YouTube is slow to load in Firefox

YouTube has started blocking ad blockers, and now, anyone with an ad blocker installed in any browser is reducing loading times.


Update 11/21: In an updated report 9to5GoogleYouTube explains that detection of an ad blocker on YouTube.com is the cause of “suboptimal viewability,” including this new slow loading behavior.

Ads are a vital lifeline for our creators, helping them run and grow their businesses. That’s why the use of ad blockers violates YouTube’s terms of service. We have been urging users for some time Allow ads on YouTube Or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. Over the past week, users using ad blockers may have experienced subpar viewing that included loading delays, regardless of the browser they were using. Users who have uninstalled their ad blockers may still experience temporary loading delays Try refreshing their browser.

It was first noticed in Mozilla Firefox, and as our coverage below concludes, YouTube says its ad blocker detection doesn’t target specific browsers, and that this behavior can be seen in any browser with an ad blocker installed.

Our original coverage and YouTube’s earlier report follows:


Loading YouTube.com is something many people do on a daily basis, but lately the process has been oddly slow for some, especially In Firefox.

Redditor u/vk6_ posted a video It shows YouTube loading in Firefox with noticeable delay. For a few seconds, the page is mostly blank, with background elements showing but no accompanying content. After a few seconds, the page will load as usual.

One might assume it’s a connectivity issue, but the video makes it very clear that it’s Google’s choice. When you trick Firefox’s user agent into looking like Chrome, YouTube loads completely normally. No waiting time, and loading is complete severely faster.

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At first glance, this seems like clear evidence of a choice on Google’s part may There will be more. Another user found the code On YouTube.com, the script displays a “timeout” function that forces users to wait five seconds before the page loads. However, some people believe this will be relevant For ad blocker suppression. The code doesn’t seem to point specifically to Firefox, but Some users have found that Applying a filter to this code seems to fix the loading time.

More importantly, we tried it in the other direction. Tricking Chrome into acting like Firefox does No Push this delay into practice.

But it’s hard to say anything for sure.


Update: Answer 9to5GoogleGoogle pointed to ad blockers as the apparent reason for the slowdown, saying that “users who have ad blockers installed may experience subpar viewing, regardless of the browser they use.”

To support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally, and billions more to access their favorite content on YouTube, we’ve launched an initiative to encourage viewers with ad blockers enabled. Allow ads on YouTube Or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. Users who have ad blockers installed can enjoy the companion view regardless of the browser they use.

While this doesn’t address the question of why loading was so fast when Firefox was fooling itself as Google Chrome, it did line up with this particular user who had an ad blocker installed that was barely visible in Chrome’s top bar video. In our test from Chrome spoofing to Firefox, in particular, no such ad blockers were installed.

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If you are seeing YouTube.com loading slowly in Firefox and you Don’t Must have an ad-blocker installed, let us know in the comments below.


The reason for this is unclear, but it comes at an ironic time. Amid the crackdown on ad-blockers and Chrome’s removal of Manifest V2 extensions (which break some ad-blockers), Firefox is the go-to place for many.

The other explanation could be a technical error, but it’s hard to say what that might be. Unlike Blink, which is widely used in Chrome, Edge and others, and WebKit, which is used in Safari, Firefox runs on the Gecko browser engine, but tricking the browser with an extension does not change the engine used. , again, suggests that it has something to do with Firefox in particular. Like the codebase used for our Kyle Bradshaw Gecko engine, testing was delayed and it accidentally went into production. The fact that this doesn’t happen when we trick Chrome into acting as Firefox also supports the idea that it’s a technical issue.

Either way, it’s a very frustrating issue and beautiful to watch.

Google, so far, has not acknowledged the problem.

More on YouTube:

Update: This post has been updated to reflect testing where tricking Chrome into acting as Firefox didn’t show the same lag.

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