Skip to main content

YouTube TV tips and tricks: How to get the most out Google’s live TV service

YouTube TV has a lot to offer. You can stream live content, watch regional channels, and view your favorite shows on popular sports, entertainment, and news channels. Anyone wanting to go cable-free can enjoy a wide selection of top-tier channels all in one place. To sweeten the deal, you get six accounts per household, and you can enable it almost anywhere: smart TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, and even your gaming consoles.

With so many features on the line, chances are you're missing out on some not-so-well-known tools that YouTube TV offers. To help you get the most out of your subscription, we've outlined some of the best YouTube TV tips and tricks.

If you haven't already, download the YouTube TV app before you begin:

YouTube TV Android iOS




5 minutes

What You Need

  • YouTube TV subscription

  • A device to watch YouTube TV

Record your favorite shows to watch later

Who has the time to watch everything as it airs? If you're someone who can't regularly tune in when your favorite shows run, worry not! You can record any program on YouTube TV and watch it later. Here's how.

Step 1: Open the program of your choice.

Step 2: Look for the Add button below the video. It will look like a plus symbol.

Once you click this button, the program will be saved to your library to watch later.

YouTube TV "Add" button.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Go to the Library tab and you can start watching your recorded program.

Library tab on YouTube TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Skip ads

Don't you hate it when annoying ads pop up in the middle of your favorite show? Fortunately, there's a way to skip those pesky commercials when watching YouTube TV. It's simple.

Step 1: Record the shows or episodes you're interested in watching (see the steps above).

Step 2: Open the recorded program from your library and fast-forward through the ads. You can do this by tapping twice on the right side of the screen.

Note that some movies or shows may have unskippable ads, but this method works for a majority of the recorded programs.

Hide sports score spoilers

If you're watching a sports match a few hours (or days) after it ran live, it's possible you'll see the score on the YouTube TV app or in the notification panel. You can save yourself this heartache by hiding all sports spoilers. Here's how.

Step 1: Go to the search bar.

Step 2: Type the name of the team you want to hide the scores of. You should immediately see an option saying Hide all scores for this team. Select that to avoid spoilers.

Step 3: If you're using a smartphone or just don't see that option, look for a Three-dot menu.

Step 4: Select the Hide all scores for this team option.

This will hide any score spoilers for this team. You can repeat this step for all the teams you're interested in watching so you never ruin a game by accidentally seeing the winner in your notifications.

Hide sports scores option on YouTube TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

View only kid-friendly content

Chilling at home with your family and need something kid-friendly? YouTube TV has you covered. Whether you're snuggling in for a family movie night or leaving kids alone at home with the TV to themselves, there's a way to ensure kids can only view age-appropriate content. Here's how.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Open the Filter tab.

Filter setting on YouTube TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Look for a toggle option that says Allow TV-Y, TV-G, G, and PG only. Toggle it on (it will turn blue) to make sure kids can only see family-friendly content.

Kid-friendly option on YouTube TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Enable dark mode

If you're a total Dark Mode fan, you can enjoy YouTube TV in a classic dark mode.

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Select the Dark theme option.

It's as simple as that! You can change back the settings anytime by going to Settings > Light theme or System theme.

Dark theme on YouTube TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hide your guilty pleasures

Love watching a corny drama when no one is home? We get it. There's a way to keep your guilty pleasures hidden. Just delete the search and watch history!

Step 1: Go to Settings.

Step 2: Open the Privacy tab.

Privacy setting on YouTube TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: You'll see a number of options to pause or delete your search and watch history. Choose whichever seems best, and the content you just searched for and watched will be removed from your homepage.

The best part? It will stop affecting your recommendations, too. So if you gave in to a kiddie movie and don't ever want to get a cartoon recommendation again, this option can help.

Delete search and watch history on YouTube TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Watch in 4K

If you're used to watching HD or 4K content, anything less can seem dull. But who says you have to compromise? YouTube TV is one of the only livestreaming services in the US to show some live content in 4K. Most of the time, you'll leave this setting on Auto, but if you want to change the streaming quality, here's how.

Step 1: Open any show to watch.

Step 2: Select the Video quality option at the bottom of the video and choose the setting of your choice.

Note that you can only watch content in 4K if you buy the 4K Plus add-on plan.

YouTube TV video quality settings.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Hide shows you don't like

If your YouTube TV recommendations page doesn't offer anything interesting, you can change it. You can hide shows you don't like so there's more space for shows you do enjoy.

Step 1: Open the YouTube TV app.

Step 2: Go to a show you don't want to see in your recommendations again.

Step 3: Click on the Three-dot menu.

Three-dot menu on YouTube TV.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: Select the Don't show me this option.

This will hide the show from your recommendations. You can do this for every show you're not interested in, and the recommendations should improve.

Editors' Recommendations

Sakshi Udavant
Sakshi Udavant is a freelance journalist and marketing writer covering technology, business, wellbeing and lifestyle. She…
YouTube TV is still growing on the back of NFL Sunday Ticket
YouTube TV showing NFL games and bowling in multiview.

Not being able to pick your own games means YouTube TV's multiview could get you two NFL games (one twice) ... and bowling. Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

One of our favorite (and more annoying) games to play is “Which streaming service is the biggest?” And for the most part, we tend to have pretty strong answers. YouTube TV is the biggest, probably. It’s followed by Hulu With Live TV, then Sling TV, and then FuboTV. And DirecTV Stream is way at the back of the pack. Again, probably.

Read more
YouTube rolling out some three-dozen new features this fall
The Digital Trends YouTube channel as seen on an iPhone and on a TV in the background.

The tweaks keep coming to the world's largest video provide. Today YouTube is taking the wraps off some three-dozen (more or less) new features. It's a cross-platform announcement, with the goods hitting phones and tablets, as well as televisions and wherever else you do your YouTube viewing.

Here's what you have to look forward to:

Read more
Multiview almost fixes one of the biggest problems with YouTube TV
Three college football games (and one ad) seen on a large TV on YouTube TV.

Flipping through the myriad college football games on a recent weekend, I was struck by a revelation: Multiview on YouTube TV — even in its imperfect, inflexible form — nearly fixes one of my biggest gripes about the leading live streaming platform.

The "problem" really isn't a problem insofar as anything is actually broken. It's just the way YouTube TV works, and it's almost certainly something done by design. If you're a habitual channel-flipper, you already know full well how streaming services like YouTube TV, Hulu With Live TV, and other options aren't exactly known for making it quick to fly through the channels, one after another.

Read more