2023 stands out as a year when Google begins to significantly affect user behavior in YouTube usage. YouTube usage, especially in browsers other than Google Chrome such as Firefox and Edge, seems to be slowed down by Google’s new strategies.
This situation was first noticed by Firefox users. Users report that it takes a full five seconds to load a YouTube video in Mozilla’s browser, while it loads instantly in Google Chrome. In a video shared on Reddit, it was observed that a Firefox user was faced with a blank screen for five seconds after clicking on a video. This clearly indicates that this is not an issue caused by a slow network connection. When YouTube finally loads, it loads quickly.
Although there is no confirmation in the official statements made by Google that this slowdown is intentional, it is noteworthy that it is not denied. Google notes that the use of ad blockers on YouTube may provide viewers with a suboptimal experience. This statement may imply that Google is doing this slowdown on purpose.
Solutions against YouTube slowing down in Firefox and Edge
One way to fix this problem is to make YouTube think you’re using Chrome. This is possible through the user agent switching process. One way to accomplish this in Firefox is to use the User-Agent Switcher and Manager add-on. Once the add-on is installed, open it and select one of the Chrome versions listed and refresh. This extension automatically turns your user agent into Chrome, so you can browse sites like YouTube as if you were using Google’s browser. However, this plugin may not be ideal from a privacy perspective as it requires access to all data for each site.
A safer method of changing user agent is to do it manually. Open a new tab, enter the URL about:config write and enterPress . Accept the warning pop-up, general.useragent.override in summer, Stringpress , then (+)Press . Search for “my user agent” in Chrome and copy and paste the results into the text field. Again enterPress and your Firefox browser now looks like Chrome to the web.
uBlock Origin Solution
If you don’t want to bother with switching user agents, uBlock Origin has a solution. After uBlock Origin is installed, open it, Control PanelGo to , then to my filters go Paste the following code into the field:
Apply ChangesPress and check if the lag persists by opening YouTube in a new window.
Of course, disabling ad blockers for YouTube or subscribing to YouTube Premium can also be an alternative. However, users reading this article probably do not want to choose either of these two ways.