YouTube Has a Hidden List of Keyboard Shortcuts

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It’s easy to find keyboard shortcuts when using an app on your Mac or PC. When you look at a function in a menu, you often see its corresponding keyboard shortcut, which you can then use to speed things up. Websites, on the other hand, often don’t show these shortcuts to you, even though they’re very much present, forcing us to stumble upon them when we accidentally press a key. As it turns out, many websites do have a master list of keyboard shortcuts, they just hide them behind a specific keyboard shortcut.

So, what’s this secret shortcut that unlocks all hidden keyboard shortcuts? Shift + /. Or, of course, ?.

YouTube has a long list of hidden keyboard shortcuts

This button combo is your ticket to see the hidden list of keyboard shortcuts for your favorite websites. I first stumbled upon it while browsing YouTube: Somehow, I accidentally hit Shift + /, and, all of a sudden, I was presented with this complete collection of keyboard shortcuts for the site. Many of these shortcuts I already knew, as you might already know: K plays and pauses a video, J and L rewinds and fast forwards, respectively. However, other shortcuts might come as a surprise: You can rewind and fast forward frame-by-frame using , and . while paused. You can also slow down or speed up playback speed using < and > (Shift + ,) and (Shift + .).

It’s worth scanning the full list to see if any of these keyboard shortcuts are new to you, and whether some of them might actually be helpful during your next YouTube binge. As someone who takes screenshots on YouTube as part of his job, the frame-by-frame scanning is particularly useful.

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Screenshot: Jake Peterson

Many websites hide their keyboard shortcuts from users, too

It’s not just YouTube: Other popular websites you use every day hide keyboard shortcuts behind Shift + /. Twitter, for example, taught me that g + m launches DMs, while u and x can mute and block an account, respectively. Facebook also has a list of keyboard shortcuts: You might know that L likes a post, but did you know you can use / to search Facebook, or that you can pin keyboard shortcuts to the bottom right corner of the window that change depending on what you’re doing? That’s the most helpful option I’ve seen so far.

Other websites I’ve found that have these lists of keyboard shortcuts tucked away are Reddit, the Spotify web app, the WhatsApp web app, and Twitch. I’d love to know just how many websites include these hidden keyboard shortcuts as an option, but it’s difficult to find any information on the subject. Until then, the best thing to do is to experiment on the websites you frequent. It doesn’t seem to matter which browser you use (the shortcut works for me in both Chrome and Safari).

This feature is similar to how things work on iPadOS with a connected keyboard: If you hold down Command, you’ll see a complete list of keyboard shortcuts for the particular app you’re using (there are a lot of them, too).


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