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I want to add YouTube search results to a playlist. The quickest way to save them temporarily seems to be to add them to "Watch Later" which requires only one click per video. Adding each video to a YouTube playlist is much slower, requiring 4 clicks per video.

Ultimately, I want to create individual playlists from the results of different searches.

How can I move the entire contents of "Watch Later", which can be as many as 5,000 videos, to a YouTube playlist in a single step or as few as possible?

6 Answers 6

15

I use the Chrome extension Multiselect for YouTube from the great Pollux.

I have just now moved 5000 videos from 'Watch Later' to other playlists.

Multiselect for YouTube

Chrome Web StoreChrome Web Store
Firefox Browser Add-OnsFirefox Add-Ons

Move, sort, and copy videos in your playlists faster and easier.

This extension will save you a lot of time managing your playlists.

✔️ Supports the new interface Manifest V3
✔️ The user experience has been redesigned from the ground up
✔️ Same display dark/light as in YouTube
✔️ Selected videos are clearly highlighted
✔️ Icon button to toggle multiple selection on/off
✔️ Action bar
✔️ Context menu
🚀 Keyboard navigation
🚀 Copy, cut and paste videos
✨ Find duplicates
🎁 Select videos with title filter

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  • 1
    This is the best solution. Only one that works for the 5000 Watch Later limit reached problem. Mar 8, 2023 at 17:39
13
  1. Press the "shuffle" button for you Watch Later playlist.
  2. Add any random video to your queue by clicking on the three dots at the side of the video. You should now have a queue.
  3. Click the "save" button at the top of your queue and select the playlist you would like to add you videos to. (You can now go to your new playlist and remove the extra video you added in step 2) Done! Hope that helps.

P.S. I said to add an extra video to your queue because otherwise the "save" button wouldn't show up.

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  • 5
    I tried following this, but unfortunately it only moves around 200 videos, and I'd like to move all 5000. When I press "shuffle" it did indeed start a queue containing all 5000. However, as you say I can't save the queue at that stage. When I added another video to the queue, it truncated the queue to a little over 200 videos.
    – trr
    Aug 12, 2022 at 8:11
  • 1
    1. You can use the Play All option you don't need to Shuffle. 2. You can get it to save more than 200 videos but the results are extremely inconsistent and require you to skip forward and start playback of videos further in the queue (eg. position 200, 400, etc.). This is time-consuming and prone to failing.
    – Blindspots
    Jan 14 at 0:43
3

It seems that Google goes to great lengths to prevent you from doing this with each new iteration of the YouTube platform. Depending when you read this, you may have to search for a new answer. As of April 2021, the only working answer is to follow the above tutorial here by Keagan C.

After that, you'll probably want to delete the Watch Later videos by doing the following: go to your Watch Later list, press Ctrl + Shift + J if you're on a PC, or Cmd + Option + J if you're on a MAC.

Scroll to the bottom of the window that pops up and paste in the following script:

setInterval(function() {
  document.querySelector('#primary button[aria-label="Action menu"]').click();
  var things = document.evaluate('//span[contains(text(),"Watch later")]',document,null,XPathResult.ORDERED_NODE_SNAPSHOT_TYPE,null);
  for (var i = 0; i < things.snapshotLength; i++) { things.snapshotItem(i).click(); } },
5);

Now press ENTER and watch the magic happen...If you see videos stacking up that aren't being deleted, especially greyed-out [private/deleted/removed video] videos, click the 3-dot icon on each of those greyed out videos, and they should be eliminated along with the rest. If the process pauses, you might be able to help it out by moving the scroll bar on the video list to scroll toward the bottom of the list. If the scroll bar isn't helping, you may have to refresh the page and reload the script. You can also experiment by adjusting the last number in the script. Higher numbers take longer, lower numbers are faster, but your effectiveness at each speed may vary.

Good luck, and may the force be with you!

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  • 1
    I remember solving this the multiselect browser extension as given in another answer
    – trr
    Mar 5, 2023 at 22:49
2

The best (read: only) way I've found to add all my "watch later" videos to a new playlist is within the mobile app (I'm on an Android phone, but probably works for iPhone too). It requires a smartphone and some device you can "cast" to.

  1. Play your "watch later playlist"
  2. Cast to a some device (chromecast, smart tv, roku, smart display, etc.)
  3. Pull up the video queue
  4. Tap the plus icon in the top right beneath the video playing and make a new playlist
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  • This no longer works I don't see any save button.
    – Hao S
    Aug 5, 2023 at 23:39
  • Still shows up in mine, I just rechecked it. It doesn't say "save" it's just a plus icon in the top right of the queue that you pull up from the bottom.
    – Keagen C
    Aug 24, 2023 at 16:35
0

Heres one tutorial Does it work? http://www.art4software.com/2014/09/youtube-api-how-to-copy-the-watchlater-list/

0

Short answer:

  1. Go to Watch Later list with Advanced settings
  2. 3 Dots Menu in top right > "Add all to" > Choose your destination playlist.
  3. Ensure it's done by visiting the destination playlist and then proceed to Delete your current 'Watch Later' to add new set of videos to it.

Long Answer: (with additional old and hopefully still working method)

I originally meant to follow this guide from 2018 by nouyang. But at the point where it says to "Finally, go to your “watch later” playlist" it redirects to this regular Watch Later link, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=WL This is also the URL available for "Watch Later" in your YouTube's left panel. (The panel you get by going to hamburger menu in the top left).

Unfortunately, if one is to access their Watch Later via this URL, they won't find the '3 dot' to choose the "Add all to" option, which is important in moving videos from Watch Later to a playlist.
So, I was planning to follow this lengthy but resourceful guide from 2014 involving YouTube API, which also happens to be suggested by @Kangarooo here.

Thankfully, I was taken aback by the lengthy process and with some thinking & trial and error, I discovered this Watch Later URL with advanced settings which includes the beloved "Add all to" option: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=WL&advanced_settings=1&disable_polymer=1

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  • now the last link also leads to regular watch later page without advanced options
    – lxknvlk
    Feb 13, 2022 at 11:24
  • 1
    I do not see 3 Dots Menu in top right > "Add all to" > Choose your destination playlist so assume this trick doesn't work anymore.
    – Ryan
    Apr 1, 2022 at 0:11
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    Doesn't work in 2022. advanced_settings=1&disable_polymer=1 params are being automatically removed.
    – overdriven
    Apr 3, 2022 at 17:04

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