How to master...YouTube

Tube tweaking

All set up? Now it's time to start customising YouTube with these extensions and buried settings...

11) Add some new controls

Fancy an extra menu of YouTube controls, including a ‘cinema mode’ that gives your viewing box a Philips Ambilight-like glow?

Download the excellent Chrome extension Magic Actions (£free, chrome.google.com). It's so good you'll forget how limited vanilla YouTube can feel.

12) Get YouTube Lite

If you're browsing on a laptop then the regular YouTube site can be a little too fiddly and cluttered to navigate efficiently.

Go to youtube.com/tv fixes that by changing the interface to a cleaner, simpler version of the site, minus all the distractions.

13) Turn it into a karaoke machine

Apart from cats, YouTube’s second biggest export is probably music videos, which tend to get a lot of action during parties and gatherings amongst those who don’t have a Spotify subscription.

You can do more than just listen to Taylor Swift drop sick beats though – you can sing along in unison with her too. A Chrome extension called Musixmatch turns YouTube into the world’s largest karaoke library, flinging up lyrics over almost any music video automatically (though it still won’t help you keep in time with Scatman John).

14) Slow things down


YouTube is packed with all sorts of useful tutorials from dance moves to lifehacks, and everything in between. Sometimes it's useful to slow everything down to help you nail a particular move or step.

Just hit the settings button in the bottom right of a video, and select the playback speed options. Simple and effective.

15) Multitask like a champ

Sometimes life gets in the way and you've got to do sensible things like work - but that doesn't mean you can't secretly multitask while watching a YouTube video.

If you think you've got the capacity to work while watching The Hydraulic Press channel, then we say go for it. You'll need to download one app and one extension from the Chrome store, both of which are called Floating for YouTube.

Once they're both installed, hit the Floating for YouTube button on the top right of Chrome when you're on the page of any video. This will bring up a small resizable window of the same video, which you can move around. There's a button in the top left of the window which lets you keep it on top of all other windows, letting you type out reports in Word while keeping one corner reserved for YouTube shenanigans.

16) See the future

Head to youtube.com/testtube and you'll be able to preview and use unreleased new features that Google is still tinkering away on.

The features can change at any given time, but include sneak peeks at redesigns, new control options, and 4K 60fps video playlists. Go forth, and become Google's guinea pig.

17) Clear your tracks

If you don’t want anyone to accidentally see that you’ve watched approximately 398 Bob Ross videos (not that there’s anything wrong with that), then you’re in luck - you can quickly and easily wipe all or individual videos from your YouTube viewing history.

Just click 'History' on the left hand menu, and click the X next to any videos you want removed from the list. If you want to wipe the entire slate clean then just hit the ’Clear all watch history button’. You can also choose to pause your history, letting you browse in peace without worrying about anything being saved on the evidence list.