Make A Shortcut To Instantly Start Your Favorite YouTube Playlist

Shortcuts are a great option to quickly perform a series of tasks in just one tap. See how to setup a shortcut to play your favorite YouTube video playlist.

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If you’re wondering how to make a shortcut on your iPhone or iPad that opens YouTube and starts playing your favorite playlist, I’ll show you how.


Looking for a shortcut to launch only ONE YouTube video? You need this tutorial

The shortcuts app on iPhone and iPad is really useful and can save you time and make life easier. There are all sorts of things you can create shortcuts for and one popular use is to load a YouTube playlist.

If you want to go even further with this shortcut, you can create an automation that launches a YouTube playlist when an NFC tag is scanned.

Why is this awesome?

If you have a favorite wake up playlist or favorite going to bed playlist, you can stick this 1-inch sticker anywhere, wave your iPhone over it and your playlist will instantly begin playing.

For now, let’s create a shortcut that launches when you tap it.

Here’s a summary of the steps:

Make A Shortcut To Open A YouTube Playlist

Here’s the step by step guide to creating a shortcut that opens a YouTube playlist instantly.

Open the Shortcuts app

Swipe down on any Home Screen and type “short”

Shortcuts App (iPhone / iPad)

Launch Shortcuts. Don’t have it? Get it on the App Store here.

Open up the shortcuts app by finding it on your home screen, swiping down and typing “short”, or swipe all the way left until you see the search bar at the top of the screen.

Tap on the “+” button at the top right of the screen

Add a new shortcut

Tap the … button to edit the shortcut name

Edit the name of the shortcut

Enter the name for you new YouTube shortcut

Add an action to the shortcut

This tells the iPhone what should happen when you activated the shortcut

Add a new action to your shortcut

Type “Saf” into the search box and tap Safari when the app appears below

Find Safari App

This shortcut will launch Safari and load your custom YouTube playlist URL that I’ll show you how to find and enter in the next steps.

Tap Open URL

You should see this now

YouTube App
YouTube App

If you’ve made your YouTube playlist private, you won’t be able to find the link using the YouTube app on your iPhone or iPad. Instead, you’ll have to use the Safari browser and go to the YouTube site.

Don’t worry, I’ve got a work around solution for you below.

How to find your private YouTube playlist URL

Open Safari and go to, login and tap Library at the bottom.

Safari – viewing

Tap on the playlist you want to make a shortcut for

Safari – viewing
Safari – viewing Copy the URL from the address bar.

After you tap the playlist you want your new shortcut to open, tap one time in the address bar at the top of the screen. This will show the direct URL (link) to your playlist. Copy the link (step #2 above). This is the custom URL that we’ll insert into the shortcuts app.

Go back to the Shortcuts app and tap the “URL” field that’s light blue. Paste the URL.

Paste your custom YouTube playlist URL here

Your short-cut should be formatted to look like this

Does Your URL Look Different?

Your URL might look like this:

Remove the “m” and the “.” at the beginning so it looks like this;

Does Your URL Look Different?

Your URL might look like this:

Remove the “m” and the “.” at the beginning so it looks like this:

Edit the URL so it opens the YouTube app

So as the shortcut is setup now, when you activate it, it’ll open Safari and load your playlist. This is okay, but we can do better!

Let’s tweak the URL a bit so when you tap the shortcut, the YouTube app opens on your phone and starts playing immediately.

All you have to do is remove the https and replace it with youtube

So this URL

Will now look like this


Test your new shortcut

When you’ve edited the URL (link), tap the Done button at the top of the screen

Now tap the shortcut to test your new YouTube shortcut. It should load the YouTube app and start playing the playlist right away.

Test your new shortcut

There are so many uses for shortcuts, and when you get into automating the shortcuts things get really interesting!

Hopefully this tutorial has shown you how to create a shortcut on your iPhone or iPad to play YouTube playlists. If you want to take the shortcut even further, check out NFC tags and how they can be automated to launch a playlist when your iPhone is swiped over it.

A good practical use for an NFC tag shortcut (and automation) might be placing the NFC tag in your car and when you swipe your iPhone over it your automation is setup to play your favorite YouTube playlist, send your wife/husband an ETA of when you’ll be home and to pull up maps and show you the best way how to avoid traffic.

It’s amazing!

Let me know if you need any help, I’ll be happy to assist.

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