How to Disable Youtube Shorts – A 2023 Expert Guide

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Hey friend! If you‘re like me, you might not be the biggest fan of YouTube‘s relatively new Shorts feature. I get it – the short vertical videos aren‘t everyone‘s cup of tea.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through the ins and outs of disabling or limiting Shorts when you use YouTube. With over 15 years of experience as a social media strategist and technology writer, I‘ve dug into all the options for evading Shorts based on how you prefer to access YouTube.

Let‘s get started!

Person using phone and laptop

What Are YouTube Shorts?

In case you‘re not familiar, here‘s a quick rundown on YouTube‘s new Shorts feature:

  • Vertical videos – Shorts are short, vertical videos similar to TikTok or Instagram Reels. They are designed for mobile viewing.

  • 60 seconds or less – Each Short can be up to 60 seconds long. Most are between 15-30 seconds.

  • Available in YouTube app – Shorts have their own feed in the YouTube mobile app. There‘s also a web version at

  • Launched in 2020 – YouTube first introduced Shorts in India in 2020. The TikTok-like feature expanded globally in 2021.

  • YouTube‘s big bet – Shorts are a major priority for YouTube as it competes in the short-form video space against TikTok and Instagram.

Clearly, YouTube is all in on Shorts. But not every YouTube user is thrilled about the new vertical video format with its similarities to TikTok.

In a recent poll by YouTube creators MatPat and Stephanie Patrick of over 217,000 fans, 61% said they do not watch Shorts. Many users find Shorts distracting and would rather stick to traditional YouTube long-form videos.

Fortunately, while you can‘t completely purge Shorts from YouTube, I‘ll show you some clever workarounds and tricks to avoid Shorts based on how you prefer to use YouTube.

Let‘s get into it!

Can You Permanently Disable Shorts on YouTube?

The first question many Shorts detractors have is – can you fully turn off or remove Shorts from YouTube?

The short answer is no. There is currently no built-in setting or option in the main YouTube mobile app or website to permanently disable Shorts.

YouTube is clearly invested in Shorts as a core part of the platform‘s future, so total removal does not seem to be in the cards.

However, that doesn‘t mean you‘re forced to watch Shorts. While you can‘t totally purge them from YouTube, there are some creative shortcuts to largely avoid Shorts based on how you access YouTube.

I‘ll cover all the best workarounds coming up. First, let‘s look at why disabling YouTube Shorts is even harder than it seems.

The Difficulty of Disabling Shorts

You might be wondering – if lots of people don‘t like Shorts, why doesn‘t YouTube add a simple setting to turn them off?

There are a few reasons why completely disabling Shorts sitewide is unlikely:

1. Shorts are strategically important for YouTube

YouTube Shorts launched in response to the rise of TikTok. Short vertical videos are where viewer engagement and ad money is rapidly shifting.

YouTube doesn‘t want to lose that market, so they are heavily promoting Shorts.

2. Removal preferences could impact ad revenue

If YouTube gave users an easy Shorts toggle, a lot of people would likely disable them. This could significantly reduce the audience and reach for Shorts.

Fewer Shorts views = less ad money. So YouTube is incentivized to make Shorts unavoidable.

3. Users may overlook Shorts if easily hidden

Research shows that when content is harder to access, people engage with it less often. Out of sight, out of mind.

If Shorts had an obvious off switch, YouTube likely fears many viewers would never give them a chance.

4. People‘s preferences may change over time

Viewer tastes evolve. What you dislike today, you may enjoy tomorrow.

YouTube doesn‘t want to lose future Shorts viewers by giving users permanent removal options early on.

5. Other workaround options still exist

Though no universal toggle exists, workaround options covered in this guide allow people to avoid Shorts if they desire.

These give unhappy viewers some control while still keeping Shorts front-and-center for other users.

Given these factors, I don‘t anticipate YouTube adding a full Shorts removal setting anytime soon. But as you‘ll see, that doesn‘t mean you‘re stuck watching Shorts if you don‘t want to.

Now let‘s get into the good stuff – actionable steps to avoid Shorts in your YouTube experience.

Clever Ways to Disable or Limit Shorts on YouTube

While permanently removing Shorts from YouTube across the board isn‘t feasible, you have some smart options to dodge Shorts based on how you access YouTube.

I‘ll share ways to disable Shorts on mobile, on the YouTube website, using third party apps, and more.

Let‘s go through them one-by-one:

Use an Older Version of the YouTube Mobile App

One effective shortcut is to use an outdated version of the YouTube mobile app from before the Shorts feature existed.

Shorts first launched in mid-2020. So installing an older YouTube app version from 2019 or earlier allows you to avoid Shorts completely.

Here‘s how:

On Android:

  • Uninstall the current YouTube app to remove Shorts.
  • Find and download an APK file of the older YouTube version you want. I recommend v14.20.53 or earlier.
  • Enable "Install from unknown source" in Android settings to allow sideloading the APK.
  • Install the older YouTube APK on your device.
  • Disable auto-updates for the YouTube app so it doesn‘t upgrade itself.

On iOS:

  • Unfortunately you can‘t install older YouTube versions directly on iOS.
  • But if you have an older iPhone/iPad that still has a pre-2020 YouTube version, Shorts won‘t be there.


  • Completely removes Shorts
  • Still enjoy latest YouTube features before Shorts


  • Less secure than official app
  • Won‘t have newest YouTube features

Use the YouTube Website in a Mobile Browser

The YouTube website on mobile browsers like Chrome and Safari notably does not have a Shorts feed.

Using YouTube in a mobile browser prevents Shorts without having to downgrade your app. It‘s a handy shortcut.


  • No Shorts
  • Still use latest YouTube website
  • Convenient mobile browser access


  • Missing some native mobile app features
  • Browser experience not as seamless

Install Third-Party YouTube Apps

Modified third-party YouTube apps like YouTube Vanced offer ways to fully disable Shorts that the official app doesn‘t allow.

Since these are not official YouTube apps, I recommend researching options carefully and using at your own risk.

Popular third-party apps include:

  • YouTube Vanced – Disables Shorts and other features. Android only.

  • uYou+ – Another modded YouTube app that can remove Shorts.

  • YouTube++ – Jailbreak tweak for iOS that eliminates Shorts.


  • Can completely turn off Shorts
  • More customization options


  • Use at your own risk
  • Potential security/privacy concerns

Consistently Choose "Not Interested" on Shorts

You can tap "Not Interested" on any Short in the YouTube app to provide feedback to YouTube.

If you consistently dismiss Shorts as not interested, YouTube‘s algorithm may show fewer Shorts in your feed over time.


  • Easy way to provide feedback
  • May reduce Shorts long-term


  • Won‘t completely eliminate Shorts
  • Takes time and effort

Access YouTube on a Desktop Computer

The YouTube website at on desktop has zero Shorts. It‘s a guaranteed way to avoid Shorts while using YouTube.


  • No Shorts whatsoever
  • Full YouTube experience on desktop


  • Mobile convenience is lost
  • Only works on laptop/desktop

Key Takeaways and Tips

To recap, the key ideas for minimizing Shorts on YouTube:

  • There‘s no universal "turn off Shorts" setting on YouTube currently.
  • You can disable or reduce Shorts based on how you access YouTube.
  • Best options: older YouTube app, mobile browser, third-party apps, desktop.
  • Marking Shorts "Not Interested" may decrease them over time.

Pro tips:

  • Stick to desktop YouTube on a computer – no Shorts there!
  • Temporarily uninstall YouTube updates on Android to revert to a Shorts-free version.
  • Browse YouTube logged out – won‘t see personalized Shorts recommendations.
  • Hide Shorts behind subscribed channels on mobile – tap profile pic > subscriptions.
  • Use YouTube Kids if you have children – the Kids app doesn‘t include Shorts.

I hope these pointers help you enjoy YouTube without the Shorts distraction! Let‘s recap everything we learned in this ultimate guide.

The Complete Guide to Disabling YouTube Shorts

We‘ve covered a lot of ground, so let‘s do a quick rundown of everything you now know about eliminating Shorts from YouTube:

  • What are YouTube Shorts? Vertical, short-form videos under 60 seconds. YouTube‘s version of TikTok.

  • No permanent removal setting: No universal way to disable Shorts completely on YouTube currently.

  • YouTube business incentives: Shorts drive revenue and compete with TikTok. Removing may hurt YouTube‘s business.

  • User experience factors: Easy to overlook Shorts if hidden. People‘s preferences change over time.

  • Old YouTube app versions: Downgrading to pre-Shorts Android apps or legacy iOS removes Shorts.

  • Mobile browser: Use YouTube website on mobile browser to avoid Shorts feed.

  • Third-party apps: Modded YouTube apps like Vanced let you disable Shorts completely. Use carefully.

  • Mark as "Not Interested": May decrease Shorts in feed over time by consistently dismissing them.

  • Desktop watching: No Shorts on YouTube website on laptop/desktop computers.

  • Other tips: Temporarily revert Android app, browse logged out, prioritize subscriptions, use YouTube Kids.

Phew, that‘s a lot to digest! Let‘s wrap up with some final thoughts.

Parting Words on Dodging Shorts

Disabling YouTube Shorts may feel impossible when there‘s no perfect removal option. But as we‘ve explored, you still have more control than you think based on how you access YouTube.

While Shorts are here to stay, you can tailor your YouTube experience by leveraging old app versions, browsers, third-party apps, and desktop watching.

I hope these tips help you enjoy YouTube the way you want without the frustration of unavoidable Shorts. Trust me, I get the dislike – Shorts just aren‘t everyone‘s favorite new trend!

As always, be careful with sideloading old apps and using third-party options. Make sure to thoroughly research before installing anything unusual.

Want help navigating any other social media or technology dilemmas? Feel free to reach out! I love troubleshooting tricky issues and helping friends master their digital lives.

Stay safe out there, and happy YouTube watching!


Social Media Expert


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.