The Most Useful YouTube Shortcuts

Tech Talker shows you some YouTube shortcuts and tricks to make your life easier.

Eric Escobar
4-minute read
Episode #212

Ever wanted to navigate YouTube without taking your hands off the keyboard? If you have to do a lot of video research for school or work or just want to be a YouTube wizard, Tech Talker can help get you there.

Best YouTube Shortcuts

First, let’s talk about some of the better known shortcuts (which you may have even already heard of!). Did you know that you can use the space bar to pause and play a video that is in full screen mode? You can also enter and exit full screen mode by just hitting the “f” key.

These two shortcuts sound super simple, and almost irrelevant, but if you just play with them, you’ll see how much better they are then hunting for the full screen icon with your mouse. To follow those, there are the number keys above your keyboard. If you’re watching a video you can press a number to jump to a part of the video. Each number corresponds to a 10% change.

For example if you’re watching the video you can hit the “1” and it will jump to 10% mark of the video. Similarly pressing the “5” will take you to the middle of the video and the “9” will take you to the 90% mark of the video. It’s a really great way to hop around or skip through a video to either get to the good parts or review it really quickly.

If you want to skip by five seconds at a time you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to skip forward or backward in time 5 seconds which is far more useful than mouse hunting and pecking the timeline.

Another awesome feature added in the last year to YouTube is the ability to play video at different speeds. Now YouTube has shortcuts to these speed commands. If you press “Shift + >” the speed of the video will increase to 1.25x then to 1.5x and then to 2x. If you press “Shift + <” you’ll step down to half speed and then to quarter speed. I love using this feature when watching videos with people who talk way to fast or way too slow. I even use it to skip over parts of lectures that I still want to watch but is more for quick review.

The last of these shortcuts involves using the “Tab” key and the “Space” key to navigate all of the options within YouTube. You can use them to select each item in the lower YouTube menu such as the volume, close captions, annotations, quality, and screen size. I recommend trying all of these out in your spare time to see how useful and time-efficient they are.

Full Screen



K or Space

Jump Forward/Back 5sec

Left or Right Arrow

Speed up a video

Shift >

Slow down a video

Shift <

Moving around



About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.