YouTube is reportedly slowing down videos for Firefox users

samsung galaxy z fold 4 youtube interface

Ryan Haines / Android Authority


  • Users are reportedly seeing a five-second delay when loading YouTube videos in non-Chrome browsers, namely Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge, despite not using any extensions or ad-blockers.
  • The delay goes away when users switch their user agent to Chrome, indicating that the switch could be browser-related.
  • Not all users are experiencing the delay, which indicates that it could be account-related too.

YouTube has been on a monetization push recently, as it began blocking ad-blockers and pushing users to buy YouTube Premium. That move makes sense in many ways, as the platform needs to make money to survive and compensate creators who depend on the platform for their living. But some other actions by YouTube make less sense. Users are now reporting that YouTube has begun slowing down its desktop website for some Firefox and Edge users, and we are perplexed.

Redditor vk6_ has shared a video showing a five-second delay when loading into a YouTube video on Mozilla Firefox. Upon manually changing the user agent on the browser to Chrome, the five-second delay no longer appears. The video has been reproduced below:

Other Redditors have echoed the claim that YouTube videos are slow to load on Firefox and Edge.

Redditor vk6_ further notes that this isn’t a bug on Firefox. The JavaScript code for the YouTube client on the desktop reportedly contains code that adds the artificial five-second delay. Others have chimed in, pointing out the exact place to find this piece of code.

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We can confirm that the above-mentioned snippet of code exists. However, we cannot confirm if the code does indeed add a five-second delay after checking for the user’s browser of choice.

You can verify the existence of the code by inspecting this YouTube Javascript file and locating the following snippet of code with the find function (press Ctrl and F to open the finder):



For me, YouTube works equally well across Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Other team members also could not replicate this delayed behavior across browsers.

However, multiple users have reported the same across Firefox and Edge. The users claim to have experienced the delay without any extensions enabled, indicating that the delay could be on a per-account basis. The delay also does not trigger just once; it is reportedly triggered every time YouTube links are opened in a new tab.

Certain discussions around the report indicate that the code could be a lazy implementation of an ad fallback if a user uses an ad blocker. The relevant code could possibly be ensuring that an ad is displayed for at least five seconds before the actual video begins showing. As mentioned, we could not confirm the functioning of the code snippet.

We’ve reached out to Google for comments. We’ll update this article once we hear back from them.

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