How to Get Stats For Nerds On YouTube

YouTube’s “Stats for Nerds” overlay provides detailed technical information about the video you’re watching, including resolution, codecs, network activity, and more. While designed primarily for troubleshooting purposes, this feature can be handy for anyone curious about the nitty-gritty details of their video playback. Here’s how to turn on Stats for Nerds on various devices:

Desktop (Windows, Linux, Mac)

  1. Open in your browser and start watching a video.
  2. Right-click on the video and select “Stats for Nerds” from the menu.

Android App

  1. Open the YouTube app and go to Settings > General > Enable Stats for Nerds.
  2. Play a video and tap the three-dot “More” button in the player.
  3. Select the “Stats” option to open the overlay.

iOS/iPadOS App

  1. Open the YouTube app and go to Settings.
  2. Enable the “Stats for Nerds” option.
  3. Play a video, tap the three-dot “More” button, and select “Stats.”

Smart TVs, Consoles, and Streaming Devices

  1. Open the YouTube app and start playing a video.
  2. Access the video playback controls (often by pressing the “Select” button).
  3. Navigate to the three-dot “More” button and look for the “Stats for Nerds” option.

With the Stats for Nerds overlay enabled, you’ll gain insight into the technical aspects of your YouTube video playback. This information can be especially useful when troubleshooting issues or simply satisfying your curiosity about the inner workings of YouTube.

Here’s a brief explanation of what each field means:

Video ID / sCPN: The video’s ID in YouTube’s database and the code for your specific playback instance.

Viewport / Frames: The video player’s resolution (not the video’s resolution) and the current frame you’re on.

Current / Optimal Res: The video’s current resolution versus its original resolution.

Volume / Normalized: The current volume of the video you’re watching and how much the audio is “normalized.” Normalization matches louder and quieter parts of the sound more closely to protect the listener’s ears and speakers. The parenthesis shows how loud the video is compared to YouTube’s baseline.

Codecs: The media’ video and audio compression codecs.

Color: This shows the current color range of the content you’re watching. This info can help you confirm your Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One console can finally play HDR videos on YouTube.

Connection Speed: Your device’s network connection.

Network Activity: The data transmission from YouTube’s servers to your device. The higher a video’s resolution, the higher the network activity—aka bandwidth—will be.

Buffer Health: How much YouTube is able to buffer the video to avoid playback hitches and dropouts due to poor connection speed.

Mystery Text: Mystical messages from realms beyond human comprehension. Or at least that’s my best guess. No one really knows what this data means, though plenty of folks have tried to guess.

Some of this information is neat, but most of it will look like techno gibberish for average users. That doesn’t mean it isn’t helpful, however. The network information is useful if you’re having playback issues and can’t pinpoint what’s causing it.

However, Stats for Nerds’ main use is for aiding YouTube’s engineers with troubleshooting bugs. If you ever encounter YouTube problems like sudden app crashes, slow video buffering, or other issues, snap a screenshot of the Stats for Nerds window and send it to YouTube support with a bug report.