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Learn How to Record on YouTube TV in 2023

Published August 10, 2023

As a premium television streaming service, YouTube TV offers numerous channels and allows you to watch thousands of programs as they air. In that sense, it can easily replace cable TV, but that alone may not be enough to convince you to cut the cord. However, YouTube TV’s superb recording feature and unlimited DVR space might.

Before you can use these features to their full capacity, you need to understand how they work. To help you save and watch your favorite shows even after they’ve aired, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide to recording on YouTube TV. Read on to learn more!

How Does Recording on YouTube TV Work?

Gone are the days of cassette tapes and accidentally recording the new episode of your favorite show over someone else’s music. Recording on YouTube TV is as simple as pressing a button, and you can record as many shows simultaneously as you like. In fact, once you add a program to your library, every newly-aired episode will be recorded automatically. Thanks to that, you don’t need to worry about missing out ever again!

And where will all that content be stored, you may ask? YouTube TV has an extensive DVR library with unlimited space, allowing you to save all your recordings. The added programs won’t affect the storage space on any of your devices — they are all saved and accessed online. In other words, as long as you have an Internet connection, you can watch your content from any device.

There is, of course, a limit. Namely, your recordings will be stored in your DVR library for nine months, after which they are removed. However, considering that nine months is plenty of time, that shouldn’t significantly impact your viewing experience.

How to Record Any Program on YouTube TV

Before we delve into the concrete steps for recording on YouTube TV, we should note that you can record from several devices, including your browser, phone, or smart TV. The app’s interface may slightly differ depending on the device you’re using, but the recording process will essentially be the same.

For starters, you need to log in to your YouTube TV account. You can do that by clicking the Sign In in the top-right corner of YouTube TV’s official website. Alternatively, if you’re using the mobile app, the Sign In button will be located at the bottom of the screen. When asked, enter your Google account username and password, and you’ll have access to all content available on YouTube TV.

Now that you are signed in, here is what you have to do next:

  • Click on the magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner of the screen to open the search bar;
  • Enter the name of the program you want to record;
  • Once a list of programs matching your keywords appears, select the relevant show;
  • A new page will open, giving detailed information about the program and listing available episodes and seasons. Underneath the title, you will see the Add to library button;
  • Click this button, and a notification will pop up informing you that the program is now in your DVR library.

And that’s it — the future episodes of your favorite show will be recorded, and you’ll be able to access them whenever you want. However, keep in mind that the recording option might not be available for all programs. If you don’t see the Add to library button under the title, it’s likely been disabled by the creators.

How to Record Live Programs on YouTube TV

Recording live programs on YouTube TV is similar to recording shows that aren’t currently airing, but it does deserve a few special considerations. For starters, you don’t need to manually search for a specific program to record it. Instead, visit the Live tab at the top of the home screen to see a list of channels and shows streaming live. Once there, take the following steps:

  • Choose a program to start watching;
  • Pause it by clicking the video (on a PC), tapping the pause button (on a smartphone), or pressing the pause button (on smart TV);
  • Underneath the progress bar, you will see a + icon. Click it, and the show will be added to your DVR library.

However, we should note that the recording will begin only from the moment you press the + icon. In other words, you will not be able to watch the entire episode of the saved show if you start recording halfway through. There is a silver lining, though — if a rerun airs at a later time, the incomplete episode will be automatically replaced with the full program.

How to Access Recorded YouTube TV Shows

Recording YouTube TV programs won’t mean much to you if you don’t know how to access them. Luckily, the TV streaming service is extremely user-friendly, so you should have no trouble finding the DVR library on your own. Still, if you need some guidance, here’s what you have to do:

  • Open the homepage of YouTube TV;
  • You will find three tabs at the top of the screen — Library, Home, and Live. Select the Library tab;
  • In the Library tab, you will see a sidebar on the left listing various categories. Those include Most Watched, Scheduled, Shows, Movies, Sports, Events, and Purchased;
  • Select a category, and all recent recordings will be displayed on the screen. Then, simply click on the thumbnail of your chosen show to watch it.

Of course, you’ll only be able to watch the episodes that have already aired. As a result, shows in the Scheduled category won’t be available until they actually come out.

In addition, YouTube TV included several filters to make browsing the Library easier. Usually, your programs will be ordered by the recording date, with the most recent one displayed first. However, if you click on the Recently Recorded button in the top right of the Library page, you’ll be able to select different filters. For instance, you can put your shows in alphabetical order or sort them according to popularity and ratings. Thanks to that, you can quickly find the program you are looking for.

Can You Delete Shows From the Library?

Despite the unlimited storage, you may feel that the number of shows you’ve recorded is cluttering your Library and making it difficult to navigate. In that case, you probably want to remove a few — especially those you never get around to watching.

Unfortunately, YouTube TV doesn’t have the option to remove a recorded show from your DVR library. Once you’ve added a program to the library, it’s there to stay. However, you can stop recording a show, thus ensuring that no future episodes appear on your DVR. Here is how to do that:

  • Open YouTube TV and navigate to the Library tab;
  • Find and select the show you want to delete;
  • Under the program’s title, you’ll see the Added to library button with a checkmark. Click on this button, and it will turn back into Add to library.

And that’s it — once the new episodes of the selected show air, they will no longer appear in your library. The rest of the program will stay, though, and you’ll be able to quickly access it or start recording again if you change your mind.

Furthermore, when the nine-month period expires, all the episodes you’ve recorded will disappear from your library. Ultimately, the recordings will delete themselves; you just need to be patient.

Do YouTube TV Recordings Contain Ads?

Since YouTube TV records the entire show from beginning to end, ads will certainly be included. However, in most cases, you can skip or fast-forward past them, allowing you to watch the episodes almost uninterrupted. Still, there are some ads that you might be unable to avoid, usually coming from advertisers who bought ad space directly from YouTube TV.

Additional Accounts and Libraries

YouTube TV allows you to open six separate accounts for the same household, meaning the entire family can enjoy their favorite shows simultaneously. What’s more, each of the accounts comes with its own unlimited DVR library. In other words, everyone can record their own programs without cluttering any of the other libraries.

Never Miss Another Episode

Now that you know how to use YouTube TV’s recording features, you can take full advantage of the unlimited DVR storage and all its numerous benefits. You’ll never miss another episode of your beloved show or another match in your favorite league — at least not as long as you watch them within the nine months time limit. And that’s more than enough time to catch up!

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Written By:
Jessica is a writer who specializes in social media, marketing, and digital strategy. She is a graduate of Antioch College and earned her MBA at Boston College’s Carroll Graduate School of Management, specializing in STEM Management. Her work has been published in numerous academic journals and mainstream publications. She lives in New England with her husband, two children, and three dogs.
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