How to Fast Forward on TikTok: The Complete Guide

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Hey there! Have you ever gotten deep into your TikTok feed, only to realize you accidentally missed something in a video from earlier? Or wanted to skip ahead in a longer video to the good part?

I‘ve definitely been there too. Luckily, TikTok now lets you rewind and fast forward through videos right in the app. No more having to rewatch a whole video just to see that one part again!

In this complete guide, I‘ll walk you through everything you need to know about fast forwarding TikTok videos:

  • Which videos can be fast forwarded (and which can‘t)
  • Step-by-step instructions to scrub through videos
  • How to fast forward downloaded TikToks
  • Why fast forwarding is useful
  • Expert tips to create optimal fast forwardable videos

Let‘s dive in and master fast forwarding on TikTok!

Can You Fast Forward on TikTok?

Short answer – yes, you can fast forward most TikTok videos! But there are a few caveats:

  • Longer videos (over 1 min) are more likely to have fast forwarding enabled. Short videos often don‘t yet.
  • Sponsored/ad content almost never allows fast forwarding.
  • The feature works better on the web version of TikTok right now. The mobile app can be spotty.

TikTok introduced fast forwarding in early 2022. But it seems they are still testing the feature and rolling it out slowly.

Longer videos make the most sense for fast forwarding. You‘re more likely to want to rewatch a section or skip uninteresting parts. Shorts don‘t need as much navigation.

And of course, brands paying for TikTok ads want you to watch the full thing.

According to TikTok‘s support site, fast forwarding is available on:

  • Videos longer than 1 minute
  • LIVE replays over 5 minutes
  • Videos uploaded as "Use This Sound"

So when you come across a longer TikTok, check for the fast forward progress bar along the bottom. If you see it, you can tap through!

Video Type Fast Forward Enabled
Shorts (<1 min) Sometimes
Long form (>1 min) Usually
Sponsored/ads Rarely
LIVE replays (>5 min) Yes
User uploaded sounds Yes

Now let‘s get into the step-by-step for fast forwarding…

How to Fast Forward on the TikTok App

When a TikTok video supports fast forwarding, here‘s how to skip around:

  1. Look for a thin progress bar along the bottom of the video.

  2. Tap anywhere along the progress bar line. A white dot will appear.

  3. Drag the dot left or right to scrub through the video timeline.

  4. Release your finger when you reach the section you want to play from.

The progress bar gives you precision control to jump to any part of the video. Super handy for rewatching text or skipping unneeded sections.

Here‘s a quick clip to see it in action:

Pretty easy right? Now you can navigate long videos instead of tapping the 15 sec skip button 300 times.

Some other fast forwarding tips:

  • Tap near the end of the progress bar to jump right to the end.
  • Slow dragging gives more granular control.
  • Quick dragging scrubs faster through the video.
  • Works great on TikTok duets too – skip to just the reactions.

Okay, now what if a TikTok doesn‘t allow fast forwarding for some reason? Like a sponsored ad or short video. There‘s a handy workaround…

Fast Forward Downloaded TikTok Videos

You can fast forward any TikTok video by downloading it first. Here‘s how:

  1. Tap the Share arrow on the TikTok.

  2. Choose "Save video" to download it to your camera roll.

  3. Open the video from your Photos app.

  4. Scrub away! Your camera roll video player has native fast forward support.

This lets you fast forward even if the TikTok app blocks it. Once the video is in your camera roll, it‘s just like any other video.

The only catch is you have to separately download each video you want to skip through. But it works great as a fallback option.

Why Fast Forwarding on TikTok is Useful

Being able to easily skip around and navigate makes the app much more usable. Here are some of the benefits of fast forwarding TikTok videos:

Rewatch Sections You Missed

No more rewatching an entire video just to see that text you missed! Just scrub back 10 seconds and read it again.

Jump to the Best Parts

In longer videos, creators often take a minute to warm up. Now you can tap ahead right to the main action.

Skip Uninteresting Sections

Not every second of a 5 minute video is entertaining. Fast forward through the filler you don‘t need.

Watch Just the Reactions in Duets

Duets usually react to a previous video. Fast forwarding lets you skip right to the good reactions.

Catch Up on Your Feed Faster

Scrub past videos you don‘t have time for at the moment. You can blaze through your FYP.

Precise Navigation

The progress bar gives you frame-by-frame control instead of just 15 second skips.

Avoid Spoilers

If a video has spoilers near the end, jump right to the middle spoiler-free section.

As you can see, fast forwarding makes consuming longer videos much easier. It‘s a huge usability improvement for the app.

Now let‘s get into some pro tips for creators…

Tips for Creators to Optimize Skippable Videos

As a TikTok creator, you want viewers to watch your videos fully – not just scrub past half of it!

Here are some tips to make engaging videos that entice people to watch start-to-finish:

Hook Viewers in the First 5 Seconds

Research shows most users stop watching a TikTok after 5 seconds if they aren‘t engaged. Frontload your videos with your most engaging content.

Use Clear Text-to-Speech

Many viewers scrub back to relisten to text they missed. Make sure your TTS is loud and comprehensible.

Include Chapters

Let viewers preview what‘s in your longer video by dividing it into chapters. This shows it‘s worth watching fully.

Cut Down Unnecessary Length

Trim any fluff viewers are likely to fast forward through. Keep videos tight and compelling throughout.

Ask Viewers to Watch Until the End

A simple call to action like "Watch until the end, trust me it‘s worth it!" can incentivize full views.

Tease the Ending

Mention something intriguing that happens at the end. Viewers will be more likely to stick around to see it.

Make Duets Bring Value

Just reacting isn‘t enough – your reaction video should offer something new for viewers.

Monitor Analytics

Check where viewers drop off in your longer videos. This shows which sections aren‘t working.

By studying your analytics and fine-tuning your pacing and engagement, you can create videos built to be watched start-to-finish.

But fast forwarding will always be useful for rewatching and precise navigation too. As a viewer, embrace it!

Will TikTok Expand Fast Forwarding to All Videos?

Right now fast forwarding works on many, but not all TikTok videos. It seems to be slowly rolling out as TikTok tests the feature‘s performance.

According to social media expert Maya Rotman, we can likely expect TikTok to expand fast forwarding over time:

"Fast forwarding is quickly becoming a standard, expected video feature on mobile. Other social apps like YouTube and Instagram have offered it for awhile. TikTok is still catching up to meet users‘ expectations."

And TechCrunch reported in October 2022 that TikTok has confirmed they are testing fast forwarding functionality more broadly.

So support will likely improve in the coming months. For now, we have a few workarounds to fast forward even when the TikTok app doesn‘t allow it.

I hope this guide gave you a full overview of how to easily skip around and navigate videos! Please let me know in the comments if you have any other fast forwarding tips I should cover.

Happy TikToking!


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.