How to Perform an Advanced Search in YouTube

Searching for a specific video on YouTube can be, and usually is, a piece of cake. However, if the video was uploaded a long time ago or doesn’t have a lot of views, finding it might be a challenge. Thankfully, you can use YouTube’s advanced search options to get better search results and find obscure videos much faster.

In this article, we’ll go through the process of performing an advanced search on YouTube. We’ll also show you how to improve your search results on the YouTube mobile app.

How to Use Filters for a YouTube Search

Searching for a video on YouTube typically takes only a few seconds. All you need to do is type in the name of the video, a keyword, or the person who uploaded it, hit “Enter,” and it will probably pop up at the top of the search results page. You can even use the new microphone feature to find a video. If your video isn’t there, you have the option to scroll down until YouTube shows you the desired result.

However, this basic YouTube search might not be helpful at all. Whether you’re looking for a specific video or you only have a general idea of what you’re interested in, finding content on YouTube isn’t always easy.

This is where YouTube’s advanced search options come in. The best way to perform an advanced search on YouTube is with search filters. However, this feature is hidden, and it only appears after you search for something.

Here is how you can find YouTube search filters:

  1. Open your favorite browser and go to YouTube.
  2. Navigate to the search bar at the top of the page.
  3. Type in the name of the video or anything related to the video. For example, “jazz music.”
  4. Click on the magnifying glass icon on the right side of the bar, or just press “Enter” on your keyboard.
  5. Go to the “Filters” tab in the top-left corner.

You’ll see that the filters are divided into five groups: “Upload Date,” “Type,” “Duration,” “Features,” “and Sort by.” Let’s see how these filters can help you narrow down your search.

Upload Date

The “Upload Date” filter can be very useful if you know exactly when the video in question was uploaded. It lets you choose between five different time ranges: “Last hour,” “Today,” “This week,” “This month,” and “This year.” If you want to look at videos posted during one of these time ranges, simply click on the tab under the “Upload Date” filter.

This feature is helpful if you’re searching for breaking news or a video that was just released. Unfortunately, if the video you’re looking for was uploaded more than one year ago, this filter can’t help you.


The “Type” filter isn’t as useful as other filters, as it only lets you choose between videos, channels, playlists, and movies. In other words, if you’re searching for a specific video, this filter can’t help you at all.


If you know the approximate duration of the video, this filter can help narrow down your search. It offers three sub-filters: “Under 4 minutes,” “4-20 minutes,” “Over 20 minutes.”


The “Features” filter allows you to customize your search results to a great extent. For example, it lets you choose between “Live,” “4K,” “HD,” “Subtitles/CC,” and similar video features. As detailed as these sub-filters may be, they’re only useful if you know exactly for which video you’re looking.

Sort By

Finally, the “Sort By” filter is perhaps the most helpful one. You can sort a video by “Relevance,” “Upload Date,” “View Count,” and “Rating.” Selecting one of these filters will surely help you locate your video much faster. YouTube performs a video search by relevance by default, but you can change this.

Note that you can select one category from each filter at the same time. For example, you can choose “This year” from the “Upload Date” group, “4-20 minutes” from the “Duration” filter, “HD” from the “Features” category, and so on. This is highly recommended, as it can make a significant change in your search results. If you want to turn off one of the sub-filers, simply click on the “X” that appears next to the chosen sub-filter.

Keep in mind that some filter combinations don’t work. For example, if you choose the “Channel” sub-filter in the “Type” group, you won’t be able to sort by “Upload Date.”

If you are looking for a video that you’ve already watched on YouTube, visit the “History” tab before performing an advanced search. It’s located on the left pane, under the “Library” tab. You even have the option to search your watch history and choose a history type (“Watch history” or “Community”).

Once you find the video you were looking for, make sure to save it for easier access in the future. You can do this by opening your video and clicking on the “+ SAVE” button in the bottom-right corner of the video. The next time you want to watch the video, simply head to the “Watch Later” tab on the left pane.

How to Get Better Search Results on YouTube

If the search filters weren’t of much use to you, there are other things you can do to make your search results more accurate. This is done through advanced search operators. Here are some options you can try.


If you want YouTube to search for the exact words you typed in the search field, put the title or keywords in quotation marks. For example, “Top 5 Best Laptops for Students.”


Using commas in your search allows you to integrate YouTube’s filters without actually enabling them. For example, you can type in “How to make sushi, this year, 4-20 minutes, HD,” and so on. While this can improve your search results, note that sometimes, this advanced search option may not work. If no video matches your description, YouTube will offer the next best thing.


The plus operator (“+”) allows you to add a keyword, like “Best tourist attractions + New York.” The minus operator is actually the hyphen symbol (“-“), which allows you to exclude certain words. For instance, instead of typing “Best headphones for gaming,” you can just search for “Best headphones-gaming.” You can choose either of these operators, as you’ll have almost identical search results.

The Pipe Symbol

The pipe operator (“|”) is a vertical line that should be placed between two keywords, like in the example “sushi |easy recipes.”


Since YouTube videos frequently include hashtags, you can also use them to find your video. For example, just type in “#glutenfreerecipes” in the search field.

How to Perform an Advanced Search on the YouTube Mobile App

If you have the YouTube app on your phone, you also have the option to use the advanced search filters. Follow the steps below to find out how it’s done:

  1. Launch the YouTube app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap on the magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner of your screen.
  3. Enter the name of the video or keywords.
  4. Go to the three dots in the upper-right corner.
  5. Select “Search Filters” from the pop-up menu.
  6. Choose one or more filters from the “Sort by,” “Type,” “Upload date,” “Duration,” and “Features” sections.

That’s about it. The only difference between the web app and mobile app is that you can choose the “Any” field for “Duration,” “Anytime” for “Upload Date,” and “All” for “Type.”

Search for YouTube Videos Like a Pro

YouTube offers plenty of ways to help you find video content. Whether you scroll down the search results page, use search filers, or type in advanced search operators, you’ll be able to find your video in no time. Just remember to save it to your “Watch Later” folder so you won’t waste time looking for it the next time you want to watch it.

Have you ever performed an advanced search on YouTube before? Which method did you choose? Let us know in the comments section below.

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