How to make YouTube load up to 5x faster in Safari

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YouTube in Safari on iMac Pro
It’s easy to give YouTube a kick up the backside.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Have you ever wondered why YouTube is so much slower than all the other websites you visit in Safari? Did you know that you could make it up to five times faster with very little effort?

YouTube’s new design doesn’t play nicely with browsers that aren’t Google Chrome, but with some simple tweaks, you can switch back to its previous design and enjoy much faster speeds.

Here’s how.

It’s not Safari’s fault that YouTube runs so poorly. In fact, the same problem affects Firefox and Microsoft Edge users, too. It’s all because of the way YouTube is designed.

Google builds its services to run better inside Chrome. Some have been blocked from running inside rival browsers at all. What makes YouTube slow is that it still relies on a deprecated shadow API that only Chrome still supports.

This makes YouTube five times slower in Safari, Firefox, and Edge, according to Chris Peterson, a program manager for Mozilla — but there is a way to change that.

Speed up YouTube in Safari

You could ask Google to upgrade to the Polymer 2.0 or even 3.0 APIs, which are supported by other browsers. This would help make YouTube pages load a lot faster. But that probably won’t work.

The easiest solution is to force YouTube to revert to an older design that doesn’t rely on the Polymer 1.0 API. You’ll lose its dark mode feature and a slightly more polished look, but the experience remains the same.

Here’s what you need to do if you use Safari:

  1. Download the Tapermonkey script
  2. Tell Safari that you “Trust” the script when it asks for your approval
  3. Download this user script that forces YouTube to use classic mode

If you use Firefox on your Mac, Mozilla has done the hard work for you. Simply download this Firefox extension that automatically forces YouTube to load its older design.

Via: The Verge