[Update: Sep. 29] YouTube keeps recommending old, already watched videos? Here's what you can do
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…
Original story (published on November 11, 2020) follows:
We can all agree that YouTube video recommendations are far from perfect. The streaming platform has been recommending decades-old videos, repetitive suggestions and already watched videos to users for years now.
However, the last-mentioned point is what gets on people’s nerves the most.
Suggesting already watched videos is clearly nonsensical, and as a result, users have taken to the official YouTube forums to vent their frustration.
Agreed. I’m stuck in loops of the same videos – actually a the video i just watched could be next up and the same can repeat again and again. It’s like i’m being dumbed down and put in a bubble.
Glad to see there is a thread of people dealing with the same. Even if the video is half played it shouldn’t show up in recommended videos. Maybe I stopped watching because it was no longer interesting. At the very least if it was because of some other reason I can go to my history and find videos I want to finish that I have yet to do so.
Seeing an old video pop up occasionally can be refreshing sometimes. Also, there are certain videos that are worth watching several times over, especially music videos.
However, having the same old suggestions on YouTube’s home section is a complete waste of space. Users are forced to search harder or scroll much further if they simply want to enjoy a fresh, never watched video.
Now, YouTube obviously does not run on a short supply of videos.
This really makes you wonder how many nice and relevant video suggestions one keeps missing out on a daily basis due to the recommendations being filled with already watched videos.
It is hard to imagine why YouTube’s suggestions algorithms have been coded to result in such behavior. No one seems to be a fan of it. Google should listen to the complaints and fix this issue asap.
As of now, there is little that can be done about the matter, apart from ranting about the issue on YouTube forums. However, people have been doing the same for years, and are yet to receive any acknowledgement.
Still, the little that can be done has been listed below.
What you can do about YouTube recommending watched videos
It is safe to say that YouTube bases most of its recommendations around a user’s search and watch history. Clearing them would surely help with the issue.
1. Clear watch history: Click on the user icon at the top-right of your mobile YouTube app and head over to settings. Next, head to “History and privacy” where you will see a “Clear watch history” option.
2. Clear search history: This option is available under the same menu as above. Just click on the “Clear search history” option to perform the same.
Note: Doing the above-mentioned will result in your video recommendations getting reset. You will basically be getting a fresh start. So, be careful.
3. “Not interested”: You can kind of train YouTube to bend to your will by using this option. Just click on the 3-dot menu beside the video title to reveal the “Not interested” and “Don’t recommend channel” options.
Just do this each time YouTube recommends a trashy or already watched video. Perhaps YouTube will learn a lesson and improve its suggestions.
That being said, let us know in the comments below if the above workarounds helped you with the YouTube recommending watched videos issue.
Also be sure to check out our story on how to apply location-based search filters on YouTube here.
Update (September 29)
12:25 pm (IST): Reports indicate that some YouTube users are still facing the issue where the platform’s recommendation already watched videos.
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