YouTube TV live guide tutorial

How to Use YouTube TV’s Live Guide

The live TV streaming service YouTube TV rolled out big changes to its live guide.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the basics of navigating YouTube TV’s new channel guide in 2023 — including how to personalize it!

What You Need to Know About YouTube TV’s Live Guide

When you launch the YouTube TV app on your TV set, you’ll be taken to the home screen first. To access the live guide, arrow to the right on your remote and select LIVE.

Here’s what the new and improved YouTube TV live guide looks like on a TV set:

YouTube TV live guide 2022 update

ON NOW Section

YouTube TV’s channel guide features an ON NOW section at the top of the screen. Scroll through and the channel logo will change to a thumbnail image for the selected program.

The program name, network and date are listed below each thumbnail.

If you find something in the ON NOW section that you want to watch, select it (press OK on a Roku remote) and you’ll be taken directly to that program.

Main Live Guide

Scroll below the ON NOW section to access the main live guide.

From the main live guide area, you’ll notice that a show description appears at the top of the screen. It includes a description of the program that you have highlighted.

YouTube TV displays two hours of content on the live guide screen, but you can scroll to the right to preview upcoming content. There is no shortcut to jump ahead to a different day in the guide.

Live Guide Basics:

  • Select any program currently airing, and it will play in a few seconds
  • Select an upcoming program for an option to add it to your library (cloud DVR)

If you notice a check mark next to a program in the live guide, that means you added that program to your library (cloud DVR).

When you select it, you can join live or play from the beginning.

Check mark in live guide means that program is being recorded

Network logos are featured to the far left side of the guide. Select a network logo to see content for that channel only.

This will include live, upcoming and on demand programming.

Select a network logo for content from an individual channel

How to Customize the YouTube TV Live Guide

If you don’t like the default order of the channel guide, you can customize it. Select the menu with three horizontal lines, which is located above the network logos.

Channel sorting options include:

  • Default
  • Custom
  • Most watched
  • A-Z (alphabetical)
  • Z-A
Customize YouTube TV live guide from a computer or mobile app

To create a custom guide, sign in to YouTube TV from a computer or the mobile app — not your TV set.

From YouTube TV’s website, select your account icon in the upper right corner. Click Settings. Then, select Live guide using the navigation on the left of the screen.

Settings and live guide from YouTube TV website

This is where you can customize your live guide:

  • Add and remove channels: Channels with a check mark next to them will appear in your live guide. Simply uncheck the channels that you want to hide from your live guide.
  • Reorder channels: Drag networks up or down to your desired position in the live guide or use the three vertical dots menu to change the order.

In the example below, I moved ESPN to the top of my live guide by using the menu with three vertical dots. I also unchecked QVC to remove it from my live guide.

Once you’ve personalized your live guide from the account settings, return to the live guide and select the Custom filter to display it.

Select custom live guide

Channel Surfing Options

When you’re watching live TV, click the back button on your remote to return to the live guide.

As an alternative, click down three times on your remote while watching a program to access a mini guide. This allows you to channel surf while the current program plays in the background.

The last channel you were watching is displayed in the first position from the mini guide.

YouTube TV mini guide for channel surfing

Live Guide From Website and Mobile App

This article has focused on navigating YouTube TV’s live guide from a TV.

The website and mobile app also offer access to the live guide, but the display is slightly different compared to a TV set.

For example, the mobile app only displays what’s currently airing — not what’s coming up.

YouTube TV mobile app and web browser live guide

YouTube TV is my #1 pick for first-time streamers who want the best of cable at a lower price. You can compare YouTube TV alternatives in my updated guide by clicking here.

And learn more about YouTube TV in my ultimate guide for beginners tutorial.

About The Author

4 thoughts on “How to Use YouTube TV’s Live Guide”

  1. How do I assign numbers to the channels in YouTube TV? I do not want to scroll through 70 or 80 channels to go to a certain channel. Changing the order of the channels is of little or no value, since I use all the channels. I just want to give each one a number and be able to enter that number to go there. is there a way to do that? If not, YouTube TV is losing millions of potential customers.

  2. I am seeing the new style live guide on one of my three TVs but not the other two. I use the generation of Apple TV devices to access YouTube TV.

    I don’t think I did anything to update the live guide on the one TV that has it and I can’t figure out how to update the live guide on the other two TVs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *