If you’re a Firefox user with an ad blocker installed, you’ve likely noticed YouTube videos loading more slowly. I’ve tested this and found the difference in video load times between Opera and Firefox is noticeable. Is that because more Firefox users work with ad blockers? Just a few short months ago this was not the case.
This issue stems from YouTube cracking down on ad blockers. According to 9to5Google, a user found code on YouTube.com that includes a timeout function forcing users to wait five seconds for videos to load.
A Google spokesperson had this to say: “We’ve launched a global effort to urge viewers with ad blockers enabled to allow ads on YouTube or try YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience. Ads support a diverse ecosystem of creators globally and allow billions to access their favorite content on YouTube.”
Clearly, Google is going all-in on preventing ad blockers on their sites.
As a YouTube user, what can you do? Many users are uninstalling their ad blockers — but that’s not always the best option. Why? Because you’ll find, on some sites, that you are inundated with so many ads, the site you’re viewing slows to a crawl (or worse, crashes your browser). Because I’ve run into this problem more often than I care to mention, I’ve been using an ad blocker for quite some time.
There are a couple of solutions you can try. Do understand, however, not every solution will work on every browser and the specific steps you take will vary, depending on the browser and ad blocker you use. Also, some browsers (such as Opera) have a built-in ad blocker. To that end, let me show you what I’ve done.
How to add a YouTube exception on your ad blocker
Instead of uninstalling or disabling your ad blocker, you can simply add an exception for YouTube, which means the ads will play as normal for that site. Let me show you how to do that with Opera and then with uBlock Origin on Firefox.
If you use a different ad blocker, you can do a quick search to find out how to add an exception for YouTube. If you find that doesn’t help with Firefox, you might have to install the User-Agent Switcher extension and change what browser Firefox presents itself as to trick YouTube into thinking Firefox isn’t Firefox.
It’s fairly obvious why Google doesn’t want users employing ad blockers. Even so, it shouldn’t be all that hard for you to resolve this problem with either an ad blocker exception or tricking YouTube into thinking Firefox is Chrome.