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In this blog post, I’ll cover the specific task of how to make YouTube videos start and stop at a certain time. You can set start points and end points for most YouTube videos- even those not from your YouTube channel.
Knowing how to make a YouTube video stop at a particular time is useful if you want only the best part of a popular video with your friends. Fx, if a video has a long annoying intro, you can share the video while ensuring that it starts with “the good part.”
It’s also useful if you’re doing a PowerPoint presentation and don’t want to spend a long time scrolling through hours of video to find the part you need.
With the tricks below, you can easily define the specific part of a YouTube video you want to show.
So let’s dive in.
Setting the Start Time for YouTube Videos
Learning how to make YouTube videos start and stop at a specific time is pretty simple:
- Click the “share” button under the Youtube video player. A menu with various share options such as the URL pops up.
- Check the checkbox that says “Start at.” It will already display the current time of the video you’re watching. But by checking the checkbox, you can now manually type in the start time you want.
- Copy the YouTube URL of your video and share it on social media and more.
Notice that a t=x (where x is the number of seconds in the video) is now added to the end of the URL after a question mark. See illustration below:
It isn’t possible to change the stop time for the video using this method, though. To do this, you must get the embed code for the video. You can then modify the embed code to make the video start and stop at particular times.
How to modify the embed code to make a YouTube video stop at a certain time
Modifying the embed code is simpler than it sounds. Here’s how to do it in a few simple steps:
- Click the “share” button under the video. A menu with various share options such as the URL pops up.
- Click Embed
- Locate the URL of the video clip. It should look like www.youtube.com/embed/VideoID (where VideoID is the string of letters and numbers of your particular video).
- Check the “Start at” check box and type in the start time. YouTube will add ?start=x (where x is the start time) to the end of the YouTube video link.
- Now you need to manually type in the end time by adding &end=y (where y is the time you want the video to stop).
- Now copy the entire embed code and post it to blog posts or a specific web page of your choice.
Notice that you need to calculate the exact number in seconds to set a video’s start point or endpoint that is more than a minute.
Fx, if you want to make a video start at 15 seconds and stop 2 minutes and 30 seconds into the video content, you need to type in ?start=15&end=150 and add it to the URL.
Also, you don’t have to define a start point. You can simply add ?end=y (where y is the endpoint in seconds).
If you add an endpoint and embed the video, it will show up on the YouTube player timeline like this:
Pro Tip: I find that the easiest way to set the start point is to simply scroll to the point in the video you want to start, click the share button, and check the “Start at” checkbox.
That way, you don’t have to type in anything manually. YouTube will automatically add the right formatting to the embed code.
If you need to, you can also define the iframe width (the width of the YouTube player when embedded), if the video should be allowed to be viewed as fullscreen, enable privacy mode not to track users who scroll past your video, if it should play automatically (autoplay), and more.
The embedding code is a powerful tool for ensuring that your video is utilized in the best possible way when shared on your company’s website, email, or other places.
When can’t you set the endpoint?
Sometimes a video can’t be embedded on other sites. This is because the content creator has disabled this option – fx because of copyright reasons or country restrictions.
It can also be that the creator wants you to see the video on his/her channel instead of a third-party website.
You can still share the entire video (copy video URL and paste the share link to social media or your website), but the video will only be shown as a link.
Great for Teachers, Pitches, and PowerPoint Presentations
Creating custom start and stop points for YouTube videos will be great for teachers. Teachers might wish to use YouTube videos as part of a lesson they’re reaching.
These videos might only have certain parts that are relevant to the lesson. You can set the start and stop times appropriately so you can easily show the students what you want them to see.
Or maybe you are in an important corporate sales pitch meeting and don’t want to waste your clients’ precious time.
By setting a specific start time and end time, you can easily define the total number of seconds of the video you want to show. As we all know, time is money in these kinds of meetings.
This is also useful when trying to show off a highlight moment. Sports teams often upload videos, but perhaps you just want to show off a hype moment from the game.
Set up the start and stop time correctly to show your friends that sick dunk or pass from the game.
It’s easy to see why this is useful in so many scenarios.
You’re in control of when the YouTube videos you share start and stop. So long as you set things up properly, showing off specific parts of videos will be easy.
You can show friends, family, board members, or potential customers the good parts of YouTube videos without making them sit through the boring sections.
Setting up the start and stop times is simple enough that anyone can do it.
You do need to modify the URL of the video to get this done, but it’s not complicated. Follow the instructions above, and you’ll be able to share videos exactly how you want to in no time.
Be sure to let your friends and family know how to do this as well. They’ll find this little YouTube content hack to be very intriguing.
About the author:
Jan Sørup is a videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns filmdaft.com and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.