YouTube Shorts logo.

YouTube “Shorts” are the video service’s answer to the massive popularity of TikTok. These aptly named short-form videos are easy to record and meant to be viewed on mobile. Here’s how to create them.

You can create shorts directly in the YouTube app. They’re limited to 60-seconds and required to be in portrait orientation, just like TikTok. It’s a very different way to think about a “YouTube video.”

RELATED: What Is YouTube Shorts, and Is It a True TikTok Competitor?

To create a short, open the YouTube app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. Tap the + button in the bottom toolbar—YouTube calls this the “Create” button.

Tap the Create button.

Select “Create a Short” from the menu. At the time of writing, Shorts are in beta.

Tap "Create a Short."

The Shorts recording screen will appear and there are a number of options here:

  • Add Music: Browse for music to play during the video.
  • Flip: Flip between front and rear cameras.
  • Speed: Adjust the speed of the recording from 0.3X to 3X.
  • Timer: Set a time to start recording so you don’t have to hold the phone.
  • Short Length: Switch between 15 and 60-second recording length. This only matters if you’re not doing hands-free recording.
  • Gallery: Add video from your camera roll.
  • Record: Press and hold to record, or tap to record hands-free for the selected time length.

Shorts creation tools.

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When adding music, you can search through YouTube’s music library.

Add music to the Short.

To record a Short, tap the number above the record button to choose 15 or 60 seconds. You can string multiple clips together as long as the total is under 60 seconds.

You can also press and hold the record button to record and lift your finger to stop. Again, you can string these together as long as they’re under 60 seconds.

Choose length and tap record.

As you record, the progress bar at the top will show the clips and how much time you’ve used.

Short progress bar.

Tap the checkmark button in the bottom right when you’re done recording.

Tap the checkmark when done.

On the editing screen, you have the option to add music again. You also can add text. Tap “Text” and you’ll get a bunch of options for how the text should look. Select “Done” when finished.

Text tools.

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The last thing to do is edit the music and text position in the timeline. If you added music, tap “Adjust.”

Tap "Adjust."

Drag the box around to select the portion of the song you want to use. Tap “Done” when finished.

Edit music and tap "Done."

If you added text, tap “Timeline.”

Tap "Timeline."

Drag the handles for the text to adjust when it should appear and disappear in the video. Tap “Done” when finished.

Adjust position and tap "Done."

When you’re finished with the edits, tap “Next” in the top-right corner.

Tap "Next."

The last steps are to give the Short a name, choose visibility, and select the audience. Once you’re done, tap “Upload.”

Fill in the Short details and "Upload."

That’s it! You’ve successfully made your first Short. This is a very different way to make YouTube videos, but it’s easy and there’s less pressure to make something with super high production value. Check out the “Shorts” tab on YouTube for inspiration.

RELATED: How to Search for YouTube Videos by Hashtag

Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has close to a decade of experience covering consumer technology and previously worked as a News Editor at XDA Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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