How To Skip To The Good Stuff In A Long YouTube Tutorial

Hi, I’m Nick, welcome to my YouTube tutorial channel. Here’s 30 seconds of excruciating introduction, two minutes showing you how to open an app, five minutes explaining an irrelevant task, and then five seconds of the actual tip you googled. Actually, we’ve got three tips: three ways to find the “real” part of a how-to video.

Check the comments

This is obvious, but it also runs counter to the first rule of the internet: Never read the comments. The comments on tutorial videos, however, are unusually helpful; you’ll find someone else who was equally frustrated with this video, and who heroically summed up the point in one line.

If such a comment isn’t among the top three comments, stop reading and try the next step:

Skim the transcript

Under the video, click the three dots, to the right of the thumbs-up/thumbs-down buttons. Select “Open transcript” from the drop-down menu. Skim through it, or Ctrl-F for your keywords. Most of these transcripts are computer-generated, so they might be inaccurate. But you can still find the right section, click the line in the transcript, and you’ll go right to that point in the video.

Thanks to redditor FlyingKanga for that one.

Watch at double speed

If you’re stuck watching the whole video, at least speed up the narrator. It might not actually shorten your search time, but it’ll feel less like you’re talking to the President of the Slow Talkers of Australia.

Hover over the video. Right under the progress bar, click the gear icon. Select “Speed” from the drop-up menu. Select “2.” Now you are a time lord.


  • It always pays to check the first few comments for either a helpful time-link to the useful part of the video or a comment that the claimed subject of the video is incorrect and you’re wasting your time looking at any part of it (with 5000 likes).

  • I’m actually getting tied of Googling for something and the top results are 10 minute tutorial videos. No, I don’t want to watch a 10 minute video, I want written instructions that I can read quickly, and keep easily referring back to if I need to. I don’t understand the fascination with making tutorial videos about these kinds of things. Gimme written instructions any day.

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