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How to Browse TikTok Without the App


Joanna Yuen

Marketing & Content Specialist - 21 Feb, 2024


TikTok has taken the world by storm. Available in over 160 countries, with over 1.1 billion users, the social media streaming app is essential for anyone whose target market includes those between the ages of 13 and 60. Plus, it’s just fun!

It’s exceeded app download records and has more users than SnapChat, Pinterest, and X (formerly Twitter). TikTok has also invigorated the short-form video format, with companies like Instagram scrambling to add features that mirror the powerful app’s. Though TikTok is a standalone app, it can be accessed online via a browser for even better performance. Here’s what you need to know about using TikTok in a browser - and why your browser makes a difference.

What is TikTok?

TikTok is a popular social media platform that allows users to create, share, and discover short videos. Launched in 2016 by the Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok quickly gained worldwide popularity, particularly among young people. The app's success can be attributed to its unique blend of user-generated content, creative editing tools, and an algorithm that delivers personalized video recommendations.

At its core, TikTok revolves around short-form videos that are typically 15 to 60 seconds long. Users can choose from an extensive library of sound bites, music, and filters to enhance their videos. The platform's intuitive editing tools make it easy to add special effects, transitions, and text overlays, allowing users to unleash their creativity and produce engaging content.

One of the best things about TikTok is the diverse content that covers a wide range of topics, such as dance challenges, lip-syncing, comedy skits, cooking tutorials, fashion tips, and a lot more. The app's algorithm understands user behavior and preferences in order to deliver a personalized "For You" feed, which consistently introduces users to videos tailored to their unique interests. In fact, TikTok has come to play an important role in public discourse on politics and other key discussions because of this algorithm. Since videos are so targeted to personal preferences, it can be difficult to get exposed to opposing ideas through the platform. There has been a lot of discussion around the overall impact of TikTok in our understanding of current events.

The platform's social features also contribute to its unprecedented popularity. Users can follow content creators, like and comment on videos, and even collaborate with others through duets and reaction videos. This interactive nature cultivates a sense of community and encourages users to engage with each other's content, and is also powerful for influencers or other ecommerce professionals that sell using social media. 50% of TikTok users have bought something after watching a live, and 90% of TikTok users access the app on a daily basis. 60% of TikTok users are Gen Z, so you can see that if you have a younger target market, and want to increase engagement with them, then TikTok is a no-brainer - and can be quite profitable.

Related Post: How to Manage Multiple TikTok Accounts


Why is it Helpful to View TikTok in a Browser?

As mentioned, TikTok is an app and that’s how it’s normally downloaded and used. That being said, there are some good reasons why someone might prefer to access TikTok in a browser instead of in its native format:


Using TikTok in a browser allows users to access the platform on their desktop or laptop, providing a larger screen and a more comfortable typing experience. This can be particularly useful for content creators who want to edit videos, respond to comments, or engage with their audience more efficiently.


Browsing TikTok in a separate browser tab allows users to multitask more easily. They can switch between TikTok and other websites or applications without constantly switching between apps on their mobile device. This flexibility makes it easier to manage multiple tasks simultaneously. Keep reading to learn how Shift can also help with this activity.

Keyboard shortcuts

Many people depend on keyboard shortcuts to get things done faster. Browsing TikTok in a browser gives users access to these keyboard shortcuts, making it faster and more convenient to navigate through videos, pause, play, or adjust volume. These shortcuts can significantly improve the user experience, especially for power users who spend a significant amount of time on the platform. They can save time and enhance productivity.

Security and privacy

In today’s digital age, it’s essential to be guarded with your own data. Accessing TikTok in a browser provides users with more control over their information. There has been some controversy about the app's data collection practices, and accessing TikTok through a browser can offer a greater sense of control over personal information. In particular, the way that the app interacts with other apps on your device could be concerning if you have highly sensitive data. Users can adjust browser settings, install privacy extensions, or use virtual private networks (VPNs) to enhance their online privacy and security.


Perusing TikTok in a browser can make the platform more accessible to individuals who may not have access to a smartphone or prefer using a computer for internet browsing. It allows a wider audience to enjoy and participate in the TikTok community. Additionally, certain users may find it easier to navigate and interact with content using a keyboard and mouse rather than a touchscreen.

Sharing and collaboration

Accessing TikTok in a browser can make it easier to share videos with others and collaborate on content. Users can easily copy and paste URLs, share videos on social media platforms, or cooperate on video projects using online tools. Not all tools are available within the app, but there is a broader scope of third-party tools you can use online alongside TikTok. This can be particularly beneficial for creators who want to share their TikTok content on other platforms or work with others on video collaborations.

Offline viewing

Some browser extensions or applications allow users to download TikTok videos for offline viewing. This can be useful in situations where internet connectivity is limited or when users want to save videos for later without relying on the app.

Operating system compatibility

TikTok's app availability may vary depending on the operating system of a device. Browsing TikTok in a browser ensures compatibility across different operating systems and devices, allowing more users to access the platform regardless of their device preferences.

At the end of the day, accessing TikTok in a browser instead of the app offers several advantages in terms of convenience, multitasking, the ability to leverage your computer tools, and collaborate with others. These reasons make browsing TikTok an attractive option for users who prefer the desktop experience, want more control over their privacy, or need to rely on other tools or sites that are more compatible with a desktop experience.

Related Post: How to View Instagram From Your Browser


Content Creators using TikTok in a Browser

We’ve covered why it’s a good idea for the average user to access TikTok online, but what about the content creators who depend on the platform? These individuals may find it more efficient to use TikTok in a browser for several reasons, including the same ones as for viewers (bigger screens, easier to share, etc). In addition to all the reasons we already listed, there are some advantages specific to creating content on TikTok.

Editing capabilities

Browsing TikTok in a browser provides content creators with more advanced editing capabilities compared to the app. They can utilize professional video editing software or browser extensions to enhance their videos, add effects, adjust colors, or apply filters. These additional editing options allow creators to produce higher-quality content that is more visually appealing.

Keyboard shortcuts

Just like we mentioned above, content creators can also leverage keyboard shortcuts in their work.  These can be used for tasks like trimming videos, splitting clips, adjusting audio levels, or applying transitions. These shortcuts save time and streamline the editing workflow, allowing creators to produce content more efficiently.

Easier text input

Captions, titles, or other text elements can be crucial to TikTok videos. Using TikTok in a browser provides a more comfortable typing experience, as creators can use a physical keyboard instead of a touchscreen. This makes it easier and faster to input text, edit captions, or make changes to the video's textual elements. Users are also less likely to make typing mistakes and can quickly fix any that they do make using a keyboard.

Multiple tabs and windows

Using TikTok in a browser allows content creators to open multiple tabs or windows, enabling them to work on multiple videos or tasks simultaneously. They can have one tab open for editing a video, another for researching content ideas, and another for responding to comments or messages. This multitasking ability enhances productivity and allows creators to manage their overall workflow better.

Use of external tools and resources

Using TikTok in a browser gives content creators access to external tools and resources that can improve their content creation process. They can use browser extensions or online tools to download sound effects, find royalty-free music, create subtitles, or even optimize their videos for search engine optimization (SEO). These additional resources are helpful for producing more engaging and polished content.

Collaboration and content sharing

As mentioned, using TikTok in a browser makes it easier for content creators to collaborate with others and share their work. They can share video links with collaborators, work on joint projects using online collaboration tools, or easily share their TikTok videos on other platforms or websites. This seamless integration with other online tools and platforms expands the reach of their content and facilitates collaboration with other creators.

Larger screen and better overview

Browsing TikTok on a desktop or laptop provides content creators with a bigger screen that’s easier to see, allowing them to have a better overview of their videos and the editing timeline. This larger workspace makes it easier to spot details, make precise edits, and ensure the overall quality of the content. It also allows creators to have a more immersive and detailed view of their video projects.

Content creators may find it more efficient to use TikTok in a browser due to all of these advanced editing capabilities and easier text input. Add in the convenience of sharing and collaborating, the ability to multitask and streamline the overall content creation process, and you can see how using TikTok in a browser makes sense for people who create content regularly.

Related Post: Integrating Apps Into Your Browser


The Steps for Accessing TikTok in Your Browser

If you want to see how TikTok performs in a browser - or access it from one in order to create compelling content - then try these steps:

  1. Download Shift: Start by downloading and installing Shift, a web browser that allows you to access various web applications, including TikTok. Shift is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.
  2. Launch Shift: Once Shift is installed, launch the browser by clicking on its icon.
  3. Sign in to Shift: If you already have a Shift account, sign in using your credentials. If you don't have an account, create one by following the on-screen instructions.
  4. Add TikTok as an application: After signing in, click on the "+" button located at the bottom left corner of the Shift interface. This will open the "Add Application" window.
  5. Search for TikTok: In the "Add Application" window, search for TikTok using the search bar. Once TikTok appears in the search results, click on it to select it.
  6. Install TikTok: After selecting TikTok, click on the "Install" button to add it as an application in Shift.
  7. Open TikTok: Once TikTok is installed, you can find it in the application list inside Shift. Click on the TikTok icon to open it in the browser.
  8. Sign in to TikTok: If you already have a TikTok account, sign in using your credentials. If you don't have an account, you can create one by following the instructions provided by TikTok.
  9. Use TikTok: Once signed in, you can start exploring TikTok, watch videos, interact with other users, and discover trending content.

Try TikTok in Shift - the Power Browser

The browser you use makes a big difference in how your apps perform. We suggest using Shift because it truly powers the performance of so many applications and platforms that you use every day. As you seek to make the most of Google Calendar, make it a point to install Shift first. In addition to encouraging peak performance within the Google suite, the Shift browser offers the following:

The truth is that the browser you use makes a big difference in how your various platforms perform. Shift is especially helpful for maintaining efficiency, because it was designed as a productivity tool. The developers of Shift were focused on helping people make the most of their time online since the very first day of launch. We recommend trying TikTok in your Shift browser and seeing if you are happier with its performance. But, don’t stop there! The Shift browser can boost the performance of several apps and software that you use daily. In addition, Shift offers the following:

Complete access to all of your email accounts

Connect all of your Gmail, Outlook, and Office 365 accounts and manage everything from one centralized window.

The ability to use all of your favorite apps

WhatsApp, Slack, Messenger—we have everything you need to get it done. Browse our Apps Directory, connect yours, and switch between them easily.

Chrome extension connections

Use all of your favorite Chrome extensions like Boomerang, Grammarly, and so much more. You can browse our app directory to see all of the Chrome extensions that integrate with Shift.

Easier tab management

Access the web from inside Shift. Manage your tabs and organize them by account for a better browsing experience.

Expanded search capabilities

Save time and find exactly what you're looking for across any of your Mail, Calendar, and Drive accounts. This is extremely helpful for streamlining search and keeping what you need right at your fingertips.

More focused browsing with Workspaces

Create a Workspace for strictly business and another for weekend plans—separate tabs, apps, and bookmarks. Workspaces are a focused collection of tabs, bookmarks, and apps. Create a custom Workspace with the exact tools you need to be efficient online, including apps, extensions, bookmarks, email, and more. Workspaces allow for more collaboration and focus which makes you even more efficient online.

Related Post: The Web Browser Built for Power Users


All of these features lead to unique advantages. When using your apps in Shift, you can experience these benefits as well:

Limited cross-app interference

Shift provides an isolated environment for apps to run in, which means that there is no cross-app interference and that each app can operate independently without affecting the performance or stability of any other apps you have open.

Better resource allocation

Shift optimizes the resources used for every app, which means that each platform has sufficient memory and processing power to run as smoothly as you need them to. This is a powerful step in preventing app crashes, slowdowns, or conflicts that can occur with browser extensions.

Prioritized performance

As we mentioned, Shift was designed with productivity in mind. All of the features of Shift were thoughtfully curated to help you work faster and smarter. The goal of Shift is to provide a more responsive experience for web apps by reducing memory usage and minimizing background processes. You can expect improved app performance, faster loading times, and better responsiveness in general.

Customization options

With Shift, you can make adjustments that enable you to manage your unique apps. Organize and categorize your apps, create Workspaces, and switch between accounts seamlessly without logging in and out. All of these features enhance efficiency with multiple web apps or tabs.

Enhanced security

Shift prioritizes security and takes your privacy seriously. By implementing strict isolation measures between apps, possible security vulnerabilities are reduced. Plus, there are measures in place to protect sensitive data and ensure that each app operates within its own secure environment without accessing data from another system.

Start by downloading Shift today, and go beyond using TikTok. Browse our list of apps and extensions to get a feel for the different integrations you can take advantage of. From time management tools to social media to design, marketing, and e-commerce, it’s likely that you’ll find the programs you rely on in our list of potential integrations.