Likely to help surface new content to users, the desktop version of YouTube is now showing a pop-out video preview player when hovering over on-site content.

[Update 01/13]: The pop-out preview player is now beginning to roll out more widely as we have received reports from readers that the option is now available on their YouTube accounts. You’ll find the option by heading to Settings > Playback and performance > Browsing > Inline playback or just hit this link. Disabling the “Inline playback” feature disables the hover previews if you prefer not to see these on your account. It’s also worth noting that previews are limited to just 40 seconds.

We’re not entirely sure when this change arose, but in a similar manner to that of the YouTube mobile app you’ll now get a pop-out preview player that will begin playing videos in their entirety when you hover your mouse cursor over video thumbnails. Previously this would only show a silent looping gif of the video in question, but thanks to this change videos are given far greater prominence.

Not only that, but you also have the ability to toggle this mini-player volume and any associated video captions. There’s also the ability to “Watch later” or “Add to queue” along with the expanded three-dot menu that gives further options. You can even scrub through the content, effectively allowing you to watch videos without ever leaving your Home feed.

YouTube videos will keep playing in the background on started via this new pop-out preview player, that is so long as you don’t hover over another video and initiate playback. It’s a nice addition, but one that might not necessarily be useful in every instance. You can see it in action below:

The change appears to be live on YouTube across multiple browsers and this added preview player might be a great way to get a taste of new content without necessarily needing to leave the safety of your regular content feed. It’s not often we see major changes to the frontend of YouTube on desktop, so this is still a notable new feature that might prove useful and help you find even more new videos to watch.

More on YouTube:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email:

Damien Wilde's favorite gear