YouTube, in general, is a darn good website that just works and has all the necessary features required by any regular user. However, if you are YouTube Power user or have a YouTube Channel, here are some useful chrome extensions, you can get to increase and customize your YouTube watching experience.
Best YouTube Chrome Extension
1. Enhancer for YouTube
Enhancer for YouTube is one of my favorite extensions. The extension contains a ton of options and customization settings. For instance, the extension automatically pins the video to any corner of the browser window when scrolled down. This allows you to read the comments or take a look at the related videos without missing the video. Another couple of features I really like are the ability to boost the volume, detach the video player and automatic theatre mode.
Other features of the extension include but not limited to custom keyboard shortcuts, volume controls with the mouse wheel, automatic pausing for background videos, video filters, etc. If you are looking for an all-round extension that improves your YouTube watching experience, then do give Enhancer for YouTube a try.
2. Picture in Picture by Google
Picture in Picture is one of the best and most useful features. It allows you to watch the video while doing some other work. For instance, I used the picture in picture mode heavily when I am watching coding tutorials on YouTube. Chrome has long supported Picture in Picture mode. To make things easier, Google recently released the Picture in Picture extension from Chrome. As long as the website or service developers add the necessary specifications, Picture in Picture extension will work on any website. As of now, Picture in Picture works on all major websites including YouTube.
The only downside is that the Picture in Picture mode, as of now, has no controls other than the simple play and pause button. That being, Picture in Picture extension is really useful in a lot of situations. Give it a try.
Bonus Tip: PiP also works with Netflix.
3. YouTube Ratings Preview
This is the kind of extension that you don’t know you need but once you start using it, you can’t imagine yourself not using it. As you know, users can like or dislike videos on YouTube. YouTube Rating Preview extension shows the likes and dislikes ratio right under the thumbnail of the video. This allows you to see the relative likes to dislikes ratio without actually visiting the video.
Typically, click-bait and deceptive videos will have a very high dislike ratio. Which simply means that you can use this extension to skip those kinds of videos.
Recently, YouTube started streaming videos in VP8/VP9 formats. The thing is, unlike the older H264, VP8/VP9 is not hardware accelerated. Which simply means that depending on what you are doing with your system and what background processes it is running, you will see a lot more video stuttering. Not mention, due to the lack of hardware acceleration, you will see high CPU usage and battery drain on laptops. This is especially true for older systems and when you are playing videos in high quality.
To deal with this, install the h264ify extension. It will force YouTube to use the good old and widely supported h264 stream rather than the VP8/VP9.
5. Magic Actions for YouTube
Magic Action for YouTube is very similar to Enhancer for YouTube in that it has a ton of options and features to supercharge your YouTube viewing experience. Some of those features include but not limited to auto HD, cinema mode, a variety of video filters, color themes, rating preview, comment user info, and much more. One of the best things about this extension is that it provides all the necessary controls right under the YouTube video player.
I recommend you give it a try along with the Enhancer for YouTube and see which extension fits you.
6. Automatic 4K/HD for YouTube
YouTube is pretty good at detecting your internet connection speed and adjusting the video quality. This allows you to watch the videos without any buffering whatsoever. Of course, when needed, you can manually set the video quality you want. However, if you don’t like this automatic behavior and would like the video quality to be consistent then you can use this extension. When enabled, this extension automatically sets the video quality depending on your settings so that YouTube won’t change the resolution automatically. Though the extension title says 4K/HD, you can set any video quality as the default one.
7. Color Changer for YouTube
If you are into user interface customization, then this extension is for you. Color Changer is a very simple extension that lets you change the colors of various parts of YouTube. Those elements include but not limited to header, background, text, navigation, etc. If you don’t like the default light or dark modes, you can use this simple extension to change the color of YouTube to your heart’s content.
8. SmartVideo For YouTube
If you have a slow or unreliable internet connection, video buffering is a very real issue. Since YouTube doesn’t buffer the full video, this problem can be even more annoying. If that’s your case, SmartVideo for YouTube extension is for you. This extension tries to alleviate the problem by force buffering the video for you. In fact, you can configure the extension to buffer a certain percentage of the video too.
9. YouTube Video Effects and Audio Enhancer
As you can tell from the name itself, this extension is mainly amid at adding video effects and enhancing the YouTube audio. When I say, audio enhancement, the extension gives you an equalizer so that you can tune the audio to meet your needs. Other than that, the extension can also do things like changing the video quality to HD automatically, looping the YouTube video, removing black bars, etc.
10. DF Tube
DF Tube is also known as Distraction Free for YouTube is a simple extension that is aimed to reduce the distractions while watching YouTube. If you are someone who actively uses YouTube for educational content, then this extension is for you. Once configured, the extension removes related videos, recommended videos, home page videos, etc. from the page of the video you are watching.
11. Controls for YouTube
Controls for YouTube is a very simple extension that adds a few more controls to the YouTube video player. These controls can be used to quickly fast-forward or backward the video. Typically, you need to use the keyboard shortcut but with this extension, you can use your mouse. So, if you are a heavy mouse user, this extension is pretty useful.
12. Audio Only YouTube
If you like to listen to podcasts or songs, then the video is mostly unnecessary. For such use cases, the Audio Only YouTube removes the video stream and allows only the audio streaming. As a side benefit, you will also save your internet data, which is a huge help if you are on mobile data.
If you are a YouTube creator, you might have heard of TubeBuddy, but in case you haven’t, you need to check this one out fast.
TubeBuddy does a couple of extra things that you can not do with the native YouTube studio. For instance, bulk updates the description of your YouTube videos, topic planner, Upload Checklist, etc. It also has some other features, such as canned Responses, auto-generate professional-looking thumbnails, which I’m not a big fan of. Here is a full list of things, you can do with TubeBuddy.
Unlike TubeBuddy, which focus on building on your Channel, vidIQ, helps you to analyze your competition YouTube channel. You see when you watch any video on YouTube, it shows you the total number of views and likes and dislikes. However, vidIQ can uncover additional metrics such as – how many views the video is getting per hour, Average Watch Time, Tags used in the videos etc.
15. Screenshot YouTube
As the name suggests, this is a simple extension that takes a screenshot of any YouTube video with one click. Nothing else.
That is all. If you think I missed any of your favorite YouTube chrome extensions, do comment below and share them with me.