Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
YouTube is the king of video services, but not everything about it is perfect. Some parts of the app are so broken, it’s difficult to believe Google hasn’t fixed them. But don’t worry, other developers have your back.
Take, for instance, something as simple as searching for a new video while you’re watching one. YouTube will stop your current video midway and take you to a new search page. Otherwise, you need to load YouTube in a separate tab. That’s ridiculous!
However, there are some awesome Google Chrome extensions to fix these common annoyances once and for all.
Search YouTube Without Stopping Video
To fix the aforementioned problem, developer darajava made an extension called QueueTube. Now, when you’re watching a video on YouTube, you can safely use the search bar on top to find something new. Your video won’t stop!
The search results will instead appear on the right, where related videos usually are. If you like any of them and want to queue it up to play next on YouTube, click the red “Add to playlist” button. It will automatically be added to your playlist, which you can check at the top of this sidebar.
It works fabulously, and is one of the extensions that will change how you use YouTube forever. If you take away one extension from this article, let it be QueueTube. And remember, you can also use advanced search operators in YouTube.
Download: QueueTube for Google Chrome
Stop Autoplaying Videos When You Open Them
Click a YouTube link to open in a new tab, and it will start playing it as soon as it’s loaded. It’s one of YouTube’s biggest annoyances. It’s definitely better to click the Play button yourself to control when to see it.
Stop Autoplay for YouTube, as the name suggests, prevents this from happening. Unless you click the Play button, the video will remain paused at 00:00.
There’s an extended version of Stop Autoplay for YouTube, which pauses the video at 00:00 till you focus on the YouTube tab. Once you switch to the tab, the video will start autoplaying, assuming that you are now ready to watch.
I’d recommend the non-extended version, but it’s up to you to choose.
Automatically Pause Videos When You Switch to a New Tab
The modern browser is all about switching between tabs to multi-task. But YouTube will keep blaring away in the background even if you switch to a different tab.
Smart Pause for YouTube detects that you are no longer watching its tab, and automatically pauses the video. That way, you don’t miss out on anything in the video. Once you go back to the same tab, it will smartly resume playing the video.
It’s a fantastic extension that just works exactly as advertised. A must-have!
Download: Smart Pause for YouTube for Google Chrome [No longer available]
Watch a Video Without Leaving the Tab
When you’re browsing Reddit or your favorite social network, you might come across a YouTube link. You have to click it to open it in a new tab, and then watch it, right? Wrong!
Install HoverCards and you can move your cursor over any link to check a preview of the YouTube video. In fact, you can watch the video itself without ever leaving the page you’re on.
In fact, HoverCards also work for non-YouTube links, like Instagram pictures, Soundcloud audio files, Twitter bios, and more. It’s like Hoverzoom or Imagus for Chrome, but only a lot better! That’s why we think it’s one of the lesser-known Chrome extensions everyone should have.
Download: HoverCards for Google Chrome [No Longer Available]
Pop Out Videos as a Resizeable, Adjustable, Floating Chrome Tab
Your widescreen monitor is probably not making the best use of real estate. The Sideplayer extension pops out any YouTube video as a floating tab.
This floating tab can be resized to change the size of the video. You can also drag-and-drop it anywhere on the Chrome screen. Adjust the opacity of Sideplayer in case you want to see what’s behind the floating video. It will stay on top, so feel free to switch tabs or use Chrome as you usually do.
Sideplayer itself includes the basic YouTube playback actions. You can speed up or slow down the speed of the video. You can adjust the quality–a worthwhile idea, since HD video is wasted in a tiny floating window.
Sideplayer is definitely better than other sneak-peek YouTube video extensions.
Download: Sideplayer for Google Chrome [No Longer Available]
Block Channels or Keywords from YouTube Suggestions
So you want to avoid Game of Thrones spoilers, but YouTube is full of videos talking about them. And since YouTube knows you well, it will show them in the Suggestions list. Video Blocker is the simple way to get rid of things you don’t want to see on YouTube.
The Video Blocker extension can block videos with a title that has a keyword or phrase you don’t want to see. If you can’t bear the sight of a certain YouTube celebrity, block their channel from your YouTube suggestions.
Video Blocker is pretty simple to use, and once you start blocking items, you will find better recommendations from YouTube.
Download: Video Blocker for Chrome
One Extension to Rule Them All: YouTube Plus
We are big fans of the Magic Actions for YouTube extension, which allows many of the above features. You can stop autoplay, play videos in HD by default, control volume with mouse scroll wheel, and much more. But it doesn’t cover all of the above features.
YouTube Plus is a better “swiss army knife” extension to fix these YouTube annoyances. It includes a pop-out window, blacklisting channels, customizes the look of YouTube how you want it, stop autoplay, show the player when reading comments, and so on.
Here’s a full list of YouTube Plus’s features, so you can know what to expect before you install it.
Download: YouTube Plus for Chrome [No longer available]
What Annoys You About YouTube?
For example, I wish the YouTube app on phones allowed me to use it as a pop-out floating app, without exiting the app I’m on. That said, there are some useful YouTube URL tricks that you can use, doing away with the need for any extension at all that may address a few of your annoyances.
What about you? What’s the most annoying thing about YouTube for you, today? Have you figured out how to solve it?
For more Chrome extensions that fix site issues, check out this article: