YouTube is one of the most important information sources of our daily life, but most of us have spent much time in the start, end and other meaningless parts of the video shared by people. Do we have to watch the video throughout to get the limited information that we really need? Absolutely not! In this tutorial, you will learn how to share a YouTube video at a specific start time or even end time on PC/mobile browser and app, and open links with the YouTube app. Share this page to your friends so that you’ll view YouTube videos shared by them in a more efficient way.
Step 1. Play a YouTube video on a mobile or PC browser.
Step 2. Pause the video at the time you want people to view.
Step 3. Click Share from the menu.
Step 4. On the pop-up window, check the “Start at” box under the link.
Step 5. Click any of the icons above the link to share the video via social platforms or email.
This method doesn’t work on a mobile browser since there is no such option to choose the start time.
Another easy method for PC browser is to right click on the video and choose “Copy video URL at current time”.
Step 1. Play the video on YouTube with a PC browser.
Step 2. Pause the video and right-click over the play window with the mouse.
Step 3. Choose “Copy video URL at current time”.
Step 4. Paste and share the link to people.
Please note that this only works at youtube.com, not including embedded videos at third-party websites, and may not work on the Firefox browser. This method doesn’t work on a mobile browser either. Please keep reading to know the workaround for the mobile browser.
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In Method 1, when we tick the Start at box, a string of punctuation marks, numbers and characters are added to the URL, like this:
“?t=2m9s” is added as the format to specify the start time: 02:09. “t” for time, “m” for minutes and “s” for seconds. Therefore, we can also copy the link and share it out manually, so other people can start the video from the exact moment.
The link above is automatically shortened for share. Actually, when we play a YouTube video with a browser, the link in the address bar is the full URL. Like this:
In order to link to a specific time of YouTube video, we can also add “&t=2m9s” to the full URL. The only difference from the shortened URL is replacing “?” with “&”.
Finally, copy the modified link and share it with people. Both of the above two formats work on mobile and PC browsers.
We have learned how to add a timestamp to YouTube video with a browser. However, the mobile app of YouTube neither has the “Start at” option when sharing, nor an address bar to capture link from. How can we share a YouTube video at a specific time from the YouTube app? It is a little troublesome but still possible.
Step 1. Open the YouTube app, and play the video you want to share.
Step 2. Pause the video at the time you want people to start viewing. Keep the timestamp in mind.
Step 3. Tap the Share button under the video title.
Step 4. Choose the Copy link.
Step 5. Manually open the app that you want to share the video on.
Step 6. Paste the URL in the input box, and then add a timestamp to the link as described in Method 3, Part 1.
Step 7. Confirm to share the YouTube video out.
Note: Please find how to open the shared URL link with the YouTube app instead of browser in Part 4.
When tap Share button, there are many options other than Copy link, such as Message, WhatsApp, Google +. Only some of the apps, like Message, allow us to edit URL before sharing the link. That’s why we choose the Copy link to demonstrate this method. You may also try other options.
All we talked above are about a specific start time. We are going to include the end time in this part as well. To share the YouTube video at a specific start and end time, we still need to add codes to the share link. For example, if we want the video to start at 02:09 and end at 03:59, then the link should be:
Comparing with the original full link in Part 1, you should find that we replaced /watch?v= with /embed/, and added ?start=xxx&end=xxx to the end. The numbers are seconds converted from timestamp:
02:09 -> (2*60) + 9 = 129
03:59 -> (3*60) + 59 = 239
Share the link to your friends, and they will view the video within the time range.
The link with timestamp also works on the YouTube app, but you have to open the URL with the app directly. Normally, smartphones open a link with browser by default, and now we need to make some changes to the setting. Following settings fit for Android mobile phone.
Step 1. Go to Settings > Applications> Default applications > Set as default (varies with devices).
Step 2. Scroll down to choose YouTube.
Step 3. Tap Go to supported URLs.
Step 4. Select “Via this app”. On “Supported web addresses”, you can see the supported web addresses.
This should work when you tap to open a YouTube URL in apps without a build-in browser function. For example, in Facebook Messenger, after sending a YouTube link, it generates a preview of the link, which will bring you to the YouTube app.