Knowing the basic structure and parameters in a YouTube URL can come in handy on the occasion you need it. Here’s how to find the video ID, link to a specific timestamp, and more.
YouTube has its own domain for URL
roughly equivalent to
Query parameters can be added to a URL just by suffixing it with something like
?key=value&something=else. That example sets
else. Note how the first parameter is prefixed with
?, and then the
following parameters are separated with
See the page on the Mozilla Developer Docs for more information on the anatomy of a URL.
Here’s the video I’ll be using as an example:
I embedded that video on my website with this code:1
The argument there (
F6va6tg62qg) is the video ID, which is the unique
identifier for the video. Here’s how the YouTube URLs for that video look:
Take note that on
youtube.com, the video ID is provided as a query
parameter, and on
youtu.be, it’s just provided as
the path of the URL.
You can add the
t= parameter to the URL to have it automatically seek to a
specific timestamp when opened. The value can be expressed in hours, minutes,
and seconds (using
s respectively). Here’s how that looks:
Unfortunately my example video isn’t long enough to show hours or minutes, so here’s a different one:
Those link 3 minutes and 14 seconds into the video. Notice how the
link prefixes the
t= parameter with an
& since it’s the second parameter.
youtu.be link just uses a
? because it’s the first (and only) parameter.
list= parameter contains the ID of the playlist you’re watching the video
from, if any. Otherwise, the parameter is omitted. Here’s how that looks:
There, the playlist ID was
PLwxnUUM01nt2nMh9DPq09e6fIDbumybgt. You can link to
the playlist itself with a format like:
For example, the direct link to the playlist in the two example links I used is:
As far as I know, it’s not possible to link to a playlist using
This Stack Exchange answer is a good reference for some other YouTube parameters.
I use a static site generator called Hugo for my website. It has a built in “shortcode” which is a feature that allows me to embed certain code blocks into a page. One of its shortcodes, named
youtube, allows me to embed a YouTube video into my post. You can read more info about shortcodes on the Hugo docs ↩︎