YouTube is undoubtedly one of the best websites to kill time and consume content in different categories. However, with the abundant supply of content, one often loses track and ends up spending a lot of time watching YouTube videos. If you are one of them, this one is for you. Here’s how you can stop wasting time on YouTube.

Stop wasting time on YouTube

We’ve included a browser extension, settings you can change in the YouTube app, app timers, and some tips based on our usage. If you often spend hours mindlessly watching any YouTube algorithm, read on to the end to learn how to take control of your YouTube viewing habits and spend less time on the platform.

1. Using YouTube Rabbit Hole Extension

One of the useful Google Chrome extensions that I use to reduce distractions on YouTube is YouTube Rabbit Hole. You can use this browser extension to hide homepage, sidebar, comment section, trending section and even YouTube subscriptions. There are handy toggles you can use to customize the homepage to your preference.

Once you enable the features you need, the extension will automatically place bunnies in place of video recommendations. This way you can watch what you want to watch instead of watching random YouTube video recommendations. If you want to control your YouTube viewing habits, I highly recommend checking out this extension.

Download YouTube Rabbit Hole (To free)

2. Using Break and Bedtime Reminders

In May 2018, YouTube added a pause reminder feature to its mobile apps to help users take breaks. Similarly, the company brought in bedtime reminders last May to prompt users to get into bed. However, not all users are aware and end up not setting up these must-have features.

To set up a pause reminder, open YouTube and go to Settings -> General -> Remind me to take a break. the reminder frequency can range from every 5 minutes to every 23 hours and 55 minutes. You can choose the duration that suits you best. If you ask me, I recommend setting a reminder every 30 minutes.

As for bedtime reminders, you will find the option to set it up from Settings -> General -> Remind me when it’s bedtime. Here you can set the start and end time of your sleep hours or anytime you don’t want to spend watching videos. You also have the option of getting a reminder after finishing the current video, which should be good as long as you’re not playing extended 10-hour versions of songs or memes. Although these features do not prevent you from accessing YouTube, you can use them as a sign to close it.

3. Using Application Timers

If you’re at a point where you need an extra push to sign out of YouTube, you can rely on one of the app’s timers to lock you out of YouTube once you have exhausted your daily usage limit. You can use Android’s Digital Wellbeing feature or iPhone’s Screen Time feature to achieve this. A third-party app that does this task well is Freedom. You’ll find more app timer apps and websites in our coverage of the best tune-up apps.

On Android phones, open Settings -> Digital Wellbeing and Parental Controls, and tap Dashboard. In the list of apps, find and tap YouTube. Once you reach the dedicated YouTube page, choose “app timer” and set how much time you want to spend watching YouTube in a day.

4. How-To Tips Without Third-Party Apps

Apart from all that, here are the methods I follow to make sure I don’t waste a lot of time on YouTube. First, you need to introspect your content consumption habits. A good starting point would be to unsubscribe from channels you no longer find interesting or useful to spend your time there.

Another way to reduce YouTube usage is to eliminate triggers. While this might seem like a harmless notification of a new video from one of the channels you’re watching, you could end up spending hours if you’re not careful. To avoid this, you need to re-evaluate your subscriptions and ask yourself if this particular content deserves your immediate attention. Sure, there will be a few channels where you can’t wait to watch when a new video comes out, but the goal is to prioritize the content you’re interested in and cut down/stop watching other videos. As an extreme measure, you can also choose to disable notifications entirely for the YouTube app.

If the platform keeps suggesting videos that you’re not interested in and you don’t want to use the YouTube rabbit hole extension, you can click on the options “Not interested” or “Do not recommend the channel” to delete them on PC and mobile. While this is meant to organize your recommendation feed, you can use it to your advantage by clicking “Not Interested” on addictive content and videos that don’t necessarily add value.

Reduce YouTube usage and stay productive

So these are the ways we’ve found to help you stop wasting time on YouTube. Do you follow anything else that is not mentioned here? Don’t forget to let us know in the comments. To make the most of the time you spend watching YouTube, check out our article on cool YouTube tips and tricks.