Have you been experiencing a delay in video loading times when accessing YouTube on Firefox or Edge browsers? Then you are not alone because lately, Google has been making attempts to force you to use its video streaming platform the way it really wants.
Earlier this month, the Silicon Valley giant started to get aggressive with users who visited YouTube with ad-blockers turned on. Many users reported that before a video loaded they started to see a pop-up message warning them not to use ad-blocking tools on the platform. Initially, they were able to close the window and continue watching but now the pop-up does not close until YouTube can confirm that the user has disabled their ad blocker.
However, not everyone is facing this issue. Google has reportedly slowed down YouTube on all browsers other than Chrome.
How Is Google Slowing Down YouTube On Your Browser?
The issue was first noticed by Firefox users who reported that YouTube videos were taking a solid five seconds to load on the browser. Meanwhile, no such problems were encountered when playing back on Chrome as the contents loaded instantaneously. Edge users also reported slow loading times when accessing YouTube from the browser.
While viewers first assumed the issue may be related to their internet connection but soon realized that there was something else stopping YouTube from loading right away. They noticed that when the website did finally load, it did so pretty quickly.
When Google representatives were questioned about the situation, they gave a vague reply neither confirming nor denying reports that they are intentionally slowing down browsers. However, the company did state that viewers using ad blockers to access YouTube would encounter “suboptimal viewing, regardless of the browser they are using”.
Google is urging viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try out YouTube Premium “for an ad-free experience”. The company’s reply on the matter implies that it is slowing down YouTube on purpose for non-Chrome users or those who have installed ad-blocker extensions in their browsers.
How To Stop Google From Slowing Down YouTube On Your Browser?
There are three different ways in which you can prevent Google from slowing YouTube playback on Firefox or Edge. Let’s take a look at them.
1. Install User-Agent Switching Extension
This method involves tricking YouTube into thinking that you are using Chrome. One way to do this is to install the “User-Agent Switcher and Manager” extension on your browser. Once installed, open the add-on, choose one of the Chrome versions listed, and hit the “refresh” button.
What the extension does is automatically switch your browser’s user agent to Chrome, whereby, you can continue to access YouTube as if you were on Google’s own browser. However, the one caveat with this extension is that it requires access to all your browsing data, which is not ideal from a privacy perspective.
Related Readings: YouTube is Blocking Ad Blockers: Watch Ads or Pay For Premium To Skip
2. Manually Switching User Agent
If you are deeply concerned about your browsing history being accessible to other service providers, then the more secure way to switch your user agent is by doing it manually.
To get this done, open a new tab > type about:config in the URL > hit enter. After accepting the pop-up warning, type general.useragent.override > hit “String” > hit “+” symbol. The next step is to open Chrome on your computer, search for “my user agent”, and copy and paste the results into your Firefox or Edge browser’s text field. Hit Enter once more and now your browser will look like Chrome on the World Wide Web.
You should note that changing the user agent will result in some Firefox and Edge features not working properly. You can always revert back from Chrome by deleting the user agent preference that you made earlier.
3. uBlock Origin
If you don’t want to mess around by switching the browser’s user agent, then there is a third option called uBlock Origin workaround. Install a uBlock Origin extension in your browser, open the program, go to the Dashboard, then My Filters, and past the following link:
Hit Apply Changes and you will see that YouTube now works as if nothing ever happened to your browser.
If the above-mentioned tricks seem suspicious to you, then you can simply disable ad-blocker extensions on your browser, or subscribe to YouTube Premium for viewing add-free content.