How to watch video previews on YouTube

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Learn how to watch three seconds video previews on the desktop version of YouTube by hovering over the video’s thumbnail.

YouTube recently introduced a new feature which allows you to watch video previews on the desktop version (also on the new Material Design version with Dark Theme). Video previews will help to identify clickbait content and improve the video-watching experience on YouTube.

Watch three seconds video previews on YouTube

All you have to do is hover over a video’s thumbnail to start playing the preview. After the preview finishes playing, the default thumbnail will be displayed again with a play icon. The preview is in GIF format and three seconds long.

Video previews on YouTube’s desktop version
Hover over the video’s thumbnail to watch the video preview.

According to YouTube, they are displayed on the Home page, Trending page, Subscriptions page, Search results page, and Watch page. Supported browsers are Google Chrome (version 32 and above) and Opera (version 19 and above). Also, note that this feature is only gradually rolling out to all the users.

Previews are automatically enabled for videos longer than 30 seconds and YouTube generates the preview from the video’s first half. Creators cannot decide the clip to be shown. YouTube uses several criteria, including video topic and content, to generate previews. Note that some videos may not contain previews.

Hope video previews come to mobile versions as well in the upcoming days!

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