While browsing YouTube, you might come across some videos that are inappropriate for some users and you can view them by signing into YouTube to confirm your age. Most of the time people are too lazy to sign in or some are too conscious about their browsing history that Google tracks.
There is a simple hack by which you can bypass this restriction. First let’s have a closer look at the structure of the URL for a single video. The URL looks something like this:
where XXXXXXXXXXX the video ID and is a 11 character string consisting of alpha-numeric characters and two symbols ( “-” and “_” ). YouTube says that the format is not fixed and it might change in future. Anyways, this is of less concern for this topic.
Lets get to the point. There is an alternative YouTube link by which we can watch videos. The format of the URL is:
again, XXXXXXXXXXX is the video ID. You will notice that by this link the video opens in a full screen player and there is no restriction for age verification. So, whenever you will come across a protected video just copy the video ID and open the link in the new format and you can enjoy your video.
Till now, what I have discussed is nothing new and already out there in the web. Suppose you are a frequent viewer of such videos ( Don’t judge me. I am not 😀 ). So, every time you have to copy the video ID and open the link in new format. This can be very painful.
I will show you a short cut to do this. Just drag the following button to your bookmarks bar.
window.location.href = "/v/" + window.location.href.split("=");
Note: This trick will not work for videos that are private or has a regional filter.
Update: This trick no longer works as YouTube has removed this feature in recent versions Use /embed/ instead. So the final url looks like
Hope you liked this. Keep YouTubing 🙂