YouTube allows you to link to a specific starting time in a video a few different ways, with time specified in the query string or fragment, as seconds or minutes and seconds. For example:

However, the resulting embed code on sites with embedding enabled doesn't incorporate that start time—in fact it appears to explicitly specify a start time of 0.

<div class="youtube-embed"><div>
  <iframe width="640px" height="395px" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rEWaqUVac3M?start=0"></iframe>

Can the URL parser that converts YouTube links to embedded videos be changed to preserve the start time in the embed code? This would be helpful for answers that reference a particular part of a video, particularly when it occurs well after the beginning.

Edit: as Jason Baker pointed out, this is possible if you use the right format—in fact, the third URL in the list above actually works to embed a video at a specific starting time. However, the URLs generated by YouTube's built-in "share" features (in the box below the video on the YouTube page, or by right-clicking on the video) are generally not recognized by SE. So this request really is a conceptual duplicate of "Embed YouTube videos from variant URLs": please support more YouTube URL format variants, in particular the ones generated by YouTube:

  • Embedding videos from https://youtu.be/<ID>
  • Recognizing start timestamps in ?t=XXX form (time in seconds, without m or s).
  • 1
    Similar/related request here.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 17, 2016 at 3:13
  • What site were you trying this on? SFF, at least, already has this. Consider my answer here, for instance Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 1:16
  • @JasonBaker That's interesting... I may be misremembering but I feel like it doesn't work on M&TV... and I just checked it now and it does not...
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 1:43
  • @Catija Can you try it with http (instead of https)? I'd do it myself, but I don't have enough rep on M&TV Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 1:45
  • @JasonBaker Amazingly, that worked... interesting. You should consider posting that as an answer. It seems to also address the issue on the similar question I linked to in my first comment.
    – Catija
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 1:47
  • @Catija It seems like it's probably a bug that it only works for the one URL format, though Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 2:01

2 Answers 2


This does actually work, with caveats. Specifically, embedding at a specific time works as long as the link meets the following criteria1:

  • It must use either www.youtube.com, youtube.com (without the leading www.) or youtu.be as the domain. www.youtu.be will not embed properly
  • If using the youtu.be domain, the time index must use the &t=XXmYYs format (as opposed to the &start=XXX format); otherwise the video will embed, but will not be time-indexed

For a working example, consider my answer to How does the Animus know which ancestor's memories it should reproduce? on SFF.SE, where all three videos are queued to a specific time.

You can also see this in action in the revisions to Barney Fife: “In life there are many roads…” quote?, from M&TV.SE2, where you can see that the https version fails to embed.

1 Thanks to Miles for doing some more testing on this

2 Thanks to Catja for testing this

  • @Miles Thanks for the correction; I could have sworn that didn't work for me earlier, but I must have done something wrong Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 4:27
  • 1
    I'm accepting this answer because it points out that embedding with start time is possible. My (updated) request to support more URL formats is still open, but I guess now that's covered in the other question.
    – Miles
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 4:53

Support for time-specific embedding of shortened YouTube URLs was added sometime around March 2016. You can view this for yourself on the Movies & TV Formatting Sandbox.

This includes support for:

  • Timestamped (Shortened): https://youtu.be/rEWaqUVac3M?t=110
  • Timestamped (&start=##): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEWaqUVac3M&start=110
  • Timestamped (&t=##): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEWaqUVac3M&t=1m50s

For more information, see Supported URLs for video embedding.

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