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How to Add Chapters to YouTube Videos Manually and Automatically

Add Chapters to YouTube Videos

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:30 am

Do you often upload long videos to YouTube but find your views and engagement wanting?

Well, your videos may have valuable content, but then they may not be attracting attention because of the length.

It’s not going overboard saying certain folks look at the length of the video first before deciding whether to click and watch your videos.

Attention span and time are in short supply, especially when you’re spoilt for choice over a platform like YouTube.

That doesn’t mean you have to start breaking up and uploading your videos in smaller parts.

There’s a way around to your video length problem.

How? You add video chapters to your Youtube videos to make it easier for your viewers.

This post will show you how to add chapters to YouTube videos.

Are You Eligible to Use Video Chapters for Your Channel?

Some are under the impression that you need to have a monetized channel to be aple to use the video chapter feature. This is not true.

Anyone with a YouTube channel can add chapters to YouTube videos subject to conditions as explained below.

Why Add Chapters to Your YouTube Videos?

With thousands of choices available on any subject on YouTube, users look for videos that answer their questions specifically.

If you have a video on Adsense, explaining what it is, how to apply for it, how to increase your AdSense revenue, and so on, you may want to create chapters.

It will allow those who already know the basics to jump straight to the making money section.

If your channel has videos with chapters, you’ll draw more visitors, especially if you correctly title the chapters.

What Are Video Chapters in YouTube?

Video chapters come with markers on the video and timestamps in the description.

They act very much like a table of contents when it comes to text content.

All you have to do is click on the time stamp and you’ll be taken to that portion of the video.

Types of Video Chapters

There are two types of video chapters:

  • Automatic chapters
  • Video chapters added manually

Automatic Video Chapters

You can automatically add chapters to YouTube videos through YouTube Studio.

After logging into YouTube Studio, select Content on the left panel.

Then click on the thumbnail of the video on the right that you want to add chapters to.

The Video Details window will open up.

Scroll Now down until you see the Show More section. Click on it.

Under Automatic Chapters tick on Allow automatic chapters.

When you set the automatic chapters for your videos it doesn’t mean all your videos will have chapters.

It is up to the YouTube system to decide whether your videos will be provided with chapters. That’s why it has stated that automatic chapters will be provided when available and eligible.

Generally, channels with active Community Guideline strikes and copyright strikes or those with inappropriate content will not be provided with automatic chapters.

Bulk Automatic Chapters

Have you been adding a number of videos to your channel and then realize that automatic chapters haven’t been turned on? Well, fret not. You don’t have to go to each video and add automatic chapters.

You can use the bulk add a feature to do it.

Here are the steps on how to do it.

Again visit YouTube Studio and click on Content on the left panel. On the right panel, you’ll see boxes next to the listed videos.

Click on Video if you want to select all the videos. Otherwise, tick on individual boxes to select your preferred videos.

Next click on the Edit button on the top.

You’ll see a list of options in the dropdown menu. Choose Automatic chapters.

On doing that you’ll be asked for confirmation whether you want to update the videos you selected in the list.

Make sure Allow is selected before you click on Update Videos.

Removing Automatic Chapters from YouTube Videos

If later you decide to remove the automatic chapters, follow the same steps as above.

In the final step, choose Don’t Allow and then click on Update Videos. Automatic chapters will be removed from your YouTube videos.

How to Add Chapters to YouTube Videos Manually

If you would like to have more control over how you want your content to be presented to viewers, then you could do well to add video chapters manually.

With the manual addition, you can state precisely where (with time code) you want a chapter to begin. Also, you can add chapter headings for the video.

This will make your videos more user-friendly and more viewers.

Here’s how to go about it.

Step 1 – Go to YouTube Studio and Select Content on the left panel.

Then click on the video you want to add video chapters to.

Step 2 -Enter Timestamps in Description Box

In the Video Details Section, enter the timestamps for your video.

Here are the requirements:

  • The first timestamp must be at 0:00.
  • Each timestamp must have a video duration of at least 10 seconds before the next is inserted.
  • Also, you must have at least 3 chapters for the video chapter feature to work.

Once you’re done inserting the timestamps, click on Save.

Step 3 – Checking Your YouTube Video Chapters

Next click on the video link to view it on YouYoutube. Check to see if your YouTube video chapters are present and working.

You’ll see the video chapters listed in the description box. The timestamps are highlighted in blue.

When you hover your mouse over the video timeline, you’ll see the preview of the titles of the chapters of the video, as you’ve set.

Also, the video timeline is split into the chapters you’ve set.

You may click on a timestamp in the description box to go to a particular chapter of the video.

Sharing Link of YouTube Chapter

Each chapter comes with a link.

You can share this link. Right-click on the timestamp in the description box and copy the link address.

This will allow the viewer to go directly to a particular chapter of the video.

For example, right-clicking on the third chapter of the video and sharing the link will bring the viewer straight to the chapter at 5:00.

Check out the video below.

You’ve learned how to add chapters to YouTube videos. Now, go ahead and add chapters to your lengthy YouTube videos.


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