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How to watch YouTube on your TV

YouTube videos on the big screen

YouTube on a TV
(Image: © Shutterstock)

YouTube is a fantastic source of entertainment when you're stuck at home, packed with not only fun videos to keep you amused, but also tutorials, online lessons, fitness classes and much more. There's also a huge selection of content available through YouTube Kids that can help supplement learning if you're homeschooling.

Watching on a computer, phone or tablet isn't always very convenient, though. If you're following a workout video in your living room, or want to settle down and enjoy a full show, watching YouTube on your TV is far more convenient.

Thankfully, it's surprisingly straightforward, and you can even use your mobile device or computer to control what's happening on your TV rather than struggling to search and navigate using your TV's remote control. Here's how to get started.

1. Find the YouTube app

If you have a smart TV, there’s a good chance it has the YouTube app pre-installed. Visit your TV’s app menu and check if it’s there. If not, search for it in the TV manufacturer’s app store.

2. Log into your account

When the app loads, select ‘Add account’ and log in using your usual Google account username and password. You’ll now be able to see your usual YouTube recommendations and playlists, search for videos, and everything else you’d do on the mobile or desktop version.

If you find controlling YouTube with your TV’s remote control fiddly, you can use your phone, tablet or even a desktop PC or laptop as a remote instead. To do this, you’ll need to link your device to your TV using a specially generated code. Navigate down to the settings icon at the bottom left of the YouTube app on your TV, and select ‘Link with TV code’.

4. Connect a phone or tablet

Open the YouTube app on your phone or tablet (the process is the same for all operating systems), then tap your profile icon and select ‘Settings’. Tap ‘Watch on TV’ followed by ‘Enter TV code’ and type in the code from your TV.

5. Connect a laptop or desktop PC

Go to https://www.youtube.com/pair on your desktop or laptop and enter the code from your TV in the box labelled ‘Link with TV code’. Click ‘Add this TV’.

6. Disconnect a device from your TV

Open the YouTube app on  your TV, select the settings icon at the bottom left , scroll down to ‘Linked devices’ and select ‘Remove all devices’, or disconnect devices individually.

Other options

If you're looking for new TV shows and movies, many of the big streaming services are currently offering special deals for new subscribers. Better yet, many studios are bringing recent releases to streaming services early. Here are the best deals available right now.

Cat Ellis

Cat Ellis (@CatEllisTech) is the fitness and wellbeing editor at TechRadar. She's been a technology journalist for 11 years, and cut her teeth on magazines including PC Plus and PC Format before joining TechRadar. She's a trained run leader, and enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the pavement. If you have a story about fitness trackers, treadmills, running shoes, e-bikes, or any other fitness tech, drop her a line at catherine.ellis@futurenet.com.