How to Link to a Specific Part in a YouTube Video

Jump to a specific place in a YouTube video with a time stamp

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Screen capture

Once you have uploaded a video to YouTube, it's sometimes super handy to create a link to a specific point in the video. Most people don't realize this is even possible!

Luckily, it's very easy. Just add a time stamp to the end of the URL, something you can do manually or automatically. Then, when the link is clicked and the video is opened on YouTube, it will start at the specific time you've decided.

Manually Add a Time Stamp to a YouTube URL

First, open the YouTube video in your browser. Once open, locate the URL for this video in your browser's address bar. This is the URL that shows near the top of the browser window when you're watching a video on YouTube.

The format you use to specify a start time in a YouTube video is t=1m30s. The first part, t=, is a query string that identifies the data after it as a time stamp. The second part, the actual data, is the minute and second mark you're after, so 1m30s is 1 minute and 30 seconds into the video.

When you want to link to a specific place in a YouTube video, instead of asking people to scroll forward to a certain time, you can instead link directly to the desired location in the video by adding this information to the very end of the URL.

For example, in this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qA2s_Vh0uE (the trailer to the classic flick The Goonies), adding &t=0m38s to the end of the URL will cause anyone that clicks it to start 38 seconds into the video.

You can try it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qA2s_Vh0uE&t=0m38s. This time stamp works on desktop and mobile browsers.

Tips: Use whole numbers with no initial zeros in the time stamp – 3m, not 03. Also, be sure to precede the t= with an ampersand (&) but only if the URL already has a question mark (?), which should be the case with all non-shortened YouTube URLs that you copy right out of the browser address bar.

Add a Time Stamp Using YouTube's Share Feature

You can also add a time stamp using YouTube's sharing options.

  1. Go to YouTube in your browser.
  2. Open the video you want to share and play it or move through the timeline until you reach the exact moment you want to use in the time stamp.
  3. Stop the video.
  4. Click the Share button to open the sharing pop-up with a bunch of options.
  5. Under the URL in the Share section, click the small box in front of Start at to place a check mark, automatically adding the time stamp to the shortened URL.
  6. Copy the updated shortened URL with the time stamp appended.
  7. Share this new URL and anyone clicking will see the video start at the time stamp you defined.

For example, in The Goonies video from the previous example, the URL might look like this: https://youtu.be/5qA2s_Vh0uE?t=38s.

Tip: You may have noticed that this time, the t= is preceded by a question mark (?) and not an ampersand (&). As we talked about in the previous section's tip, a URL's first query string should always be a question mark and since this shortened URL doesn't already have a question mark, that's required instead of the ampersand this time.

Are the Video Owner? Crop It Instead!

If you own the video in question – you have the rights and it is hosted on your YouTube channel – you have the option of editing the video inside YouTube and presenting a version that only shows the time frame you want to see.

You can do this via YouTube's built-in editing tools, where you crop the video so it contains only the portion you want to show.