How to Preview YouTube Videos in Google Messages

Google Messages is easily one of our favorite messaging apps, thanks to its simplicity, RCS capabilities, and some unique features that Google brings to the app. One of the features introduced this year allows users to preview YouTube videos in a feed without having to click a link to open YouTube.

It’s an easy way to watch a video without leaving the chat or app so you can respond quickly. It’s easy enough to activate, but your mileage may vary. This guide will show you how you can get interactive YouTube previews in Google Messages.

1. Open Google Mail and Click on the three-dot menu in the upper right corner. Select “Settings” in the overflow menu. For some users, it may actually be the Google Account tile. If that is the case, select “Message Settings” in the overflow menu.

2. Towards the bottom of the Google Message settings menu, find and select “Automatic previews.”

3. Here you will find three options. To toggle either “Show all previews” or “Show only web link previews”.

(Image credit: Android Central)

After enabling link previews, you should be set to preview YouTube videos in Google Messages.

Preview YouTube videos in Google Messages

After copying the link you want to send from YouTube, head to a thread in Google Messages. Paste the link in the text field and press send. The preview should appear automatically after a few seconds. This happens whether you send or receive a YouTube link.

It may start playing without sound, but you can enable sound by hit icon in the lower right corner of the video. Once the video starts playing with sound, you will have somewhat limited interaction with the video. You’ll be able to play it in full screen, browse, or even open the video in the YouTube app if you prefer the full experience with commentary and such.

(Image credit: Android Central)

I tested the feature on some of the best Android phones, including the Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy S22, with mixed results. Previews don’t always appear no matter who I’m texting or if I’m in an RCS chat versus a normal SMS chat. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for the feature to work consistently, but when it does it’s pretty handy.

Shirley K. Rosa