Fix YouTube's broken Watched system

Martin Brinkmann
May 12, 2015
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

The video portal YouTube keeps track of watched videos automatically and indicates those with a watched flag so that they are easier to differentiate.

The core issue that many users have with it is that the watched flag is not shown at all times and not indefinitely on certain pages.

While all watched videos show up fine when you open your Watch History on the site -- you need to be signed in for that feature -- it won't highlight all watched videos when you browse the site or use its search functionality.

Somehow, the watched flag is removed on YouTube after a while on many frontend pages

The Google Chrome extension Better YouTube Watch History resolves that, at least when you are using the Chrome browser.

It makes sure that all watched videos are highlighted on YouTube automatically regardless of where they are shown on the site. Once you watch a video on the site, it is marked as watched and that flag won't be removed anymore.

This works indefinitely like it should be and will even cover previously watched videos as well.

YouTube watched flag

The extension works in the background and does not add an icon to Chrome's interface. The watched flag is shown on all watched videos for as long as the extension is enabled.

When you disable or uninstall it, all flags are removed again and things go back to how they are by default on YouTube.

youtube broken watched flag

Better YouTube Watch History works for all YouTube users and even guests who are not signed in to an account. It even works if you have disabled the watch history on the site or cleared it previously (which you can do on the feed history page linked above).

The author of the extension notes that it relies on the user's browsing history for its functionality. If you clear the history regularly, it is of little use to you.

Closing Words

If you want YouTube to highlight all watched videos on the site in all areas of it, then you need to use extensions for that as YouTube's watched system is broken.

Better YouTube Watch History for Google Chrome ensures that the badge is shown on all videos that you have watched on the video hosting site provided that you keep it enabled and don't clear your browsing history regularly.

Now You: Know of another extension or script that does that? Feel free to share it in the comments below.

software image
Author Rating
4 based on 5 votes
Software Name
Better YouTube Watch History
Landing Page

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  1. Tasha said on September 18, 2019 at 12:57 am

    Will this add on work on an Android tablet

  2. Josh said on July 25, 2015 at 3:55 am

    Is there something like this for Firefox? I really want something that does this but I have always used Firefox and have it set up just the way I like and am not willing to switch.

    1. Simon said on November 1, 2015 at 5:53 pm
      1. Becky Jean said on August 1, 2016 at 6:08 pm

        So far, so good. Seems to be working. Fingers crossed. Thanks bunches :). Now to find out why recent vid notifications don’t show up in my subs list…aghh. One problem at a time.

  3. dudeedud4 said on May 13, 2015 at 2:10 am

    Yep, Youtube Center does that and so much more.

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