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TV & streaming

Search YouTube like a pro with these 5 hidden tricks

YouTube provides a venue for anyone to upload and share content with the world. The video-sharing platform has become a streaming service, search engine and social media medium alongside the most prominent sites of these types.

Whether browsing or creating content, YouTube has some features you may not know about. You can do much more than click and type, from shortcuts to short-form video to dark mode. Tap or click here for some YouTube tips and tricks.

Searching YouTube is as easy as typing in a word or two, but did you know there are more ways to find content? You can focus on live events or eliminate parodies. You can make playlists or narrow down your search to a specific time. We’ll show you how to do all this and more.

1. How to find live events

Many concerts and events are broadcast live on YouTube. You can watch them in real-time along with a global audience. There are a couple of ways to do this:

  • Type the word live after your search phrase.
  • You can also browse upcoming and current livestream events to pick the ones you want to watch. Go to on your computer and select Live from the left column.
  • On mobile, open the YouTube app, tap Explore, then tap Live.

You may also like: Tap or click here to learn how to watch YouTube picture-in-picture on your iPhone.

2. Narrow your search

YouTube boasts more than 2 billion monthly logged-in users, with more than 500 hours of content posted every minute. With all that content, finding what you want can be a matter of narrowing your search down by the date a video was posted.

Type in the search term(s) for your video, followed by this week or this month. For example, try spider-man news this week.

You can also use YouTube’s filters to narrow things down:

  • Go to on your computer and do your search.
  • Once your results are loaded, click on the Filters dropdown box and select the upload date, ranging from the Last hour to This year.
  • On mobile, tap the three dots icon, then tap Search filters.

3. Find the actual music video, not just the parodies

YouTube can be found in more than 100 countries and 80 languages. The Google-owned platform is the second-largest global search site, surpassed only by Google. This means that people worldwide post parodies, fan videos and reactions to the most popular topics.

Lady Gaga is one of the biggest names out there, so when you search for a track from a singer of her stature, you may have to weed out the fan-made content. You can do this by typing the song name, adding a comma and putting the word partner. For example, try this search: poker face, partner.

4. Make a playlist of songs

You can have YouTube make a playlist of your favorite songs using the search phrase playlist. Coming back to Lady Gaga, type in Lady Gaga playlist and your results will include fan-made compilations that bundle songs together into one long upload.

You’ll also get an official playlist labeled YouTube Mix. You can play it immediately or select individual videos to watch and listen to.

You can create a custom playlist at any time and create multiple lists for your different moods. Here’s how to do it from your computer:

  • Find a video you want to add to a playlist.
  • Click Save.
  • Select a playlist such as Watch Later or a playlist you’ve already created, or click Create new playlist
  • Click Create.

To create a playlist on mobile:

  • Find a video you want to add to a playlist.
  • Tap Save below the video to automatically save it to the last playlist you’ve saved or your Watch Later playlist.
  • To change where your video is saved, tap Change on the pop-up. Select from the list of your playlists.

5. Find a movie to watch

You can watch feature-length movies on YouTube, but just like anything else on the platform, searching for the movie title may not be enough.

It’s pretty simple. Just type the word movie in your search query. Try “A star is born movie.” You may have to buy or rent a movie if it’s not available on the platform for free when you search for it.

Bonus search tips

  • Use the + or keys to include or leave out keywords in your search results.
  • Use quotation marks to find the exact phrase you’re looking for.
  • Add the word long to your search to find videos longer than 20 minutes. Add the word short to your search to find videos less than 4 minutes.

RELATED: How to set up a private YouTube channel to share family videos

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