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Is YouTube Free for Nintendo Switch? A Complete Guide for Streamers

Hey friend! If you‘re like me and love watching YouTube videos on the go, you may be wondering – is YouTube actually free on the Nintendo Switch?

The short answer is: yes, YouTube is 100% free to download and use on your Switch! But there are some caveats to be aware of.

As a fellow streamer and gamer, I‘ve put together this detailed guide to walk you through everything you need to know about getting the most out of YouTube on Nintendo‘s handheld console.

A Quick Overview of YouTube for Switch

Before we dive in, here‘s a high-level look at what you can expect:

  • YouTube is free to download from the Nintendo eShop, just search "YouTube" and install the app.
  • You can access your full YouTube account including subscriptions, watch history, playlists, and search.
  • Ads will be shown – to remove them you need a paid YouTube Premium subscription.
  • There are limitations compared to the YouTube app on other devices – no downloads, comments, casting etc.
  • But for portable YouTube viewing, it gets the core job done!

Now let‘s look at the step-by-step process for installing YouTube and how to get the best experience while watching videos on your Switch.

Step-by-Step Guide to Download YouTube on Your Nintendo Switch

Downloading YouTube to your Switch only takes a minute or two, follow along:

  1. Press the Home button on your JoyCon to go back to the main Switch menu.
  2. Using your JoyCon or touching the screen, select the Nintendo eShop icon (the shopping bag icon).
  3. This will launch the eShop – go ahead and search for "YouTube" using the search bar at the top.
  4. Select the YouTube app from the search results. This will pull up the YouTube page.
  5. On the YouTube page, scroll down and click the big red "Download" button.
  6. The download and installation will happen automatically, just keep the Switch online and connected to power.

Once installed, you‘ll find the bright red YouTube app icon on your Switch‘s home screen – you‘re ready to watch!

The first time opening the app, you‘ll need to link your Google account to access your full YouTube account. Then it works just like YouTube on any other device!

Key Differences Between YouTube on Switch vs Other Devices

While you get the core YouTube experience, there are some notable limitations compared to the YouTube app on phones, tablets, computers, and smart TVs:

No video downloads – You can only stream videos live, no saving for offline viewing.

No background play – Videos stop when multitasking or if the Switch screen turns off.

No YouTube Premium signup – Need to use a web browser on PC/phone to subscribe and remove ads.

No 4K playback – Resolution capped at 1080p, but still looks great handheld!

No casting or using as TV remote – Limited second screen integration overall.

But other key features like subscriptions, playlists, and search work perfectly so you can easily find and watch the videos you love!

For portable viewing the Switch YouTube app is very capable. Now let‘s go over some pro tips and tricks…

7 Pro Tips for Power Users to Master YouTube on Switch

Take your Switch YouTube experience to the next level with these tips from a power user:

1. Update your Switch – Make sure you have the latest system update for best app performance. Connect to WiFi and click System Update.

2. Favorites List – Curate a Favorites playlist of your go-to channels for quick access.

3. Headphones are a must – The onboard speakers work in a pinch but headphones really improve sound. Any 3.5mm wired headphones or Bluetooth headphones paired to your Switch work great.

4. Adjust video quality settings – In YouTube app settings you can manually select your preferred resolution anywhere from 144p to 1080p HD.

5. Try a stand or grip case – Prop up your Switch for hands-free viewing. I love the Hori Compact Playstand.

6. Use Incognito Mode – This prevents watch history and subscriptions affecting your main YouTube account. Just enable in Settings > Privacy.

7. Restricted Mode – If you want to limit the availability of mature content, Restricted Mode is easy to toggle on.

Put these tips to use for the best viewing experience. Now let‘s explore alternatives beyond just the main YouTube app…

Other Video Apps Available for Nintendo Switch

While the official YouTube app is great for searching and subscriptions, here are some other free video streaming options for even more entertainment:

– Twitch – Live streaming app for games, sports, cooking, music and more. Chat with streamers in real time!

– TikTok – Yes, viral short videos from TikTok are available as a free app from the eShop!

– Plex – Media server app to stream videos from your own library – great for travel.

– PlutoTV – Free live TV with 300+ channels of shows, news, sports and movies.

– Tubi – On-demand movie streaming with thousands of free titles.

– Crunchyroll – Leading anime streaming service with subs and dubs. Ad-supported free tier available.

I can personally vouch for Tubi and Crunchyroll being awesome free services on the Switch with tons of content. Give them a look after you get your YouTube fix!

Conclusion – Is YouTube Worth Downloading on Your Nintendo Switch?

At the end of the day, having YouTube available hands-free on your Nintendo Switch is super convenient for streaming on the go.

While it lacks some advanced options like downloads, overall the core experience is excellent. YouTube joins Netflix, Hulu, Twitch and other video apps adding great entertainment value beyond just gaming.

So I‘d highly recommend all Switch owners download YouTube – it‘s 100% free and brings all your favorite YouTube content to the palm of your hand!

Let me know if you have any other questions about getting up and running with YouTube. Enjoy those cat videos my friend!