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Smartphones are great for watching YouTube videos, but the smaller controls can be a bit of a hassle to use. Fortunately, the YouTube app is packed with helpful gestures. If you don’t know them, you are really missing out.

The gestures here are available in the YouTube app for devices iPhone , iPad and Android . They do not work on the YouTube mobile website. The only exception is the double tap to skip gesture, which works on the website.

Double tap to go forward and backward

YouTube puts buttons for Play, Next Video, and Previous Video on the screen, but what about skipping forward or back a bit? That’s where this handy gesture comes in.

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Simply double tap the left or right side of the video with one finger to advance or rewind 10 seconds. You will see arrows to indicate the jump.

Doubel tap the left or right side of the screen.

Do you want to jump forward or backward for more than 10 seconds at a time? May change the skip time of two touches .

Double tap with two fingers to skip chapters

Some long videos on YouTube have “chapters” to divide the video into sections. These chapters are indicated on the scroll bar, but you can also easily skip them with a gesture.

This time, double tap the left or right side of the video with two fingers to skip to the previous or next chapter . You will see arrows and the chapter title on the screen when it works.

Double tap the left or right side with 2 fingers.

Slide your finger to scroll through the video

Google removed the ability to tap anywhere in the search bar to jump to that spot in the video after complaints of accidental taps. Replacement is a lesser known gesture.

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First, with a video playing, touch and hold your finger on the video.

Touch and hold your finger on the video.

Keeping your finger pressed on the screen, slide it from left to right to scroll through the video. A small box will show you a preview of the video.

Slide your finger to scroll through the video.

Lift your finger from the screen to start playing the video from the position you landed on.

Pinch to zoom to fill the entire screen

Many smartphones these days don’t have the same aspect ratio as YouTube videos. You may see black bars on the sides of the video when you view it in full screen. A simple gesture can solve this problem.

All you have to do is pinch two fingers to zoom in on the video.

Pinch to zoom in on the video.

Now it will fill the entire screen, but keep in mind that this cuts off part of the top and bottom of the video.

Full screen video

Swipe the video down to minimize

Let’s say you are watching a video and you want to keep browsing YouTube while it is playing. There is also a useful gesture for that.

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Simply slide, or “pull”, the video down from the top of the screen.

Swipe down on the video.

The video will continue to play in a minimized bar at the bottom of the screen. You can tap or swipe it up to go back to the full video.

Minimized video.

All of these gestures are very simple, but YouTube doesn’t make them very obvious. It is very likely that you do not know all of them. Hopefully your YouTube viewing experience it has improved.

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