Wednesday, April 6, 2016

26 YouTube shortcuts everyone should know

YouTube is a powerful resource for schools. Once you get past the cat videos there are vast amounts of educational videos for all grade levels, subject area, and educator professional development.

(Be sure to visit my YouTube channel for my one-hour webinars, short tech videos, and monthly Google User Group recordings.)

But in addition to just watching videos on YouTube, there are also dozens of keyboard shortcuts you can use to improve your viewing experience. These include keys to jump around in the video, change speed, adjust sound, switch the view, and more.

Google does not seem to have any official documentation on these keyboard shortcuts, so these are ones I have discovered by trial and error, or from other users who have posted online. Because of this, some shortcuts may only work in certain browsers (Chrome is always your safest bet) or may go away without warning.

See below for my list of useful YouTube keyboard shortcuts every teacher and student should know.

Starting and Stopping

  • Space or k = pause and restart video

Jumping Around

  • Right arrow = jump ahead 5 seconds
  • Left arrow = move back 5 seconds
  • j = move back 10 seconds
  • l = jump forward 10 seconds
  • , (comma) = move back one frame when video is paused
  • . (period) = move forward one frame when video is paused (great for frame by frame analysis, such as for a video of a science experiment)
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 = jump to a point in video (1=10% through video, up to 9=90% through video)
  • 0 or Home = jump to start of video

Sound Options

  • Up arrow = increase volume by 5%
  • Down arrow = decrease volume by 5%
  • m = toggle mute and unmute
  • c = toggle closed captioning (great for hearing impaired students, but also for any video that is difficult to hear in class)

Viewing Options

  • f = go into fullscreen mode (to make any small video big)
  • ESC = exit from fullscreen mode
  • > (greater than) = increase speed of video (you can usually listen faster than people talk)
  • < (less than) = decrease speed of video (in case the content is too quick for students to catch)

Bonus: Although this is not technically a keyboard shortcut, it is still a useful tip. If you right click on the video you can choose “loop” from the pop-up menu to continuously play the video over and over again, which would be useful for a kiosk or Parent’s Night video.

Do you know of any other useful YouTube shortcuts? Or creative ideas on how they can be used in class? If so, please share in the comments below.


  1. Very helpful content. Thanks Eric!

  2. very helpful, i all ready motivated about the shortcuts

  3. These are great. Thanks so much.

  4. space bar should pause, but instead it scrolls a page down.

    1. u have to click in the video first

  5. Wow! Very geeky tips! Love them! :)