Browsers Internet

Make YouTube Better & Get Rid of Annoyances With These Add-Ons [Firefox]

Yaara Lancet 27-08-2012

firefox youtube addonWatching videos is one of the best pastimes you can find online, and what source for videos is better than YouTube? YouTube is the largest video website online, and when looking for a video, you’re very likely to find it there. But is YouTube perfect? Far from it.

With a somewhat cluttered interface, annoying annotations, spammy comments and an ever present autoplay feature, YouTube is sometimes merely a default, and by no means the best one. Many videos, however, can only be found on YouTube, so we deal daily with these little annoyances without complaining too much. But why suffer? Below you will find a list of solid Firefox add-ons that will get rid of many of these annoyances, and make your overall YouTube experience better.

Turning Off The Lights

Watching videos is 10 times better in the dark, but, alas, YouTube’s background is shining white. There are several Firefox YouTube addons 4 Browser Extensions To Dim The Lights & Move The Focus To Any YouTube Video Read More that can take care of this for you, one of which is the simple YouTube Light Switch.

firefox youtube addon

All this add-on does is switch YouTube’s background color from white to black. It’s very simple, but surprisingly, it makes a world of difference.

If the black background is not enough for you, you can upgrade to the slightly more sophisticated YouTube Just the Video, which makes everything but the video vanish at a push of a button. Simply load the video page you want to watch and click the add-on button to make everything disappear.

just-the-videoWhich brings us to the cream of the crop in this genre of add-ons: YouTube Anywhere Player [No Longer Available]. This add-on not only dims the background to enhance the viewing experience, but brings the YouTube player to any webpage, not only YouTube. So when you find a YouTube link anywhere on the web, clicking it will automatically open the video in a dark-background player without leaving the page. Now that’s brilliant.

Quality, Buffering, Playing & Replaying

As technology advances, the number of quality options on YouTube grows. Many videos now allow you to choose between three different general sizes, and sometimes two different HD sizes. Given that most of us use the same connection most of the time, it would be great to load every video in HD automatically (if applicable), or load every video in low quality for slow connections. A small Firefox YouTube addon by the name of YouTube quality manager [No Longer Available] lets you do just that.

firefox youtube


After installing the add-on, find the small red Q on the bottom right corner. Right click it to choose a quality, and all YouTube videos will automatically load in that size.

For something a bit more sophisticated, download SmartVideo for YouTube [No Longer Available]. This smart add-on works on both videos on YouTube and embedded videos, and you can fine-tune each to suit your specific needs.
firefox youtube


For example, you can auto-replay all videos, choose to start playing right away or only after a certain amount of the video has been buffered, choose to always play videos at a certain quality, etc. The add-on is lightweight and works very well.

Two more very simple add-ons that deal with autoplaying and replaying are Stop YouTube Autoplay [No Longer Available] and YouTube Auto Replay [No Longer Available]. As expected, the first will simply stop YouTube from autoplaying, in case you find that habit annoying, and the second adds replaying options which you can access by clicking on the “Replay” button under every video.

firefox youtube

You can use YouTube Auto Replay to loop only a certain part of a video, which can be pretty useful.

Comments and Annotations

Comments are a sore subject on YouTube, and while Google is encouraging people to comment from their Google+ accounts, it’s still not mandatory for people to identify themselves on YouTube, and the comments are abundant with spam as a result. There are several ways to deal with this problem, the simplest of which is to hide all comments. This is useful if you just don’t care, and want to watch your videos in peace.

In order to do this, you can use the simple YouTube Comment Blocker [No Longer Available], which will hide all comments indiscriminately. For more refined control over comments, download YouTube Comment Snob [No Longer Available].

youtube addon for firefox

With this, you can choose to hide comments with too many spelling mistakes, only capital letters, excessive punctuation, and more. Amazing!

One more thing which can become quite annoying if overused is the annotations feature. While useful at times, some people tend to blast their videos with too many of these, which takes away from the overall experience. In these cases, make use of YouTube Hide Annotations to hide these popups without a trace.

firefox youtube addon

If you want to see annotations in a certain video, just click on the “Show annotations” button.

All In One

If you need to perform several of the above tweaks, you can give TweakTube [No Longer Available] a try. Using this add-on you can do everything from dimming the background and disabling autoplay, to replacing YouTube with Windows Media Player, automatic video scaling, downloading videos, and more.

tweaktube Want More?

Do you know of any other great Firefix YouTube add-ons? Would you like to see a similar post for Chrome or other browsers? Add your comments below!

Image Credit: fireworks image via Shutterstock

Related topics: Mozilla Firefox, YouTube.

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  1. sara
    February 20, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Many youtube videos of films (been watching Poirot) have huge added moving backgrounds. Like the movie is on top of a big gif. Is there a way to remove the annoying background? Or, what words do I use to search to eliminate those videos from being selected?

  2. sara
    February 20, 2017 at 10:43 pm

    A lot of youtube videos (been watching Poirot) have added moving backgrounds (like big gifs) that take up most of the screen. Extremely annoying. Is there a way to get rid of them? Or, when searching is there something I can put in the search so that these kind of videos will not be selected?

  3. ludmila
    October 4, 2012 at 8:31 am

    I have to look for other video editors because your video editor can not to edit audio
    I need to mount sound to separate it from the video, overlay and mix.
    and want more variety of transitions and effects.

  4. GrrGrrr
    August 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks Yaara. The last 3 options are mind-blowing. :)

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Awesome! :)

  5. Stephanie w
    August 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    This is really useful. As an alternative to Comment Snob, there is also "Herp Derp for YouTube", a chrome extension that turns all YouTube comments into combinations of "herp" and "derp"

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Thanks Stephanie! I heard about this one. Will definitely include it if I write a similar Chrome post.

  6. Reý Aetar
    August 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    great post indeed

  7. Ashwin Ramesh
    August 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Wow! Really nice... should give it a try :)

  8. Andrei Anikin
    August 28, 2012 at 11:54 am

    great, thanks!

  9. VictorGeis
    August 28, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I really like the "Quality, Buffering, Playing & Replaying" section; I never even considered doing any of that. I'll definitely have to try this out.

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm


  10. Shamim
    August 28, 2012 at 5:24 am

    Thank you for the great tutorial! It has been very helpful to see a few techniques in action.

  11. Erlis D.
    August 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Woow! Really amazing... Got to give it a try!

  12. Gideon Pioneer
    August 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Wow! YouTube Comment Snob is really great.. now I can occasionally read comments without fear of mental degradation again!

    • Yaara Lancet
      August 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      Isn't it? It's such a... snobbish idea. I love it. :)