How to Play a YouTube Video Backwards

Reverse a YouTube video or play it backwards. You can import a video directly from a URL.

How to Play a YouTube Video Backwards

Sometimes video creators want to apply a rewind effect to a section of video. YouTube videos playing backwards can make a strange and compelling clip to share with friends. Some example use cases:

  • Reversed memes
  • Make a boomerang for Instagram from a saved video
  • Find a message in a reversed audio track
  • Apply a rewind effect to playback the action

This article shows readers how to use Kapwing's free online Reverse Video tool. I’ll describe how to play a YouTube video backwards using Kapwing’s Reverse video tool in four steps:

  1. Open a Reverse Video tool
  2. Import YouTube video
  3. Set reverse options
  4. Download and share

Step 1: Open a Reverse Video tool

To make a YouTube video play backwards, you’ll need video editing software to reverse the video frames and audio.

We recommend Kapwing’s Reverse video tool since it’s free to use and online so you won’t have to download an app. Kapwing also lets creators import a video directly from YouTube instead of needing to download and re-upload it. The website works on computers, phones, Chromebooks, and any other device, so you won’t have to worry about iOS vs Android vs Windows.

Screenshot of the Reverse Video tool on Kapwing

Step 2: Import the YouTube video

Copy the URL of your YouTube video and paste it into Kapwing. Your video should take several seconds to upload, depending on its size. Kapwing supports videos that are smaller than 300 MB and shorter than 30 minutes long.

If your videos is >300 MB or 30 minutes, you’ll need to find a video editor you can download onto your computer.

When your video is done uploading, you will see the backwards preview in the Kapwing editor. If you only want to watch the reversed video, you can do that hear. If you want to download the rewound video as an MP4, continue to Step 3.

Step 3: Choose reverse options

Reverse Video Editor
The Kapwing Reverse Video Editor

On the Kapwing editor, you’ll see a few editing options for your backwards video:

  • Speed: Play back your video in half, double, or regular speed
  • Watermark: Use the “Add custom watermark” button to add a basic image overlay or text watermark. For more sophisticated watermark options like positioning and sizing a logo on your video, try out the Watermark video tool.
  • Length: If you only want to reverse a certain section of the video, use the “Trim” button to cut out the section you want.
  • Sound: Music sometimes sounds funky when it is reversed, so you can choose to mute the output or reverse the sound too. Kapwing's Reverse video tool also works well for reversing sound or audio.

Choose the reverse options that you want and click “CREATE” to process the YouTube video playing backwards.

Step 4: Download and share

When the “Kapwing kittens” have finished processing your video, download the MP4 to publish on social media or share with your friends. You can also embed the reversed video on your website or blog.

If you're not signed into a Kapwing account, sign in or sign up using your Google or Facebook account – once you've signed into a Kapwing account, the watermark in the lower right corner will be removed from your final image.

Once you sign in, your reversed video will be saved to your Kapwing workspace.


Kapwing’s reverse video tool is the most popular online reverser and processes hundreds of videos every day. For example, Redditors used Kapwing to detect a secret message in the Breathe of the Wild trailer earlier in 2019. It's a great tool for playing popular music videos, movies, or other content published on YouTube backwards to see if the author included a secret reversed meaning.

We designed Kapwing to take as few clicks and as little time as possible so that creators can get back to doing what they do best. Looking forward to seeing all of the backwards videos created on Kapwing!

Related Articles:

How to Revere a Video for Free Online
How to Reverse a Video Poster