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How to add chapters to a YouTube video

What chapter are you on?
By
May 3, 2022

Have you ever run into a video that has been broken up into chapters? If so, the person who uploaded that video knew how to add timestamps on YouTube properly. Timestamping on YouTube was always an important way of getting people to watch a certain area of a video. Over time, the feature grew to allow users to divide up videos, add reference timestamps in comments, and even send people URL links that will link directly to that timestamp in the video.

Read more: How to speed up (or slow down) YouTube videos

THE SHORT ANSWER 

To add chapters to a YouTube video, edit the description of your video. Add the timestamps you want,  each on their own line. If you want to title them, add a dash and then the title of each timestamp. To finish, click SAVE.


KEY SECTIONS

Adding timestamps to a YouTube video

If you’ve watched enough YouTube, by now you’ll have seen a video that has been broken up into different parts. At each of these breakpoints, the topic typically shifts. If it’s a music compilation, there may be a break to differentiate one song from another.

These are called chapters, and they are added via timestamps.

How to add chapters to a YouTube video

From the YouTube home screen, click your profile picture in the top right.

click profile picture top right
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Click YouTube Studio to go to the YouTube Creator Studio.

click youtube studio
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In YouTube Studio, click the Content tab on the left side.

click content
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Find the video you want to divide up into chapters. Hover your mouse over its title.

hover mouse over video you want to timestamp
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From the options that appear, click the pencil-shaped Details button.

click details
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Find the Description box. This is where you will be adding the timestamps that will divide your video into chapters.

edit description
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Fill out the description box with the timestamps. Here are a few important formatting notes:

  • Make sure your first timestamp begins at 0:00.
  • To add another timestamp after your first one, hit Enter on your keyboard to start a new line. You do not want two timestamps to be on the same line, as it may confuse the algorithm.
  • You must have at least 10 seconds in-between chapters.
  • If you want to title a chapter, add it after the timestamp. For example, “0:00 – Intro” will show up on the video progress bar during playback as Intro.
How to format chapters
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When finished, click the blue SAVE button in the top right.

click save
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There are a few things to note.

Chapters don’t always appear consistently, and it may take some time for the chapters to appear on your video. Some claim that you need at least 1,000 subscribers for chapters to appear consistently on your videos; however, this is unproven.

After adding the chapter timestamps to your video description, wait at least 24 hours and check back to see if the chapters have appeared. Make sure your account is in good standing and you’ve added a phone number to your account.

If you are patient and the chapters are still not showing up, send in a support ticket to YouTube Help.

How to add timestamps to YouTube links

Go to the YouTube video for which you want to share a timestamped link. Click the Share button underneath it.

on your video click share
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In the Share box, click the checkbox that says Start at X:XX. This will allow you to create a timestamped link.

click the checkbox with the time
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You can now add a custom time in the timestamp section. Add the timestamp of wherever you want the video to start for the person clicking the link. For example, here we will be adding the custom timestamp at 5:53.

add youor custom timestamp
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Finally, click the COPY button next to the timestamped link.

copy your timestamped link
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How to add timestamps to YouTube comments

Go to the comments section of whichever video you want. To add a timestamp, simply add the timestamp of wherever you want in the video to your comment. For example, here we are adding a timestamp to 1:23 of the video.

add a timestamp in a comment
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Click COMMENT to add your comment.

timestamp added in a comment
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