How to watch YouTube videos on your desktop (without browser) - gHacks Tech News

How to watch YouTube videos on your desktop (without browser)

You have plenty of options when it comes to watching videos hosted on YouTube: you can use a web browser, an application on mobile devices, or watch the videos on your Television.

Most of these options are comfortable and easy to use. One drawback to watching YouTube in the official application or in a web browser is that you get a lot of noise on the site. If you connect using a browser, you get user comments, advertisement, suggestions, and other elements that you may not be interested in.

While you can block those using browser extensions for the most part, there is also privacy that you need to take into consideration. Cookies are written and read when you watch YouTube videos in your browser regardless of whether you are signed in to an account or not.

Watch YouTube on the desktop

watch youtube desktop

One of the programs that you may use to watch YouTube videos on your desktop is SMPlayer. The media player is available for Windows and Linux, and includes a YouTube component that you may use to watch videos hosted on YouTube using it.

To get started, just press F11 to open the YouTube browser or select View > YouTube Browser to get started.

The browser opens in a new window. It displays video recommendations by default based on language and region preferences which you may change with a click on the preferences button.

You may want to select View > Settings on first start to adjust the settings. You may want to change the default video playback quality from 320p to another quality level. SMPlayer supports up to 1080p videos at the time of writing.

youtube browser

Video results are displayed with a thumbnail, the playtime, and the title. You also find other information such as the publication date, publisher, and number of views there.

A click on the "more info" button opens additional information such as the video description, number of likes and dislikes, and even comments.

A click on categories in the video browser displays videos of that kind only. Select music, pets & animals, or gaming to limit the video listing to videos of the selected category.

The search interface lists filters at the top that you may use to change the order of videos. Change the order from relevance to rating, title, views or date, and set quality, duration or video type filters next to that.

A click on any video plays it in the main SMPlayer window automatically. You can use all controls provided there, for instance to jump to a different position, enable fullscreen, change the volume or pause the video.

Upsides

SMPlayer's way of watching YouTube videos is beneficial to your privacy. While Google still knows about your connections to the site, it cannot drop cookies in the web browser anymore which it may read whenever you visit sites with YouTube content.

Another positive aspect of using the desktop program to watch YouTube videos is that you may watch the video without all the noise on the YouTube site.

Downsides

There are some downsides to using SMPlayer for playback on YouTube that may or may not affect you. The first thing you need to be aware of is that you juggle between two interfaces: the YouTube browser to search and select videos you want to watch, and the main SMPlayer interface for playback.

You cannot sign in to a YouTube account using the program which means that you don't get personalized recommendations and cannot leave comments or interact with site content in other ways that require a user account; your list of subscriptions is not available among other things.

Now You: Do you watch videos on YouTube?

Summary
How to watch YouTube videos on your desktop (without browser)
Article Name
How to watch YouTube videos on your desktop (without browser)
Description
You have plenty of options when it comes to watching videos hosted on YouTube: you can use a web browser, an application on mobile devices, or watch the videos on your Television.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Anonymous said on June 5, 2018 at 8:25 am
    Reply

    The best app to watch YouTube videos on your desktop is FreeTube:
    https://github.com/FreeTubeApp/FreeTube

    Highly recommended.

    1. Anonymous said on June 5, 2018 at 11:49 am
      Reply

      Came here to say this. Can also recommend!

  2. Tom Hawack said on June 5, 2018 at 10:57 am
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    I’m not a video fan and when I wish or need nevertheless to discover dynamic images (so-called videos) YouTube and Vimeo websites are my main sources. I happen to download from either videos I consider as exceptional which I will archive locally.

    I don’t block YouTube cookies as I do for Google because then scrolling is blocked on first page, but YouTube cookies are removed once I quit the site thanks to Firefox’s ‘Cookie AutoDelete’ extension.

    One thing seems to be obvious which is that audio, video and image sources are far more attractive to most of us than articles. The former do bring their contribution to information but seems to me their first perceived attractiveness is entertainment. Entertainment is fine but as for everything, excess is for the least relevant of a society’s quest for fun rather than for analysis.

  3. Anonymous said on June 5, 2018 at 11:51 am
    Reply

    mpv + youtube-dl, both available for Linux and Windows

    1. foolishgrunt said on June 5, 2018 at 4:54 pm
      Reply

      I don’t feel like digging into the code to verify it, but I suspect that SMPlayer’s YouTube functionality is provided by youtube-dl.

      1. Zerosan said on June 7, 2018 at 1:52 pm
        Reply

        smplayer can also utilize mpv afaik

  4. Yuliya said on June 5, 2018 at 1:13 pm
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    VLC will also play YouTube videos if you give it the link. I guess you could also run an Android VM and use the official Android client or NewPipe.

  5. Peter said on June 5, 2018 at 2:20 pm
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    Stand-alone players use less cpu than playing vids in the browser.

  6. Paul(us) said on June 5, 2018 at 4:01 pm
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    In the recent version of VLC Player, its allowed to load any YouTube video via URL.
    You just activate this tool and click “File” and then “Open Network Stream” on the top menu.
    After that, just copy and paste the URL of a video clip into given field, and then click to confirm it. This will play video directly on VLC.

  7. ilev said on June 5, 2018 at 4:17 pm
    Reply

    I use an Chrome extension : Magic Actions for YouTube.

    I have full screen, any resolution I want and no YouTube noise.

  8. Eren Seymen said on June 5, 2018 at 4:53 pm
    Reply
  9. Geza said on June 5, 2018 at 7:23 pm
    Reply

    Youtube as well as Facebook sucks info from your PC continuously while you’re using them, you can check it with Current Ports.

    I don’t know why they’re continuously uploading stuff from my PC to their servers but because this, I always first download any video from YouTube to watch and spend time on FB as little as possible.

  10. Weilan said on June 5, 2018 at 7:51 pm
    Reply

    I think most players (like PotPlayer which I use) support this, but I prefer Soda Player, because it supports more things. Overall, it’s a nice feature.

  11. anon3 said on June 5, 2018 at 8:47 pm
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    What about ads? Are they present in these kinds of clients?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 5, 2018 at 9:22 pm
      Reply

      Never saw an ad in the client.

  12. Robin217 said on June 5, 2018 at 9:21 pm
    Reply

    I guess this and https://github.com/FreeTubeApp/FreeTube is OK, if your the kind of person that doesn’t mind free-loading off their neighbors.

    You forgot one downside: If everyone used these apps, YouTube will shutdown or, more likely, become subscription-only and employ DRM.

    1. John Fenderson said on June 7, 2018 at 1:56 am
      Reply

      “You forgot one downside: If everyone used these apps, YouTube will shutdown or, more likely, become subscription-only and employ DRM.”

      Maybe, but considering that the changes Google has been making over the last year or so have exposed the corrosive effects of monetization on content creators, that may not be a disastrous thing.

  13. AAA said on June 5, 2018 at 11:54 pm
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    Too much back-and-forth effort, might as well give the monster some cookies. Besides, one simply cannot hide from the Mighty God of Internet, I mean Google.

    Speaking of cookies, what info you’ve been collecting on me that I seeing a pe*** enlargement ad on here? I’m in my 30’s and 8″ long… so thanks, but no thanks, Martin! :)

  14. AAA said on June 5, 2018 at 11:59 pm
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    Martin, your website is so all over the place :(
    Almost impossible to surf it on iPhone5. I’ve to carefully wait and then press tab to scroll and click on content, too many ads floating around — pages are being remdered like a hungry cow chewing on grass… I’ve to always go to the bottom to click on classic version; which is more text based and cleaner version. Please refrain from being drown in your own sponsors. Viewers will stay friends for life, but sponsors will come and go… :)

  15. AAA said on June 6, 2018 at 12:07 am
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    Damn. I left two comments from my phone but don’t see any of them here. Weird.
    Any way, i was saying that why have the hassle going back-and-forth when you can always feed the monster the cookies it need. It’s not like you can hide from the Mighty God of Internet, i mean Google! Google knows you more than your own mother. That’s the fact.

    Secondly, why am i seeing p enlargement ad on here? I’m in my 30’s and 8″ if it concerns anybody. :) …you need to use your cookies wisely, Martin!

    Thirdly, this website is almost impossible to surf on an iPhone5 without hitting those annoying ads floating all over the safari. Not to mention rendering my phone so hot that i can literally make popcorns on it. I have to go to the bottom to find ‘Classic website’ link all the times. We want our classic Martin back! These sponsors are drowning you in greed.

    Remember, sponsors will come and go, but your viewers will stay with you for life! Even if they don’t donate a penny! :)

  16. John Fenderson said on June 7, 2018 at 1:52 am
    Reply

    I’ve been occasionally using SMPlayer for a long while now, but I never knew it did YouTube. Interesting.

    My approach to watching YouTube is to use the Android app running on a tablet that is not used for anything else, logged into a Google account that is not used for anything else.

  17. Jerry said on June 8, 2018 at 1:31 pm
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    Most of video players can open a simple Youtube URL directly : VLC, Gom Player, SMPlayer…

  18. George said on June 12, 2018 at 12:59 am
    Reply

    Are you an Amiga fan Martin? That would certainly match up with the quality of your blog!

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 12, 2018 at 5:18 am
      Reply

      Love the Amiga, great computer, sadly, bad management ;(

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