After the huge success of TikTok, many other social media apps and platforms are implementing similar features to let us scroll. YouTube’s Shorts are one of the latest versions of the short video format that is so popular today. But do you know how to watch YouTube shorts without the app?
If you don’t have time for 30 minute video essays, YouTube Shorts can be a breath of fresh air. You can check out some Shorts for a quick dose of entertainment. But can you access these videos without downloading the YouTube app? Naturally! Here’s how to watch YouTube Shorts without the app.
Watch YouTube shorts without the app
YouTube Shorts are videos that are less than 60 seconds in length and are filmed in a 9:16 aspect ratio to fill mobile phone screens. Although they belong to a different category from the usual content of this video platform, Shorts does not have its own dedicated app. They are integrated into the YouTube app and can be accessed from the home page by tapping the “Shorts” button at the bottom of the screen.
But Shorts are not limited to just the mobile app homepage. They can be accessed all over YouTube. You may see Shorts suggestions on your homepage, in your search results, and many other places. You can distinguish these videos from regular YouTube videos thanks to the red “Shorts” logo that appears in the corner of the thumbnail of each Shorts as you browse YouTube.
Luckily, you don’t have to search for Shorts if you feel like watching some quick videos. There are several ways to access them outside of the YouTube app, whether you’re using your PC, mobile, or tablet. All you need to do is visit YouTube from your browser and use one of several options depending on your device.
How to Watch YouTube Shorts on PC
Finding Shorts on PC used to be a challenge, but YouTube has added a feature that allows us to easily access these videos from the home page. Plus, you can always use YouTube’s search engine to find exactly what you’re looking for.
Find the Shorts tab
The easiest way to access your Shorts feed on your PC requires you to switch to the “Shorts” tab in your sidebar. Find YouTube Shorts in the following way.
- Open your browser and go to the YouTube website.
- Locate the “Shorts” button in the left sidebar.
- Short videos play automatically. You can scroll to view the following.
Browse the hashtag
Have you noticed that YouTube Shorts always have “#shorts” in their title or description? According to YouTube, creators should add this hashtag to their content to make their video easier to discover in the sea of other content.
Like most, if not all, Shorts are marked by this hashtag, finding and viewing Shorts on YouTube with your browser is a breeze. All you have to do is type “#shorts” into the search bar and you’ll have plenty of options. Here’s the process.
- Open your browser and go to YouTube.
- Search for “#shorts” using the search bar.
- The first result is the Shorts hashtag that contains all the videos uploaded with this tag. Click on the hashtag to access a random selection of Shorts.
- Select a video to go to the endless Shorts feed.
Tip: You can also navigate directly to this hashtag page by typing “/hashtag/shorts” after the YouTube URL in your browser’s address bar.
Search for shorts on any topic
Browsing the hashtag Shorts is a great option if you’re not looking for something specific and wondering how to watch YouTube Shorts without the app. However, the arbitrariness of the content is not for everyone. Fortunately, you can easily narrow your search to only see shorts that relate to a specific topic. Here’s how to do it.
- Open YouTube in your browser.
- Type “#shorts” and a “+” sign in the search bar.
- YouTube will automatically suggest different topics to you. Choose one of them or type the topic you are interested in.
- Hit Enter and you’ll see Shorts tagged with the topic of your interest.
- Click on one of the Shorts to access the feed.
View shorts from a specific maker
Are you interested in a particular maker’s Shorts rather than a general topic? Fortunately, you don’t have to go to the YouTuber’s channel every time you want to watch their Shorts. You can use the search bar to filter out their content in an instant.
- Open YouTube and type “#shorts” in the search bar.
- Add a ‘+’ sign and write the name of the YouTuber you are interested in.
- Press your Enter key to see Shorts uploaded by this creator.
- Open a video with the “Shorts” sticker on the thumbnail and you’ll be taken to the Shorts feed.
How to Watch YouTube Shorts on Mobile Devices Without the App
Shorts are optimized for mobile screens, so viewing them on these devices will give you the best experience. But you don’t need to download the YouTube app for this – instead, use your mobile browser to access the Shorts feed or search for certain videos.
Use the mobile site
Did you know that you don’t really need the YouTube app to use most of the features on your mobile device? You can easily open YouTube in your mobile browser and navigate the mobile site just like you do in the app. You don’t even need to log in. Let’s see how to access Shorts this way.
- Open your mobile browser and go to the YouTube webpage.
- Tap the “Shorts” button in the bottom toolbar.
- Any video will play automatically. Tap to pause the video or scroll to go to the next one.
Search shorts on mobile
As with PC, you can use the YouTube mobile site search feature to find the shorts you’re looking for. Here’s what to do.
- Launch your mobile browser and go to YouTube.
- Find “#shorts” by typing it in the search bar. You can also add ‘+’ and a topic or creator you are interested in to narrow your search.
- Not all search results may be Shorts. Choose a video with the “Shorts” icon on the thumbnail to open the Shorts feed.
- Scroll away!
How To Watch YouTube Shorts On Tablet Devices Without The App
Prefer to watch videos on your tablet? Don’t worry, you can still access YouTube Shorts on your device even if it doesn’t have the YouTube app. Follow the steps below to find out how to watch YouTube Shorts without the app.
Use your tablet browser
The easiest way to watch Shorts on a tablet without the app is to go to the YouTube mobile site.
- Open your tablet’s browser app and go to YouTube.
- Tap the “Shorts” button at the bottom of the screen.
- You will be immediately teleported to the YouTube Shorts feed.
Search for shorts directly
If you don’t like the random Shorts YouTube has put in your feed, you can also search for other videos.
- Open YouTube in your tablet browser.
- Type “#shorts” into the YouTube search bar.
- Add “+” and any topic or creator you want to search.
- Tap a result with the “Shorts” icon in the corner to open the Shorts feed.
Cut it short
While accessing Shorts may have been a challenge in the infancy of this feature, you can now watch this content on any device without even downloading the YouTube app. All you need to discover how to watch YouTube Shorts without the app is a working browser. You can get lost in the endless feed of short videos. Whether you just want to browse or are looking for your favorite YouTuber’s creations, the instructions above will help you find what you’re interested in.
What do you think of YouTube shorts? Do you think this feature should have its own dedicated app? Let us know in the comments below.