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Application Settings Page#

Accessible at /settings/application/ of your Tube Archivist, this page holds all of the general application configuration (minus configuration of the scheduler).

Click on Update Application Configurations at the bottom of the page to apply your configurations.


Settings related to the channel management. Disable shorts or streams by setting their page size to 0 (zero).

  • Channel Page Size: Defines how many pages will get analyzed by Tube Archivist each time you click on Rescan Subscriptions. The default page size used by yt-dlp is 50, that's also the recommended value to set here. Any value higher will slow down the rescan process, for example if you set the value to 51, that means yt-dlp will have to go through 2 pages of results instead of 1 and by that doubling the time that process takes.
  • Live Page Size: Same as above, but for channel live streams.
  • Shorts page Size: Same as above, but for shorts videos.
  • Auto Start: This will prioritize and automatically start downloading videos from your subscriptions over regular video added to the download queue.


Settings related to the download process.

  • Download Speed Limit: Set your download speed limit in KB/s. This will pass the option --limit-rate to yt-dlp.
  • Throttled Rate Limit: Restart download if the download speed drops below this value in KB/s. This will pass the option --throttled-rate to yt-dlp. Using this option might have a negative effect if you have an unstable or slow internet connection.
  • Sleep Interval: Time in seconds to sleep between requests to YouTube. It's a good idea to set this to 3 seconds. Might be necessary to avoid throttling.
  • Auto Delete Watched Videos: Automatically delete videos marked as watched after selected days. If activated, checks your videos after download task is finished. Auto deleted videos get marked as ignored and won't get added again in future rescans.

Download Format#

Additional settings passed to yt-dlp.

  • Format: This controls which streams get downloaded and is equivalent to passing --format to yt-dlp. Use one of the recommended one or look at the documentation of yt-dlp. Please note: The option --merge-output-format mp4 is automatically passed to yt-dlp to guarantee browser compatibility. Similar to that, --check-formats is passed as well to check that the selected formats are actually downloadable.
  • Format Sort: This allows you to change how yt-dlp sorts formats by passing --format-sort to yt-dlp. Refere to the documentation, what you can pass here. Be aware, that some codecs might not be compatible with your browser of choice.
  • Extractor Language: Some channels provide tranlated video titles and descriptions. Add the two letter ISO language code, to set your prefered default language. This will only have an effect, if the uploader adds translations. Not all language codes are supported, see the documentation (the lang section) for more details.
  • Embed Metadata: This saves the available tags directly into the media file by passing --embed-metadata to yt-dlp.
  • Embed Thumbnail: This will save the thumbnail into the media file by passing --embed-thumbnail to yt-dlp.


  • Download Setting: Select the subtitle language you like to download. Add a comma separated list for multiple languages. For Chinese you must specify zh-Hans or zh-Hant, specifying "zh" is invalid, otherwise the subtitle won't download successfully.
  • Source Settings: User created subtitles are provided from the uploader and are usually the video script. Auto generated is from YouTube, quality varies, particularly for auto translated tracks.
  • Index Settings: Enabling subtitle indexing will add the lines to Elasticsearch and will make subtitles searchable. This will increase the index size and is not recommended on low-end hardware.


  • Download and index comments: Set your configuration for downloading and indexing comments. This takes the same values as documented in the max_comments section for the youtube extractor of yt-dlp. Add without space between the four different fields: max-comments,max-parents,max-replies,max-replies-per-thread. Example:
    • all,100,all,30: Get 100 max-parents and 30 max-replies-per-thread.
    • 1000,all,all,50: Get a total of 1000 comments over all, 50 replies per thread.
  • Comment sort method: Change sort method between top or new. The default is top, as decided by YouTube.
  • The Refresh Metadata background task will get comments from your already archived videos, spreading the requests out over time.

Archiving comments is slow as only very few comments get returned per request with yt-dlp. Choose your configuration above wisely. Tube Archivist will download comments after the download queue finishes, your videos will be already available while the comments are getting downloaded.

Cookie Expire

Using cookies can have unintended consequences. Multiple users have reported that their account got flagged and cookies will expire within a few hours. It appears that YT has some detection mechanism that will invalidate your cookie if it's being used outside of a browser. That is happening server side on YT. If you are affected, you might be better off to not use this functionality.

Importing your YouTube Cookie into Tube Archivist allows yt-dlp to bypass age restrictions, gives access to private videos and your watch later or liked videos.

Security concerns#

Cookies are used to store your session and contain your access token to your google account, this information can be used to take over your account. Treat that data with utmost care as you would any other password or credential. Tube Archivist stores your cookie in Redis and will automatically append it to yt-dlp for every request.

Auto import#

Easiest way to import your cookie is to use the Tube Archivist Companion browser extension for Firefox and Chrome.

Manual import#

Alternatively you can also manually import your cookie into Tube Archivist. Export your cookie as a Netscape formatted text file, name it and put it into the cache/import folder. After that you can enable the option on the settings page and your cookie file will get imported.

  • There are various tools out there that allow you to export cookies from your browser. This project doesn't make any specific recommendations.
  • Once imported, a Validate Cookie File button will show, where you can confirm if your cookie is working or not.

Once imported, additionally to the advantages above, your Watch Later and Liked Videos become a regular playlist you can download and subscribe to as any other playlist.


There is only one cookie per Tube Archivist instance, this will be shared between all users.


All third party integrations of TubeArchivist will always be opt in.

  • API: Your access token for the Tube Archivist API.
  • This will get return dislikes and average ratings for each video by integrating with the API from
  • SponsorBlock: Using SponsorBlock to get and skip sponsored content. If a video doesn't have timestamps, or has unlocked timestamps, use the browser addon to contribute to this excellent project. Can also be activated and deactivated as a per channel overwrite.



This will make a snapshot of your metadata index only, no media files or additional configuration variables you have set on the settings page will be backed up.

System snapshots will automatically make daily snapshots of the Elasticsearch index. The task will start at 12pm your local time. Snapshots are deduplicated, meaning that each snapshot will only have to backup changes since the last snapshot. Old snapshots will automatically get deleted after 30 days.

  • Create snapshot now: Will start the snapshot process now, outside of the regular daily schedule.
  • Restore: Restore your index to that point in time.