How to Search a YouTube Video for a Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

Searching for a specific word or phrase in a YouTube video can be a bit tricky, but it’s definitely doable. If you’ve ever found yourself scrubbing through a video trying to find that one part you remember hearing, you know it can be a time-consuming process. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with a quick and simple guide that’ll have you finding those words in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: Searching a YouTube Video for a Word

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand what we’re trying to accomplish. By following these steps, you’ll learn how to use YouTube’s transcript feature and browser search function to quickly locate specific words or phrases within a video. This can save you time and make your YouTube experience more efficient.

Step 1: Open the YouTube video

Open the YouTube video you want to search through.

Once you’ve found the video, make sure it’s one that has closed captions available. You can usually tell by looking for the "CC" icon on the video’s player controls.

Step 2: Access the transcript

Click on the three dots below the video (next to the save button) and select "Open transcript."

The transcript is a written version of everything that’s said in the video. It’s generated by YouTube’s automatic captioning system, so it might not be perfect, but it’s usually good enough to help you find what you’re looking for.

Step 3: Use the browser search function

Press "Ctrl + F" on your keyboard (or "Command + F" if you’re on a Mac) to open the browser search function.

This function allows you to search for text on the current webpage you’re viewing, which will now include the YouTube video transcript.

Step 4: Enter the word or phrase

Type the word or phrase you’re looking for into the search bar that appears.

As you type, the browser will highlight all instances of your search term in the transcript. This makes it easy to quickly scan and find the part of the video you’re interested in.

Step 5: Jump to the word in the video

Click on the highlighted word or phrase in the transcript to jump to that part of the video.

The video player will automatically move to the exact moment when the word or phrase is spoken, saving you the hassle of manually searching through the video.

After you complete these steps, the YouTube video will jump to the exact spot where the word or phrase is mentioned, and you’ll be able to listen to the context around it. This can be particularly helpful if you’re trying to find a quote, study material, or even if you’re just trying to catch a funny moment you want to share with friends.

Tips for Searching a YouTube Video for a Word

  • Make sure that the video you’re searching has closed captions available, as the transcript feature relies on this.
  • Remember that YouTube’s automatic transcription isn’t always 100% accurate, especially with videos that have poor audio quality or heavy accents.
  • If the first transcript search doesn’t bring up the word you’re looking for, try synonyms or different spellings that might have been used in the video.
  • For long videos, use the timestamps next to the transcript text to get a rough idea of where in the video you might find the word or phrase.
  • Keep in mind that some creators manually upload their own transcripts, which can be more accurate than YouTube’s automatic ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the video doesn’t have a transcript available?

If the video doesn’t have a transcript available, your options are limited. You’ll have to manually search through the video or reach out to the creator for a transcript.

Can I search for a word in a live YouTube video?

Searching for a word in a live video isn’t possible in the same way since there’s no transcript until after the live stream ends. Once the video is available as a regular upload, you can follow the same steps.

Why can’t I find the word I’m looking for in the transcript?

The automatic transcription might not be perfect, and the word could have been misheard by YouTube’s system. Try looking for synonyms or related words.

Can I search for words in YouTube videos on mobile?

The process is a bit different on mobile devices. You can still access the transcript (if available) through the video’s options, but the search function might not be as straightforward, depending on your device and browser.

Are there any external tools to search within YouTube videos?

There are some browser extensions and online tools that claim to help with searching within YouTube videos, but their effectiveness varies. Sticking with YouTube’s built-in features is usually the best bet.


  1. Open the YouTube video.
  2. Access the transcript.
  3. Use the browser search function.
  4. Enter the word or phrase.
  5. Jump to the word in the video.


Searching a YouTube video for a specific word doesn’t have to be like finding a needle in a haystack. With these straightforward steps, you can quickly locate any word or phrase, making your viewing experience much more efficient. Whether you’re studying, fact-checking, or just trying to find a funny moment to share with friends, knowing how to search a YouTube video for a word is an invaluable skill in this digital age. So next time you’re struggling to find that one part of a video, remember this guide and save yourself some time. Happy searching!

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