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Your YouTube homepage could soon go blank if you don't switch on this setting

It is now mandatory to have a watch history on YouTube if you want to keep getting video recommendations.
By

Published onAugust 9, 2023

YouTube on smartphone stock photo 5
TL;DR
  • YouTube now requires signed-in users to turn on their watch history if they want recommendations.
  • The change has already started rolling out and will reach all users in the next few months.
  • Your YouTube home feed will essentially be blank if you don’t turn on watch history.

YouTube will stop showing video recommendations to users who have their watch history switched off. The platform updated its support page on August 8 to note that starting now, YouTube subscribers who don’t have a significant watch history will have their recommendations disabled.

That means your YouTube homepage might look a lot different if you prefer to clear and turn off your watch history. You’ll still be able to see the search bar and the left-hand guide menu. However, your feed of recommended videos will be empty. For some, it could mean seeing a largely blank YouTube homepage both on mobile and the web.

YouTube justifies the change by saying the altered experience will allow users to search and browse subscribed channels without the distraction of recommended videos. However, the move isn’t sitting well with all those who don’t want to switch on their watch history on the platform. More so because YouTube still doesn’t force this requirement on logged-out users with no watch history.

YouTube Watch history recommendations

“We are launching this new experience to make it more clear which YouTube features rely on watch history to provide video recommendations and make it more streamlined for those of you who prefer to search rather than browse recommendations,” YouTube explained in its support post.

While some YouTube users have already started seeing the effects of the change, the platform notes that it will roll out to everyone “slowly” over the next few months. Users can change their YouTube watch history settings anytime based on their preferences. So if you like to discover new videos through YouTube’s recommendations, ensure you have the setting switched on.