Watching videos on TikTok is addictive. You start with just one video, and before you know it, hours have passed, and you’re still on the app. With every video you watch, the TikTok algorithm gets better at guessing your interests and tastes. Accordingly, you will be shown more and more videos that you would want to watch. That’s how TikTok gets you hooked.
Don’t worry! You’re not alone. In reality, we’re all there. That’s why losing a TikTok video before you’re done with it can be such a tragedy. In the past, those videos were gone for good. Trying to find them was almost impossible. Fortunately, those days are over now. TikTok users have discovered an easy way to find videos that have been eaten up by the app. It all comes down to using the search options of TikTok smartly. Here’s how:
Make use of TikTok’s advanced search features
Trying to scroll back through older posts will not do you much. The video has probably already slipped into TikTok’s black hole. With thousands of posts shared on the app every day, it’s not easy to try and find that particular video. It’ll be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Most of us use TikTok passively. That means we don’t usually look for videos. On the contrary, the videos are presented to us. That’s why not many people have explored the search features of the platform before.
Of course, you can search for the video using its title, creator’s name, or any keywords you remember. However, using the search feature the conventional way might not be very practical. The video you want will probably get buried under the millions of other videos on the app. Also, maybe you’ve not had the chance to catch the name of the video creator or the exact title.
For all these reasons, you need to use the search function more cleverly. You need to narrow the search results as much as possible. How about limiting the search results to videos you have watched before on the app? Yes, TikTok offers this option. Unfortunately, it has not been discovered by many users yet.
Here is how you can set this search filter:
- Open your TikTok account.
- Head to the “Discovery” tab by clicking on the menu buttons.
- Click on “Search”.
- Type an asterisk (the * character) in the search box.
- Now, click on “Filter” (the two lines with circles). You will find it in the top-right corner.
- A menu will show up. Turn on the “Watched Videos” option.
- Tap “Apply” to set the filter.
Now, you can see search results that only contain videos you have recently watched on TikTok. Typing an asterisk in the search box means you want to find everything. So, the search results will contain all the videos you have watched on the platform. This, of course, includes the video you lost accidentally after the app refreshed. Keep in mind that the videos in the search results may not show in the same order you have watched them.
If you remember the title or any keywords related to the video, you can use them to refine the search results. Instead of typing an asterisk, you can write anything else you want. Be aware, though! The “Watched Videos” filter only shows the videos you’ve played within the last seven days.
Go to your Watch History
In March 2022, TikTok introduced the “Watch History” feature. This was a much-anticipated option that many users requested. It enabled you to view your history of recently watched videos on the app. However, after some time, this feature has gone missing from the app. Many users were disappointed.
TikTok has not commented yet on why they have removed the feature. They have not also confirmed if it will return or not. But we are optimistic. So, in case TikTok resurrects this option, here is how to use it:
- Go to your TikTok profile on your phone. Find the “Profile” icon on the bottom bar.
- Tap on the menu icon in the top right corner.
- Click on “Settings and privacy”.
- Scroll down till you find the “Watch History” icon. Then, tap on it.
- Now, you will land on the “Watch History” page. There you will find all the videos you have watched on TikTok over the past seven days.
Request your personal data
If all the above methods don’t work for you, never lose hope. There’s still a way to find that runaway video. It’s a little bit more complicated, though. So, it depends on how badly you want to find that lost TikTok video.
You can request your personal data file from TikTok. It will include all your video browsing history and much more. You’ll also find other personal data like your login history, like list, followers list, etc. However, you’ll not receive your personal data file right away. The process will take some time.
Here is how you can send TikTok a personal data file request:
- Open your TikTok profile, next tap on the menu icon (the three dots at the right-hand corner).
- Click on “Settings and privacy”.
- Choose the “Privacy” option.
- Click on the “personalization and data” option.
- Now, scroll down, then tap on “download your data”.
- Click on “Request data”.
Now, you need to wait for TikTok’s approval. It usually takes about 24 hours. Afterward, you may proceed with the following steps:
- Open the “download data” tab.
- Click on “Download”.
This button might show “Pending” instead of “Download”. This means TikTok is still processing your data file. Thus, you may need to wait and check again later.
- Log into your TikTok account.
- Choose “Download” again.
- Open the downloaded file and navigate your way to “Video browsing history”.
Be aware, though; this file will be available to download for up to four days only. After that, it’ll expire. If you didn’t download it, you’d have to submit another request to TikTok for your personal data file.
In case you can’t open the file on your mobile, try sending it to yourself through email or WhatsApp. Then, open it on a computer. Unfortunately, the option of downloading the file directly to your computer is not available on TikTok. You must download it to your mobile first. Then, transfer the file to a PC.
The videos are shown as links in the personal data file. To watch each video, you’ll need to copy its URL and paste it into a browser. This can take some time till you find the video you’re looking for. However, it might be the only way to recover that lost video. Unlike the other methods, the personal data file contains all the videos you have watched on TikTok, even from before 7 days. You can go back with your watch history for months or even years.
Videos you liked
This is probably the easiest way to find a video you have watched on TikTok. However, it depends on whether you liked the video before it slipped away. So, this trick can save you a lot of time and hassle in your search journey.
Likes are a great way to show your appreciation for content on social media platforms. It’s also an efficient way to save some of your favorite videos on TikTok. Every video you like on the platform gets stored in the “your liked videos” tab, and the algorithms organize that data. To find this section, you simply need to go to your TikTok profile and click on the heart icon. It’s located under the “Edit profile” button.
If you want to like a video on TikTok, just click on the heart icon. After that, you can find it on the right side of the video. The heart shape will turn red once you press it. This means you have successfully liked the video. To unlike a video, simply click again on the red heart. This will cancel the like and remove the video from the “your liked videos” tab on TikTok.
Not all content on social media platforms is worth hanging on to. However, some videos contain truly beneficial information. Don’t let those slip away. The good news is TikTok is not a black hole after all. There are ways to recover lost videos you have watched before on the app.
TikTok, unlike YouTube, is relatively a new social media platform. That’s why not many users are aware of its great features and options. Once you get the hang of them, your experience on TikTok can go much smoother.
Make the most of your social media experience. Never lose a video on TikTok again!