charlie Bit Me. Grape Lady Falls. Chocolate Rain. The list of classic YouTube videos goes on and on. And aren’t we lucky that the YouTube app comes standard with just about every Android phone on the market?. So, how do you get to all these classic gems? How do you play them and subscribe to the channels you love?

Here’s how!

  • How to search for videos
  • How to control video playback
  • How to change video quality
  • How to enable/disable captions
  • How to sign in to YouTube
  • How to subscribe to a YouTube channel
  • How to share a YouTube video
  • How to create playlists
  • How to cast YouTube to your TV with Chromecast

How to search for videos

You can search for videos by keyword, topic, title, channel, whatever. Just type in what you want to find and away you go!

You can also find videos under the home (the little house button), trending (the fire button), and subscriptions (the play button with tabs behind it) tabs.

Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
Tap the search button in the upper right corner of your screen. It looks like a magnifying glass.
Type in your search.
Tap the search button on the bottom right of your keyboard. It’s the magnifying glass.
Tap on a video to view it.

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Once you search for a video and tap on it, it’ll play automatically.

Playback controls

  • Tap the video area to bring up the play controls. Don’t tap the center if you don’t want to pause.
  • Tap the center of the video to play or pause.
  • Tap and drag along the play bar to scrub through the video.
  • Tap the next button or previous button to skip to the next video in the list or to go back to the video you were watching before.
  • To minimize the video from full-screen, tap minimize at the far right end of the play bar.
  • If you’re on a device with an extra-tall screen like a Galaxy S8, you can tap the crop to fit button located above the right side of the play bar.

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How to change video quality

If you’re trying to save on data or you prefer all of your video in as high definition as possible, you can raise or lower the video quality at will.

Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
Find the video you want to watch.

Tap the more button on the top right of the video pane. It looks like three vertical dots. You may have to tap the video to bring up the playback controls.

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Tap Quality.
Tap a resolution in the list.

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Setting a lower resolution can help reduce the amount of data you use while streaming on a cellular signal. Some videos may not have certain resolutions available.

How to enable/disable captions

Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
Find the video you want to watch.

Tap the more button on the top right of the video pane. It looks like three vertical dots. You may have to tap the video to bring up the playback controls.

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Tap Captions.
Tap a language if there are more than one available or tap Turn off captions if you don’t want them on.

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How to sign in to YouTube

If you want to like, comment, or subscribe on YouTube, you’ll need to sign in with a YouTube account if you haven’t already. Good news: If you have a Google account, which owning an Android device you really should, you already have a YouTube account and need only sign in!

Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
Tap the Account on the top right of your screen. It’s the circle with the silhouette of a person inside.
Tap Sign In.
Tap the account you want to sign in with.

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You’ll be signed in to YouTube with your new account.

How to subscribe to a YouTube channel

If you find a video you really like and want more from that YouTuber, you can subscribe to their channel. You’ll need an account.

Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
Search the video or channel from the YouTuber to whom you’d like to subscribe.
Tap the red subscribe button. It’ll be the word “Subscribe” with a red play button next to it.
If you want to be notified for every video that YouTuber releases, tap the bell icon.

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How to share a YouTube video

Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
Find the video or channel you’d like to share.
Tap the share button on the upper right of your screen. It’s the curved arrow.
Tap a sharing method. You can share via message, email, Facebook, and just about anything else you can share with.
Share as you would normally in whatever method you choose.

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How to create playlists

You can add videos to a playlist while watching a video or you can add them from their thumbnails.

How to add videos to a playlist from the thumbnail

Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
Search for videos you’d like to add to your playlist.
Tap the more button on the side of a video thumbnail. It’s the three vertical dots.

Tap Add to playlist.

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Tap Create new playlist.
Type a title for your playlist.
Tap OK.

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The next time you add a video to that playlist, the name of the playlist will appear under **Add to watch later.

How to add the video you’re watching to a playlist

Tap the add to playlist button. It looks like a list with a + on it.
Tap Create new playlist.
Type a name for your new playlist.
Tap OK.

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When you add a new video to a playlist, the name of the playlist you’ve created will appear in the choices.

How to cast YouTube to your TV with Chromecast

Launch YouTube from your home screen or the app drawer.
From either the main screen or a video, tap the cast button. It looks like a box with the Wi-Fi symbol in the bottom left corner.
Tap a device. It could be your television, and Android TV box, or some other media streaming device.

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You’ll know your phone or tablet is ready to cast when the case button turns white in the middle.

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