Creating YouTube Chapters: A Complete Guide

Let us say that you are an avid fan of motorsports and want to see a video of legendary Formula One driver Michael Schumacher on YouTube. You search for the term "Fastest Lap In Monaco" in the search bar, and multiple results appear. 

However, the video turns out to be two hours long, and the part you are looking for is somewhere buried in the clip. You have to closely search for it by hitting the right key repeatedly.

YouTube has come up with a solution to this problem. The video-streaming platform allows users to upload videos and divide them into segments. 

This article will guide you on how to add chapters to your YouTube videos and look at how it enhances viewer experience and keeps the audience hooked to your content.

What is a YouTube Chapter?

So, what is a YouTube Chapter? YouTube Chapters can be described as timestamps that break a video into segments or chapters. They usually contain titles that indicate the content that is covered in that part. They are clickable links in the video timeline that allow users to easily go through various parts of the clip.

YouTube Chapters help improve the viewer experience as users can easily find the information they're looking for within a video. An aspiring automotive mechanic can skip the entire video and look at the tools or safety measures that should be for the maintenance work in a 30-minute Do-It-Yourself clip.

Benefits Of Using YouTube Chapters

The feature is effective for engaging audiences as you can jump to certain parts of a video. For example, you can look at the ingredients in a cooking video instead of learning the cooking process. 

It benefits viewers with disabilities or those using assistive technologies. It helps them structurally navigate through video content.

Plan Your Chapters

The process of adding YouTube Chapters starts with planning. You can do so by creating an outline of your video that would outline the important topics or sections in the clip. This will help you determine the parts where chapters will be inserted.

Also, you can divide the video into different segments. After you have completed outlining the clip, you can break it into parts according to topics or themes identified in the video. These segments are the chapters in the video.

Create Timestamps

The next part is to create timestamps for your video. It highlights the starting point of each chapter and creates clickable links in the video timeline. 

A timestamp is created by watching your video while marking the starting time for each chapter, such as "00:00 - Introduction". The syntax shows the minutes and seconds.

However, YouTube's "automatic transcript" makes it easier to create accurate timestamps. The formatting confirms that the timestamp in the video description is correct.

The timestamp should start with "0:00" and be separated with commas. You should be described with descriptive titles that outline the content covered in that segment.

Add Chapters

After creating the timestamps, it is time to add chapters to the description section of your YouTube video. You can start the video description section of your video and insert the timestamps into the video description. 

It's crucial to use a clear format with a numbered list and bullet points such as "00:00 - Introduction," "01:30 - How to get started," etc. You should save the changes to update the video description.

You can also add timestamps in the comment sections. You can comment on the timestamps in the same format as the video description in the comment. You can pin the comment to the top of the comments section to make the timestamps easily accessible.

Test And Review Your Chapters

You should test and review the chapters after adding them to the video because it is essential to make sure they work correctly. You should view the clip to be certain the timestamp corresponds with the section of the clip. You should also find errors or inconsistencies in the timestamps and make necessary changes.

The timestamps should be tested on different devices and browsers to make sure that they function properly and are compatible.

You can publish and promote your video to your audience after testing the chapters for errors. You should ensure that the chapters are visible in the video description. 

You can encourage viewers to use chapters in their videos by highlighting their advantages in the content section. The clip can be shared on social media platforms to reach a broader audience and encourage engagement.

How To Add Chapters In Your Video

Video chapters break up a YouTube clip into sections, each with an individual preview. They add information and context to different parts of the video, which makes it easier for viewers to re-watch different parts of the video. 

YouTubers can include their own timestamps for each uploaded video or rely on automatic video chapters that could appear in the transcripts.

To add your own YouTube video chapters

  • Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  • Select "Content" from the left menu,
  • Select the video which you will edit.
  • Add a list of timestamps and titles in the description section.
  • The first timestamp in the list should be with "00:00". 
  • A video should have a minimum of three timestamps in ascending order.
  • The minimum length for video chapters should be 10 seconds.
  • Save the changes

For automatic video chapters

  • Sign in to YouTube Studio.
  • Select "Content" from the left menu.
  • Select the video which you will edit.
  • Select "Show More" and click on "Allow automatic chapters and key moments" under Automatic Chapter (This box will be checked for all new uploads by default. You can also allow automatic video chapters in bulk).
  • Save the changes

You can also use Gling to create YouTube Chapters that cater to your needs. It creates chapters with descriptive titles for a more accurate and relevant segmentation compared to AI-powered features. The tools can be integrated into other editing platforms used by creators for professional endeavors.


YouTube chapters are helpful for content creators in boosting viewer experience and improving engagement with their creations. The content creator makes it easier for viewers and keeps them engaged to find the information they want by dividing your videos into segments and adding timestamps. These steps will take your content to the next level.