How to Use YouTube’s Precise Seeking Feature to Find a Specific Moment in a Video

Finding specific moments in any video has never been easier. Learn how to use YouTube’s precise seeking on mobile and desktop.

Have you tried finding a favorite scene in a video using YouTube’s progress bar? If so, you probably know how hard it can be scrubbing that progress bar to find a particular moment.

But, once you discover precise seeking, that problem becomes something of the past. In this article, we’ll introduce you to YouTube’s precise seeking feature and how you can use it to your advantage.

What Is YouTube’s Precise Seeking?

Precise seeking is a feature on YouTube that enables you to skip to specific moments in a video. The feature’s name gives it all away from the get-go. Instead of scrubbing the video progress bar, which is difficult if you want to skip to a specific moment with high precision, precise seeking provides a preview of all the moments in the video in an easy-to-navigate strip of thumbnails.

That strip allows you to move from one frame to the next, second by second so that you can find that favorite moment easily. And when you find that moment, use YouTube’s pinch to zoom feature if you want a closer look.

How to Use Precise Seeking on YouTube (Mobile)

Precise seeking is available on both Android and iOS. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Play any YouTube video on your mobile device.
  2. Tap the screen to reveal video controls, including the progress bar.
  3. Touch the scrubber (red button) on the progress bar and slide up (YouTube will pause the video once you start sliding up the scrubber). This will reveal a strip of thumbnails highlighting all the moments in the video.
  4. Use the vertical white line in the strip as a guide and swipe right or left to find the moment of interest.
  5. Finally, click anywhere in the player (except that Cancel (X) button) to resume your video from that moment.
  6. If you want to cancel a seek, tap the Cancel button in the top right. The video will resume playing where it exactly was before you started.

While you can slide up from any point in the progress bar to reveal the thumbnails, be careful not to tap on a different time on the video accidentally. That will move your progress bar to a new location, which means the video will resume from the new location if you cancel precise seeking.

How to Use Precise Seeking on YouTube (Desktop)

You may not be on your mobile all the time, so here’s how you can use precise seeking on YouTube’s desktop site:

  1. Go to YouTube and play a video, then move your cursor in the video player to reveal the video control options. You may have to click on the player to see the controls.
  2. Move your cursor to the progress bar where the scrubber (red dot) is.
  3. Pull the scrubber up to reveal a strip of thumbnails. You can pull up the scrubber by selecting it and holding the left-click button on your touchpad down, then using a second finger to swipe up. If you’re using a mouse, left-click the scrubber to select and then move your mouse forward.
  4. Swipe right or left to seek using the vertical white line at the center of the strip as your guide.
  5. Once you find that moment of interest, click anywhere in the video player to resume the video from that point.
  6. If you want to cancel precise seeking and resume the video from where you left off, click the Cancel (X) button on the right.

You’ll notice from the steps that the feature works similarly to mobile and without limitations. It doesn’t matter whether you have YouTube Premium or you’re browsing YouTube anonymously.

Find Specific Moments in YouTube Videos With Ease

YouTube has chapters if you’re interested in skipping to specific sections in a video. However, chapters can only take you so far. If you want to find a particular moment in a YouTube video, chapters don’t help, and neither does the scrubber. For the best experience, you should use YouTube’s precise seeking.

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