From dancing cats and how to fix a toilet to full-length movies and live-streamed content, YouTube has something for everyone, regardless of age, interests or preferred device — from phones, tablets and laptops to Alexa- or Google-powered smart displays, smart TVs and video game consoles.
Google's online video platform even works on virtual reality headsets. The 16-year-old service is the second most visited website in the world, behind Google's own search engine. It has more than 2 billion monthly users.
And the totally free portion of YouTube's content keeps growing: More than 500 hours of videos are uploaded to the site every minute.
Three out of 4 U.S. adults use YouTube, according to a Pew Research Center study. But you may not know that YouTube has tips, tricks, secrets and shortcuts that you can adopt immediately:
1. Change playback speed
You’re learning how to make a soufflé, but the baker is going too fast. Or you’re listening to a classic episode of The Shadow radio plays and have only 20 minutes instead of half an hour. YouTube lets you speed up or slow down the playback of a video.
While watching a video on desktop, click the Settings gear at the lower right of the video and then choose the desired playback speed, anywhere from .25x speed to 2x speed. On a mobile device, tap the More icon (three little dots) at the top right of the screen, and select playback speed.
2. Double tap to seek on mobile
If you're using a phone or tablet, you can double tap to the left or right of a video while it is playing to fast forward or rewind 10 seconds. To quickly enter and exit full-screen mode on a mobile device, swipe up to enter or down to exit.
3. Enable the dark theme
Dark theme turns your background dark. It was developed to cut down on glare and give you the true colors of your videos. It's available on smartphone, tablet and desktop versions.
Check out AARP's
AARP has four YouTube channels to help you find videos in your areas of interest:
• AARP Answers with tips to help you on topics from health to folding a fitted sheet
• AARP Live, a monthly live call-in show that airs every third Thursday at 10 p.m. ET here and on RFD-TV; the episodes are also available on demand.
• AARP Livestreams for live events including virtual concerts and exercise classes that also are archived for on-demand viewing
You can turn this on in the app's settings by clicking or tapping the account icon, which may have your photo. Then, on mobile, it's Settings | General | Appearance | Dark theme. On desktop, click your account icon followed by Appearance | Dark theme.