How to sort YouTube subscriptions - gHacks Tech News

How to sort YouTube subscriptions

I have started to use YouTube actively as a user only recently. Before that, I was using the site anonymously.

This changed when I started to follow certain video creators actively on the video hosting website, as subscribing to their channels made everything a lot more comfortable.

My subscription list has grown over time, but it is still in a manageable size that fits on a single page without scrolling.

I did however notice that YouTube is somehow rearranging the order of subscriptions regularly, and the core reason for that is that it uses a "most relevant" sort order for those by default.

What that means? The list is displayed based on how you use the site. I'm not entirely sure how relevancy is calculated as I see some producers that I watch regularly at the very bottom of the page, while others, that I have not watched for some time, are near the top.

Anyway, the sort order is less than ideal in my opinion for a variety of reasons. The core reason is that I cannot really find a channel fast, as the order looks almost random to me.

Changing the sort order of subscriptions on YouTube

youtube subscriptions sort
sort modes available

It is actually pretty simply to change the YouTube subscriptions sort order. All you have to do is click on the tiny down arrow next to Subscriptions in the sidebar to select one of the two other sort options there.

  • New Activity sorts subscriptions on YouTube by the number of new publications. The channel with the most new videos -- since your last visit or access -- is displayed at the top, followed by the channel with the second-most new videos and so on.
  • A-Z is a simple alphabetical sort order. It is the only order that displays subscriptions at the same place in the list at all times.

There is another option that you have to sort subscriptions on YouTube. You can create so-called collections as well. A collection is like a group that you put subscriptions into. You can have one for music, one for games and another for fighting videos for example.

These groups are displayed as folders on top of all subscriptions that have not been sorted into collections.

The main idea here is to bundle video producers and channels by theme together.  This has no effect on the What to Watch page on YouTube or other pages.

What changes is that you can click on a collection, e.g. games, to only display the uploads or all activity of subscriptions that you have added to it.

What is not so good is that they all use the same generic icon in the subscriptions list, and that there is no way to change that to make them stand out more.

youtube subscriptions

When you open a collection, you see the channels included in it at the very top. Here you also find the manage collection link that you can use to add or remove subscriptions from it.

Create Collections

Creating collections is really easy. Just click on the Manage subscriptions link underneath your subscriptions on YouTube.

Here you find a "Create new collection" button at the top. If you have created collections before, they are listed here as well with options to edit them.

To create a new collection, click on the button first.

You are then taken to an overlay screen where you need to name it, and add channels to it. What may be interesting to some is that you can add subscriptions to multiple channels.

Closing Words

I prefer the A-Z sort order for subscriptions on YouTube, as it helps me find what I'm looking for as fast as possible. Collections are a great addition to YouTube, even though they may be more helpful if you are subscribed to more than ten or so content producers.


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  1. DUSTY said on February 17, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Thank You! such a simple setting but i never knew it existed. I was getting annoyed because it seemed every other day the order would be different

  2. Lee said on June 5, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Does the default order comes in the order of subscription?

  3. Lel said on May 12, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    The way to sort and manage subscriptions on Youtube sucks. They were subscriptions group by topics, in the past, now it’s just awfully messy. And I’m even forced to use a script to see which video I’ve already watched. I’m looking for a web service to sort them. Maybe someone will make such a service, with the watching time, and the video that hasn’t been watched in the subscriptions.

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