How to watch YouTube on an Echo Show

Use the pre-installed web browser to work around the lack of support

How to use YouTube on Echo Show
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Watching YouTube on an Echo Show still requires something of a workaround, as there's no official app on skill on the Amazon smart display. While built-in functionality may be coming, it's not here yet – Amazon and Google have made up enough to get the YouTube app back on the Fire TV, but right now it's not available on Echo Show devices.

So in terms of smart displays, native support for the YouTube video streaming platform is still exclusive to parent company Google.

However, that doesn't mean it's impossible to watch YouTube on an Echo Show: you just need to tap into the web browsing capabilities that landed with the second generation smart displays, and launch the Firefox or Silk browsers to get your YouTube fix.

How to watch YouTube on Echo Show

The first thing you’re going to need to do is identify is whether you have a first generation Echo Show – which shouldn’t be hard because it looks like a kitchen TV out of the 70s – or a newer, second-gen Echo Show, Echo Show 5, or Echo Show 8.

If you have one of the newer Echo Show speakers, that’s great – skip ahead to the next section. If you have an old Echo Show, you’re going to have to make sure your Show is updated to the latest software.

Update your old Echo Show

  1. On your device, swipe down from the top of the screen.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Go to Device Options.
  4. Update the software via Check for Software Updates.

Your Echo Show will update itself, and then you’ll be good to go on using YouTube on an Echo Show.

YouTube on an Echo Show 8

Watch YouTube on Echo Show browser

You have two ways to watch YouTube on the Echo Show. The first way is with Amazon's own Silk browser.

All you have to do is say, "Alexa, open Silk" and the web browser will jump into life. You'll be greeted with a screen displaying some bookmarks – and would you look at that, it just so happens that YouTube dot com is the first bookmark. Tap on it to load the site.

Actually using YouTube is pretty simple. It works just as it does on any other mobile web browser. You can even sign into your account and get all your subscriptions and playlists ready to go.

Your second option is to use Firefox, which also comes installed with Echo Show devices (and their corresponding software update).

To launch it, all you have to do is say, "Alexa, open Firefox" or – even more conveniently – "Alexa, open YouTube". If you say the latter, Firefox will open up into YouTube. Simple and easy.

The first time you open the web browser – either of them – you'll be asked to choose your default. There is one major difference if you opt for Firefox over Silk: if you use Firefox, you'll also be able to use it for YouTube TV, as Firefox is one of the few browsers that supports YouTube TV outside of Chrome.

The big downside here is that you can't command YouTube with Alexa – you're going to have to actually use your finger and tap, swipe and type your way through. It's a little annoying, and it’s definitely not what the Echo Show is built for, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

You can ask things like, "Alexa, play Oasis on YouTube" or "Alexa, play Wonderwall on YouTube" but Amazon's digital assistant will simply do a web search based on that command. The good news there, obviously, is that you will get a decent results page from YouTube to tap the video you want from.

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