How to See Your Total YouTube Watch Time

Watching videos on YouTube can be an enjoyable way to pass the time. However, it’s easy to lose track of just how much time you actually spend on the platform. Fortunately, YouTube offers a useful “Time watched” feature to help you monitor your viewing activity.

As a digital media professional with over 10 years of experience, I often find this feature valuable both for personal use and for consulting clients on their YouTube analytics. Tracking your watch time can provide helpful insights into your online habits.

What is Total YouTube Watch Time

Your total YouTube watch time refers to the accumulated amount of time you have spent watching videos on YouTube across all your devices. This includes videos watched on the YouTube website, mobile apps, and even casting content from your phone to a TV.

The total watch time calculation takes into account your entire YouTube watch history and sums up the duration of all the videos you have viewed. However, it does not include:

  • Videos marked private
  • Deleted watch history
  • Incognito/private browsing activity

Essentially, your total watch time gives you a snapshot of how much time you have actively spent consuming YouTube content while logged into your Google account.

Why Track Your Total YouTube Watch Time

Here are some of the main reasons for monitoring your total YouTube watch time:

  • Gain self-awareness: Understanding how much time you devote to YouTube viewing can help you evaluate your online habits and digital wellbeing. You may realize you spend more time than expected on the platform.
  • Set viewing goals: Establishing a reasonable daily or weekly watch time goal can prevent excessive YouTube viewing. You can check if you are staying within your goals.
  • Identify interests: Your watch history gives insights into content themes and topics you frequently view. This reveals your interests and preferences.
  • Improve time management: Monitoring watch time can motivate better time management if you find yourself spending too long on YouTube.

How to Check Total YouTube Watch Time

YouTube makes it simple to see your accumulated watch time through the “Time watched” feature in the YouTube mobile app. Just follow these steps:

On iPhone

  1. Open the latest version of the YouTube app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on your profile icon in the top right corner.
  3. Select “Time watched” from the menu.

On Android

  1. Open the YouTube app on your Android device.
  2. Tap on your Google account profile icon.
  3. Choose “Time watched”.

Once in the Time watched section, you will see:

  • Daily average watch time
  • Today’s total watch time
  • Yesterday’s watch time
  • Watch time from the last 7 days

This gives you a breakdown of your recent YouTube viewing activity. However, there is no option to see your complete lifetime total watch time.

How to Calculate Total Lifetime Watch Time

Since YouTube does not directly show your lifetime watch time total, you can manually calculate an estimate using your daily average watch time.

Here is a simple formula:

Total Watch Time = Daily Average Watch Time x Number of Days as a YouTube User

For example:

  • Daily Average Watch Time = 45 minutes
  • YouTube User for 5 years (1825 days)
  • Total Watch Time = 45 minutes x 1825 days = 82,125 minutes (or 1,368 hours)

While this estimated lifetime total relies on averages, it can still give you a useful approximation of your cumulative YouTube viewing over the years.

Tips for Managing Your YouTube Watch Time

Once you know your total YouTube watch time, here are 5 tips to avoid excessive viewing:

1. Set a Daily Watch Time Limit

Decide on a reasonable maximum daily watch time for yourself, such as 60 or 90 minutes. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you when you hit your self-imposed limit.

2. Use YouTube’s “Take a Break” Feature

This feature allows you to set timed reminders to take a break from watching videos. You can enable it under Settings > General.

3. Track Your Time with Apps

Apps like Moment and Space track your daily device usage. Seeing your YouTube consumption patterns over time can keep your viewing in check.

4. Find Alternate Hobbies

Look for other fun hobbies that keep you occupied offline. Replace some YouTube time with reading books, exercising, spending time outdoors etc.

5. Monitor Your Watch Time Weekly

Check your “Time watched” stats at the end of each week to ensure you haven’t exceeded your goals. Hold yourself accountable.


Understanding your total YouTube watch time offers valuable self-awareness into your viewing patterns and digital wellbeing. Take advantage of YouTube’s built-in Time watched feature and also manually estimate your lifetime total watch time. With helpful watch time insights, you can then set reasonable daily limits and find ways to practice better time management.

What’s your total YouTube watch time? Share your thoughts in the comments below!