How to View Your Hours Watched on YouTube
YouTube, the most popular video-sharing platform, gets hundreds of hours of video uploaded every minute. With that amount of stuff to watch, you’re bound to find hours upon hours of videos on topics you’re passionate about.
Considering YouTube isn’t the only thing you have going in your life, it’s good to be aware of how much time you spend perusing content. Thanks to the “Time watched” feature, you can see how much time you spend exploring visual entertainment on the app.
While available on the YouTube app for Android and iOS smartphones, this feature cannot be accessed on the app’s tablet version. Time Watched also can’t be found on the platform’s web version. And, at this point, it’s not sure if it will ever get enabled.
Before you proceed, please ensure you have the latest update of the YouTube app on your smartphone, whether you’re using an iOS or Android app.
Check the Time
To see how much time you’ve spent on YouTube videos, follow these three steps:
- Open the “YouTube” app on your smartphone.
- Tap the “Account” icon (your profile image) in the upper right.
- Select “Time watched.”
Following the steps above, you can see your watch time for today, yesterday, and the past seven days. Another helpful statistic is your daily average, which can indicate whether you’ve been spending too much time watching YouTube each day.
If you’re using YouTube Music or YouTube TV, these times won’t be factored into the “Time Watched” feature. Besides this limitation, the watch times are calculated from all other YouTube products you’ve used to access the video content, including your giant TV and those tablets.
Things to Note
You must be signed in to your account to allow YouTube to calculate your watch time, then everything you watch is kept in your Watch History, the central database for the Time Watched feature. If you delete a video from your watch history, it won’t count in your watch time.
Also, any views recorded in Chrome’s Incognito mode or a similar feature in other browsers won’t count either. That traffic doesn’t register to your watch history because of the privacy settings that such features provide.
One thing to consider when using the “time Watched” feature is that YouTube’s Autoplay option automatically plays video after video. If you have it turned on and leave YouTube playing while you’re not watching anything, the views still count in your total watch time.
Lastly, Google points out a known issue within the “Time Watched” feature. It affects the time watched on your computer, which isn’t reported correctly.
Besides the statistics mentioned above, this feature also gets a couple of other tools that can help you optimize your watch time.
Remind Me to Take a Break
The “Take a Break” option allows you to set a reminder that will appear while watching videos. When the time comes, it will automatically pause the video for you.
Of course, it won’t force you to stop watching YouTube since that wouldn’t be in the platform’s best interest. Because the reminder appears as a notification, it goes away when you dismiss it or resume playing the video.
This feature uses a timer that counts the time only when watching YouTube on your smartphone. If you pause or close a video, it also freezes the timer. In turn, the timer resets each time you close the YouTube app, sign out, switch devices, or pause the video for more than 30 minutes. The timer doesn’t work for offline videos or casting from your smartphone to another device.
Remind Me When It’s Bedtime
The “Bedtime Reminder” feature lets you select the exact times you want to be reminded to stop watching videos and go to bed. Once you toggle the setting to the “on” position, you’ll be prompted to select a start and end time for the reminder. Once it notifies you, you can snooze the reminder (for 10 minutes) or dismiss it entirely.
You can also set the reminder to wait until the video you’re watching has ended before letting you know it’s bedtime. You must tick the box on “Wait until I finish…” for it to go into effect.
Autoplay Next Video On/Off
When you finish a video, another plays automatically. When choosing which video to play next, YouTube bases these recommendations on your watch history.
If connected to a mobile network, after 30 minutes of inactivity, Autoplay will stop. For Wi-Fi connections, the limit is four hours. These limitations prevent you from either spending too much of your mobile internet or having your computer work for hours on end.
Keep Your Watch Time in Check
Having so much content to view on YouTube, the Time Watched feature is a pretty good addition. It helps you track how much time you spend on videos each day. If you accidentally get carried away with cooking tips or watching how the internal combustion engine works, you can have the app remind you that it’s time to hit that stop button.
Do you find this feature helpful? Were you aware of how much time you spend on YouTube each day?
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