Accessibility for YouTube on Android
The YouTube Android app works with Android’s accessibility features. Android provides accessibility support for blind and low vision users with the TalkBack, BrailleBack applications, and special accessibility features. Visit the Android Accessibility Help Center to learn more, including how to enable these settings.
Double-tap the top-left corner of the app to find and open the guide. On some screens, you may need to double-tap “navigate up,” then “open guide” to access the guide. After opening the guide, use two fingers to scroll. Double-tap on an element in the guide to open one of the features below:
- What to Watch feed
- My Subscriptions feed
- Playlists you’ve created or saved
Sign in to your account by following the steps below:
- Double-tap the top-left corner of the app to open the guide.
- Double-tap the first menu item to open the Android account selector.
- Select your account name.
To sign out, double-tap the “More options” menu, located in the top-left corner of the app. In the “More options” menu, double-tap the Sign out option.
Use two fingers to scroll through videos in a feed, playlist, or channel. As you scroll, you’ll hear the name of the video and the associated meta data.
Feeds: While browsing the What to Watch feed or a channel’s Home feed, you may encounter a set of related videos from a playlist or channel, which are grouped together in the feed. Double-tap “Show more” to expand this set of videos. To open the related playlist or channel, double-tap on the name of the channel or playlist.
Channels: On a channel, use the tabs for Home, Videos, Playlists to browse through content from the selected channel.
To search for a video using Explore By Touch, touch the top of the screen to find the search btn, located next to the “More options” element.
- Double-tap on the search btn and add your search query to the “edit box.”
- Double-tap on the “Drop-down list” to change your search filters.
- Use Explore By Touch to browse search results.
Once you’ve found a video to play, double-tap to begin playback. Double-tap the “Player” at the top of the screen to bring up the player controls.
Player controls and options
Pause: Double-tap “pause video” to pause the video.
Minimize video: Double-tap the “Minimize btn” to minimize a video during playback. When a video is minimized, you can browse or search while it continues to play.
Dismiss minimized video: Double-tap “Player” and swipe to the right using two fingers to dismiss the minimized video player.
Expand minimized video: Double-tap “Player” and swipe up using two fingers to expand the minimized video player.
Add to playlist: Double-tap the “Add-to btn” to open the “Add video to” alert. Use Explore by Touch select a playlist. To create a new playlist, double-tap “New playlist.”
- Touch “Edit box – Title” to name your playlist.
- Double-tap “Private checkbox” to make your playlist private or public. When the checkbox is checked, the playlist will be private.
- Change video quality: Double-tap the “Video quality menu btn.”
- Report a video: Double-tap the “Flag btn.”
- Closed captions: Double-tap the “Closed captions menu btn.”
Below the video, you’ll find the following information or features:
- Video description and meta data
- Like and dislike btns
- Channel subscribe btn
- Video suggestions
- An option to add a comment
- Comments about the video
Navigate to your YouTube video uploads by opening the guide and double-tapping Uploads. Use two fingers to scroll through videos that you’ve uploaded to your channel.
Upload a video
- Double-tap “Uploads” in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Double-tap the “Upload” btn at the top of the screen, located next to “Search.”
- Scroll through your device’s photo gallery to find a video to upload. Double-tap to select a video.
- Enter your video title in the “Title” edit box.
- Enter a video description in the “Description” edit box.
- Select a privacy level (Private, Unlisted, or Public) from the “Privacy” drop-down list.
- Double-tap “Upload” in the top-right corner of the screen to upload your video.
Edit a video
To edit a video’s title, description, or privacy settings, follow the steps below:
- Use two fingers to scroll through your uploaded videos.
- Double-tap the “Menu btn” next to the video you’d like to edit.
- Double-tap “Edit” in the video’s “Alert” box.
- Double-tap the title or description edit boxes, or the “Privacy” drop-down list.
- Double-tap “OK btn” when you’re done with your edits.
Delete a video
To delete one of your uploaded videos:
- Use two fingers to scroll through your uploaded videos.
- Double-tap the “Menu btn” next to the video you’d like to edit.
- Double-tap “Delete” in the video’s “Alert” box.
- When prompted to “Delete this video,” double-tap the “OK btn” on the right.
Turn captions on and off
Captions are only available on videos where the owner has added them, and on certain videos where YouTubeautomatically provides them.
If a video has captions, you can turn them on by clicking the captions icon at the bottom of the video. Depending on your location, the captions icon will look like one of the following: or
To turn them off, click the captions icon, then Turn Captions Off.
Select caption language
Choose different caption languages by clicking the captions icon. If the language you’d like isn’t there, you may want to try auto-translated captions, which uses Google Translate to translate the captions.
Here’s how to enable auto-translated captions:
- Click on the captions icon at the bottom of the video
- Click Options
- Click Translate Captions
- Click to select a language
- Click OK
Change default settings for captions
Here’s how to always show or hide captions by default if they’re available:
- Go to your Account Settings page
- Select Playback from the left-hand menu
- Check or uncheck Always show captions
(Check Show automatic captions by speech recognition (when available) to enable automatic captions for videos that don’t already have captions provided)
- Click Save
View captions transcript
For videos with captions provided by the owner, you have the option to view the full captions transcript, and jump to specific parts of the video.
Here’s how to open this interactive transcript option:
- Click More underneath the player.
- Select the transcript icon . As you watch the video, the transcript will scroll to show you the current caption text.
- Click on any line of caption text to jump to that part of the video.
Using YouTube with a screen reader
This following information will be helpful for people using screen readers as it explains the steps for using YouTube with screen readers. A screen reader is a software application that identifies and interprets what is being displayed on the computer screen. This information is then presented to a blind user as speech. Visually impaired or blind people use screen readers. This article provides step-by-step process for using YouTube making it easier for a new user to explore YouTube.
Please note: The experience of using YouTube may not be same with all screen readers due to inconsistency of support of technology by the various screen readers. To learn more about using YouTube with a screen reader that supports Adobe Flash accessibility extensions, please see this accessibility feedback page.
Read on to learn more about using YouTube with a screen-reader and discover which keyboard shortcuts are available for the site:
Creating a YouTube account
A Google account is needed to sign in to YouTube (ex. Gmail or Calendar etc.). If you do not have a Google account then you can go ahead and create one using the following steps:
- Go to www.youtube.com
- Click the “create account” link (located at the top of the page after the search btn).
- Complete the requested steps. Once you’ve signed up you’ll have an account and can get started.
Having an account allows you to sign into YouTube and take advantage of YouTube’s community features. You can upload videos, comment on videos, save videos to playlists etc.. These are just a few of the benefits of signing up for a YouTube account. You do not need to sign in to use some basic features of YouTube. Such as, searching for videos, viewing videos etc..
Searching YouTube and Search Results
Searching for YouTube videos
- Navigate to www.youtube.com
- Navigate to the search edit box at the top of the page.
Please note: Though the search edit box does not have a label, it is located at the top of the page, has a search btn after it, and is the only edit box on this page.
- Type a search term and press enter.
- The search results page has a “did you mean” section which suggests proper words if you misspelled the word(s).
- Prior to the search results, various sorting options are provided to help you sort through the results.
- Each of the search results has the following information:
- A title of the video along with the duration of the video which is a link and a graphic. Hence, navigating using graphics would help navigating to and through the results quicker. Clicking on this will play the video.
- A “+” sign which is link. Clicking on this will play the video as well.
- The text “added to queue”.
- The title of the video which is also a link. Clicking on it will play the video as well.
- A snippet of the video.
- Name of the individual who posted the video.
- How many years ago the video was uploaded and the number of views it has had so far.
- Sometimes you will find a heading level 2, “Related searches” with heading level 3s below it. These are other search categories related to the search term(s) you typed. Clicking any of these search categories will take you to another page which has video results for that category.
The YouTube Flash Player
Once you click one of the search results, the flash player will load and the video will start playing automatically. Here are the components and layout of the flash player:
- Section headers:
- H1 for the title of the video
- H4 for “highest rated comments”, “all comments”, and “suggestions”.
- The flash player has the following components:
If a video has subtitles then the subtitles are placed at the top of the video. The subtitles section begins with the text “subtitles start” followed by two lines of subtitles and end with the text “subtitles end”. If the subtitles are on, the screen reader should say “Subtitles Loaded”. If the subtitles are off, press the “Subtitles Unloaded” btn, the btn should change to “Subtitles Loading”. Then after two seconds or so it should speak “Subtitles Loaded”. From that point on the subtitles will appear at the beginning of the Flash player.
- Play/pause btn:
The btn text toggles based on the current status of the video.
- Seek slider:
The seek slider is used to fast forward or rewind the video and to increase or decrease the volume. To use the seek slider, first turn off virtual cursor then tab to the slider.
- Use left/right arrow keys to fast forward/rewind the video and use the up/down arrow keys to increase/decrease volume.
- Mute/unmute: This btn toggles depending on whether the video is muted or not muted.
- 360p btn:
This btn changes the quality of the video in terms of pixels. Here are the available resolutions: 1080p, 720p, 480p, 360p (default), 240p, 240p Light
- Pop-out btn:
The pop-out btn creates a new browser window and places only the player with the video that is currently playing. It leaves out all the content that is outside the actual player. This allows users to resize the player any way they like. The btn is also useful for blind users who might want to get rid of all the extra elements in the HTML page around the player and be left just with the player on its own.Its important to note, that if you have pop-up blocker enabled, then you’ll need to disable the pop-up blocker in order to open this new window.
- Expand/Shrink btn:
The label of the btn toggles depending on the current selection. Clicking the expand/shrink btn makes the video player larger and smaller.This btn also increases the video quality when you expand the player, and uses a lower quality when you shrink it if the video has multiple qualities.
- Time elapsed/total duration:
This section shows the total time elapsed over the total duration of the video. It shows you how much of the video has played already and how much there’s still left to play.
Note: To replay the video, click on the “play” btn after the video stops playing.
|O||To jump to the beginning of the flash player|
|Spacebar||Play/Pause when the seek bar is selected. Activate a btn if a btn has focus|
|Play/Pause Media Key on keyboards||Play / Pause|
|Stop Media Key on keyboards||Stop|
|Next Track Media Key on keyboards||Moves to the next track in a play/list|
|Left/Right arrow on the seek bar||Seek backward/forward 5 seconds|
|Home/End on the seek bar||Seek to the beginning/last seconds of the video|
|Up/Down arrow on the seek bar||Increase/Decrease volume 5%|
|Numbers 1 to 9 (not on the numeric pad) on the seek bar||Seek to the 10% to 90% of the video|
|Number 0 (not on the numeric pad) on the seek bar||Seek to the beginning of the video|