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Did You Know Your Chromecast’s YouTube Button Is Also A YouTube TV Shortcut?

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If you have a Chromecast with Google TV, and are a YouTube TV subscriber, then it is worth knowing that the YouTube button on the remote can also be used as a shortcut to YouTube TV. Technically, this is an either-or situation, but for those that access the YouTube TV app more often than the YouTube app, it might be worth remapping the button.

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Remapping remote buttons to do something different than their intended purpose is not new and there are many apps already available to help with this. However, as Google owns YouTube and the Chromecast line, it should come as no surprise that accessing services like YouTube TV on the company’s hardware devices is made as easy as possible.

While the YouTube button on the remote is a quick and easy way to fire up the main YouTube app, Google has included the option to change its destination to YouTube TV. For reference, it can also be remapped to YouTube Music or YouTube Kids instead. Regardless of the preferred destination, simply long-pressing the button is all a user has to do to change its shortcut purpose.

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Instead of opening YouTube as normal, long-pressing the button will result in the Chromecast with Google TV opening a new menu. From here, the user can select the service they want to assign to the button. For example, selecting YouTube TV remaps the button to open YouTube TV.

Remap youtube button

Only the YouTube apps that are installed on the Chromecast will show up in the menu. So, if a user doesn’t see the app they want to use then it may be worth checking to make sure the app has actually been downloaded on the device. Providing the app is downloaded, and a service is selected, the YouTube button will then automatically launch the allocated app each time it is pressed.

While not a massive change, it is still one that can speed up the time it takes to launch the live TV app. If the user switches to a different live TV service at a later time, or just wants to access the main YouTube app again, the change can be undone in the same way. Simply long-press the button and select YouTube from the menu.

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Unfortunately, switching from YouTube to YouTube TV or another YouTube app is the extent to the button’s capabilities. For example, there is no option to assign it to a non-YouTube service, and none of the other buttons on the remote can be remapped either. Still, for YouTube TV subscribers, it is worth being aware of the option, as it can really speed up the time it takes to navigate the Google TV interface, launch the app, and start watching live TV.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or say hi on Twitter

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