How to Break YouTube Addiction

How to Break YouTube Addiction

YouTube might seem like a harmless form of entertainment, but compulsively watching videos can negatively impact your education, career, relationships and mental wellbeing.

Even if your binge-watching isn’t a full-blown YouTube addiction, it might still be causing problems in your life. If you want to stop wasting time on the internet, here are some steps you can take:

Clear your YouTube history

To keep you wanting more, the YouTube algorithm combs through your search and watch history to recommend videos it thinks you would like. The best way to stop it is to delete this information.

Set a daily YouTube limit

Check out our recommended screen time guidelines to help you decide on a reasonable amount of time to spend watching videos each day. Then, set a daily limit so you stop using YouTube when you reach that threshold.

Switch on the take a break reminder

On YouTube settings, there is a ‘take a break’ reminder to help you manage your usage. It will pause the video until you dismiss it or resume playing the video. For users aged 13–17, the take a break reminder is switched ‘on’ but for users aged 18+ or over, the default setting is ‘off’.

Turn off auto-play

The auto-play feature on YouTube bombards users with a constant stream of videos. You can turn off auto-play by using the toggle option on the watch page. This may make it easier for you to step away when a video finishes.

Try a digital detox

If you keep finding yourself pulled back to watching videos, try a digital detox for 24 hours or longer. The goal is not to step away from YouTube forever but to use it in a more balanced way.

Delete the YouTube app

If a digital detox is not possible, try deleting the YouTube app on your smartphone. Restricting access to your desktop or laptop will help you be more intentional in your use and reduce the amount of time you spend mindlessly watching videos.

Delete your YouTube account

If none of the above approaches are working, and YouTube is still disrupting your life and causing distress, you may need complete abstinence.

Find new activities

Find other ways to fill your time so you aren’t tempted to spend hours binge-watching videos.

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