Google launched a new design of the company’s YouTube website recently that made the site slow on Firefox when compared to Google Chrome. Firefox users who open YouTube in the browser may notice extended loading times and other issues after the design change was published by Google.
We covered a discussion about YouTube being purposefully slower on non-Chrome browsers by Mozilla Technical Program Manager Chris Peterson on Twitter back in mid 2018. Peterson stated that Google used a deprecated API only implemented in Chrome on YouTube that made the site slower on non-Chrome browsers.
The Firefox extension Disable Polymer on YouTube fixes the issues caused by the new design on Firefox by disabling it. All the extension does is append the parameter disable_polymer=true to the YouTube URL.
Firefox users may give it a try without installing the extension to compare the performance on classic YouTube and the new YouTube design. Chance is that classic YouTube loads faster and performs better than the current design of the site.
All the extension does is automate the process by adding the parameter to the YouTube URL automatically.
The polymer redesign of YouTube has made the site very slow for Firefox users. This add-on adds the “disable_polymer” option to YouTube URLs in order to revert back to the old classic design.
Just install the extension in Firefox and it will add the parameter to YouTube’s URL automatically. The extension requires access to data on YouTube but that is the only special permission that it requests during installation; good.
Note that the functionality depends on Google keeping the parameter enabled on YouTube. The return to classic YouTube to speed it up on Firefox won’t work anymore should Google decide to remove it from the site.
The parameter may also be useful to non-Firefox users who prefer the classic design over YouTube’s new layout.
Another alternative that users have is to use a third-party tool to watch YouTube videos, e.g. video players such as SMPlayer support YouTube playback.
Now You: How often do you use YouTube?
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