Like every other popular website, YouTube has its share of missing features and annoyances. We have to wade through clickbait thumbnails and endless ad reads that get in the way—fortunately, there are plenty of browser extensions that fix these issues, so you can focus less on problem-solving and more on video-bingeing.
Before you download these extensions, keep in mind that installing too many extensions is bad for your browser. They can slow things down, and sometimes affect your privacy. Make sure you’re comfortable with the permissions each extension asks for and only install those you really need.
If you want to install just one extension, YouTube Enhancer should be your pick. It blocks ads, allows you to significantly boost the volume for all videos, and lets you pick a different default video quality, frame rate, and codec. This extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
If your only YouTube problems are related to volume, you should try Volume Master on Chrome. This extension lets you boost the volume up to 600% and allows you to set a different volume level for each tab in the browser. If you’re on Firefox, try 600% Sound Volume instead.
Clickbait thumbnails are all over YouTube. If you’re tired of your favorite YouTubers making 500 different versions of shocked faces for their thumbnails, you should install Clickbait Remover. It replaces thumbnails with actual screengrabs from the videos, which makes YouTube a lot less annoying.
You can also check out YouTube Full Title for Videos, which shows you the complete headline for every video. It removes truncated headlines on the site and makes it easier for you to see if the video is worth watching.
uBlock Origin is the best extension for blocking ads on YouTube. It also has many advanced features you should check out, like blocking cookie banners, malware domains, and removing tracking from URLs.
SponsorBlock automatically skips ad reads inside videos. The next time your favorite YouTuber tries to promote random products or services, you won’t even know it. Ideally, you should pair SponsorBlock with uBlock Origin for complete ad-blocking on YouTube.
Vinegar ($1.99) is among the best Safari extensions you can download. It forces YouTube to play in an HTML5 player, which means that you can play videos in the background for free. It blocks YouTube ads, too.
If you want an aesthetic makeover for YouTube, look no further than RoundedTube. This extension adds rounded corners to video thumbnails and makes the site look far more modern.
Video Speed Controller
Video Speed Controller is a Chrome extension that lets you speed up or slow down YouTube videos easily. It has a handy set of keyboard shortcuts that allow you to control video speed, going beyond YouTube’s default 2x speed limit. This is handy for those who want to quickly skip to the meat of long, rambling videos.
Better yet, this extension works with HTML5 videos on other websites, too.
When you need a screengrab from videos on YouTube or other streaming sites, Video Screenshot will help. It’s a simple extension that does its job well, and you can choose between JPG and PNG image formats for your screenshots.
Although YouTube has its own Watch Later feature that allows you to save videos, Bookmark It goes one step further. This extension lets you drop a bookmark at any given timestamp inside a video. That way, you can play bookmarked videos from that timestamp and easily find the information you need. You just have to press B on the keyboard to add a bookmark to YouTube videos, which makes the extension pretty easy to use.