Preload YouTube videos with Wi-Fi for better mobile playback

Tired of waiting for YouTube videos to buffer when trying to watch them on your Android? In just a few steps you can preload videos and save on mobile data when you watch them later.

YouTube for Android. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Update, 2:02 p.m: It looks like this feature is missing from some of the Android 4.0 tablets. Hopefully it'll be added in the next update so everyone can take advantage of this tip.

The YouTube app on Android lets you watch and discover awesome videos while you're away from the computer. However, if your connection is slow in certain areas of your city -- or wherever you wander to -- the experience may not always be a pleasant one.

If you're interested in avoiding those buffering patches while watching a video, you're in luck. The YouTube app on Android devices 4.0 and up allows you to preload videos so they can offer continuous play, even when your connection is terrible. Making this magic happen is just a finger tap away:

Please note: When preloading videos, they will take up space on your Android device.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 1: Open the YouTube app on your Android 4.0+ device and press the Menu button/icon, then choose Settings.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 2: Press on the Preloading option in the next menu.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 3: Choose which types of videos (subscriptions, watch later, or both) you want to Preload while connected to Wi-Fi and charging. Press OK on the message that pops up.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

As an added bonus, you're likely to consume less mobile data by preloading your videos, which can help you stay on target with a limited data plan without sacrificing much of the fun. 

What kinds of videos will you be queuing to watch when you leave the computer?

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