YouTube Playback Speed on iOS

Access the playback speed controls (and other settings) on iOS in Safari

Posted by Mike Apted on Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I watch a lot of video content on my iPad/iPhone. Mainly in the form of presentations from conferences, or courses from online sources like PluralSight.

I try and extract more value from my time by integrating these with other less mentally demanding tasks, like long low-intensity workouts, travel, and household busy work.

One of my recent frustrations has been the inability to play content at a faster speed on YouTube vs other sources. Opening a video in either the YouTube iOS app or Safari shows no apparent way to adjust the playback speed.

There are paid apps in the App Store (of dubious quality that claim this ability, but you can do it for free on your own. To achieve this, make sure you open the video in Safari and then:

  • Open the YouTube menu (3 dots)
  • Select “Desktop” from the menu that pops up.
  • Once it refreshes click the Sharing icon in the Safari toolbar.
  • Scroll right through the options in 2nd row and find Request Desktop Site.
  • Click it.
  • Page will refresh and you should see the usual gear icon under the video.
  • Change playback settings.

Happy watching!