Even though YouTube is always changing, one thing they can’t seem to figure out is that people want a way to automatically control video quality. In an age where we’re used to high-definition video, it’s jarring when videos start in unacceptably low quality.
We’ll have to go outside the YouTube settings to find a solution to this issue, and it’s a Chrome/Firefox/Opera extension called Magic Actions for YouTube. Grab it from the Chrome Web Store [No Longer Available] for Chrome or the official website for Firefox and Opera.
This extension actually lets you tweak all sorts of YouTube settings, but for now, we’re most worried about video quality.
Depending on which browser you’re using, get started by navigating to the extension’s settings. (In Chrome, click the three-bar menu in the top-right, then More Tools > Extensions. Find Magic Actions in the list and click Options underneath it.)
It's a nice feeling when YouTube finally rates your connection suitable to play automatically in HD
— Tom (@_tomhealy) August 8, 2015
Scroll down in the settings box and ensure Enable Auto HD is checked. Below you can choose the default quality, from 5K all the way down to the lowly 144p. 4K is probably overkill, so 1080p should do just fine, but try 720p if you’re on a slower connection.
Another related setting to check is Speed Booster, which should make YouTube videos load faster and will be noticeable with auto-HD enabled. Depending on the length of the video, it may even load all at once instead of the normal piece-by-piece loading.
It's interesting how the ads on Youtube never have trouble buffering.
— Mindy Ball (@MindyyB4ll) November 12, 2015
With these two perks enabled, you won’t have to waste time manually switching every video you watch to HD, and buffering will fade into the background. If things still aren’t fast enough for you, there are other ways to speed up YouTube.
Will you enable auto-HD with this extension? What’s your preferred viewing quality? Let us know what you’re watching on YouTube below!
Image Credit: scyther5 via Shutterstock.com