What to Watch on YouTube

You don't need an account to watch YouTube videos, but it helps. With a YouTube account, you can save videos to watch later, set up your YouTube homepage with your favorite YouTube channels, and receive customized recommendations for YouTube videos to watch.

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Sign up for a YouTube Account

To sign up for a free YouTube account:

  1. Open YouTube using your favorite browser on your computer
  2. Click on Sign Up at the top of the screen.
  3. Enter your information as requested.

From there, you customize your YouTube account.

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What to Watch From the Opening Screen

When you log in to YouTube, you are immediately presented with a Recommended section of videos that the site selected for you because you viewed similar videos in the past. Beneath that section are selections of movie trailers, recently uploaded videos and popular channels in categories that include Entertainment, Society, Lifestyle, Sports, and others that vary by your history on the site. 

You are also presented with a Watch It Again section of videos you viewed in the past, and Popular Music Videos section. All of this is on the opening screen of YouTube. However, there’s more to watch if you know where to look.​

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Browse YouTube Channels

Click the menu bars in the upper left corner of the YouTube screen to open a side navigation panel. Scroll down to Browse Channels and click it. Across the top of the screen that opens is a series of icons that represent different categories of videos you can watch. These icons represent:

  • Popular on YouTube
  • Music
  • Sports
  • Gaming
  • YouTube Movies
  • TV Shows
  • News
  • Live
  • YouTube Spotlight
  • Virtual Reality

Click on any one of these tabs to open a page with videos in that category that you can watch.

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Watch YouTube Live

Accessible through the Live tab of the Browse Channels screen, YouTube offers live streaming news, shows, concerts, sports and more. You can see what's featured, what's currently playing live and what's upcoming. There's even a handy button that lets you add a reminder about upcoming live streams you don't want miss.

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Watch Movies on YouTube

YouTube offers a large selection of current and vintage movies that are available for rent or sale. Click YouTube Movies in the left navigation panel or the Movie tab in the Browse Channels screen to open the movie selection screen. If you don't see the movie you want, use the search field at the top of the screen to search for it.

Click on any movie's thumbnail to see an extended preview of the movie.

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Save YouTube Videos to Watch Later

Not every video can be saved to watch later, but many can. By adding videos to your Watch Later playlist, you can access them when you have more time to watch.

  1. Exit full screen if you are watching in full-screen mode.
  2. Stop the video.
  3. Scroll down to the row of icons immediately beneath the video
  4. Click the Add to icon, which has a plus sign on it.
  5. Click the box next to Watch Later to save the video to the Watch Later playlist. If you don't see the Watch Later option, the video cannot be saved.

When you are ready to watch the videos you saved, go to the navigation panel at the left of the screen (or click the menu bars to open it) and click Watch later. The screen that opens displays all your saved videos. Just click the one you want to watch.

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Watch YouTube on the Big Screen

YouTube Leanback is an interface designed to make it comfortable to watch YouTube on the big screen. The videos all play automatically in full-screen HD, so you can lean back and watch on your TV screen if you have an appropriate device hooked up. Use one of the following devices for HD playback on your big screen:

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Watch YouTube on Your Mobile Devices

With a smartphone or tablet, you can watch YouTube wherever you have an internet connection. You can download the YouTube app or access the YouTube mobile site through your device's web browser. Watching YouTube videos on your phone or tablet is most enjoyable with a high-resolution screen and a Wi-Fi connection

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