Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system fundamentally changed a lot about Windows. Take watching YouTube videos as an example of these changes.
It used to be that watching a YouTube video on a Windows PC simply required that you open a web browser. Watching YouTube videos on Windows 8 is still possible this way through Internet Explorer, but there are also apps in the Windows Store that allow the same thing. In addition to watching YouTube videos, they also allow you to download videos and browse the latest clips from the YouTube celebrities you know and have already subscribed to through the YouTube website or through the official YouTube app on your iPhone, iPad or Android device.
Here’s how to watch YouTube videos on Windows 8 tablets, notebooks and desktop PCs.
As you may have already guessed. For any of these solutions to work, you’ll need a few things. First, it’s a good idea to create a YouTube account online. Having any account means that all of your previously watched videos, video preferences, subscriptions and likes. Those who have an account already only need to input their credentials into these apps. Second, at least for the initial setup all of these apps will require that your Windows 8 tablet, desktop or notebook has an internet connection.
You should also know that what you see on your screen may be different from what we have in some of our screenshots. That’s because we’re running Windows 8.1, the free update that arrived for Windows 8 back in 2013. If you haven’t do so already, it’s a good idea to install it now.
Read: 21 Windows 8.1 Tips
Watching YouTube Videos on Windows 8 Using the Web Browser
The first way you want to try watching YouTube videos on your Windows 8 device is with Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s web browser.
Either versions of Internet Explorer will do; there are dual versions installed on every Windows PC. How easy getting your YouTube video playing is directly related to what kind of device you have, sadly.
What’s referred to as Modern Internet Explorer is available by tapping or clicking on the Internet Explorer tile In your Start Screen. If it’s not pinned there click or tap on the arrow at the bottom of your screen to find It. It’s the same logo as before, in white with a blue background like it is below.
Once you’ve opened the app, just navigate to YouTube by tapping or click on the address bar at the bottom of your screen.
With Mouse & Keyboard
If you prefer to use the Desktop environment and the old version of Internet Explorer, that’s still something you can do too. This version of Internet Explorer isn’t touch-friendly in the slightest. If you’re on a Windows 8 notebook or desktop, you’ll do fine. If you’re on a tablet, you may want to at least connect a mouse to use this version.
Go to the Start Screen and look for the Desktop tile. Click on it.
Now look for the Internet Explorer icon pinned to the bottom of your screen and enter YouTube into the address bar. In most cases there’s an Internet Explorer shortcut on your Desktop too.
Watch YouTube With Apps
Over the last few years we’ve come to depend on apps more and more. Most apps do the same thing that web browsers do, the difference is that they’re almost always dedicated to completing a single task, making them much easier to comprehend and use on a daily basis.
Like Windows Phone, Windows 8 PCs don’t have a dedicated YouTube app. Don’t fret though, there are more than a few YouTube apps made by third-party developers to fill the void. You can find these apps in Microsoft’s Windows Store, which is available by tapping or clicking on the shopping bag icon with the Windows logo.
PrimeTube, MetroTube and Tube TV are all very competent YouTube apps, but the best of them all is TubeCast. The basic version of TubeCast is absolutely free and providers many of the same features you’d expect a native version of YouTube to deliver. In addition to that, it also supports exporting to other devices like Chromecast and even Apple TV. In the basic version of TubeCast how much streaming you can do to a set-top box like Apple TV is limited, but you can follow unlock the app for $2.99 if you really need the feature.
Once you’re inside the app and have decided on what video you’d like to watch, right click with your mouse or swipe up from the bottom of your touchscreen to pull up a list of additional options. These options include preloading, settings and playlist creation.
Good luck watching YouTube videos on your Windows 8 device.