How to watch 360-degree YouTube videos on Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift is not only a premier VR headset for gaming, it's also quite good at delivering a cinema-quality movie experience. You can pop your own corn, lay back on a couch, and enjoy a film on the big screen. To take it one step further, 360-degree videos offer something lifelike and immersive. It just so happens that YouTube has a wide selection of these videos; here's how to watch them inside your Rift.

Virtual Desktop

Virtual Desktop is a fine way to play 360-degree videos, but it does cost about $15. If you have Virtual Desktop installed, here's how to get a video playing. Before starting these steps, be sure to use your web browser to find a 360-degree video on YouTube and copy the URL to your PC's clipboard.

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  1. Launch Virtual Desktop from the Oculus app.
  2. Click the Videos tab.

    Launch Virtual Desktop. Click the Videos tab.

  3. Click Paste Url. The video will be downloaded.
  4. Click the Play button when the video has finished downloading.

    Click Paste Url. Click the Play button.

That's all there is to it. The 360-degree video will play in its entirety, and you'll be brought back to seeing your regular desktop when it's finished.


If you're rather looking for an app that only plays video — Virtual Desktop is more like a productivity suite with an added player — DeoVR is a solid option. It's also available for free from the Oculus Store. Before using DeoVR, use your web browser to find a 360-degree video on YouTube. Copy the URL to your clipboard and follow these steps.

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  1. Launch DeoVR from the Oculus app.
  2. Click the Paste button on the DeoVR toolbar. It looks like a clipboard.

    Launch DeoVR. Click the Paste button.

That's all it takes! Do note that unlike Virtual Desktop which downloads the video first, DeoVR streams the video from YouTube. If your internet connection can't keep up, the quality will likely suffer and you might see some buffering.

Opera Developer

Developer versions of the Opera web browser now come complete with 360-degree VR support. This browser is free to download and provides a relatively lightweight way to watch YouTube videos.

  1. Navigate to the Opera Developer download page.
  2. Click Run.
  3. Click Accept and Install. Opera should install and will launch automatically when complete.

    Click Run. Click Accept and install.

  4. Navigate to YouTube.
  5. Search for a 360-degree video you'd like to watch.

    Navigate to YouTube. Search for a 360-degree video.

  6. Click Watch in VR and put on your Oculus Rift.
  7. Click the Cube button on the Opera VR toolbar using your Oculus remote or Touch controller.

    Click Watch in VR. Click the Cube button.

The 360-degree video will now play. Once completed, you'll have to return to your normal desktop to play another. Like DeoVR, Opera does not download the videos first, so you'll need a decent internet connection to have it play without flaw.

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Oculus Rift


Oculus Rift