With each refresh, YouTube’s desktop feed gets more cluttered, to the point of being unusable. So many videos now have clickbait titles and thumbnails, and we’ve seen so many shocked faces in these previews it doesn’t even register as anything special anymore.
The recommended feed is full of even more clickbait, and YouTube Shorts occupy a large amount of space on the home screen. What started out as a site to watch videos is fast becoming a site to watch ads with some videos thrown in between. All of these design decisions have been made with one goal in mind—to increase engagement at all costs. As a result, YouTube’s desktop feed is a royal mess. Fortunately, with the right Chrome extensions, you can make YouTube a lot more fun to use.
Block all ads
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The number one complaint with videos on YouTube is how many ads the site keeps adding. If you’re tired of that, you should install uBlock Origin and SponsorBlock. The former will block all YouTube ads, especially if you carefully tweak a few of its settings, and the latter will get rid of ad reads within videos themselves. With these two extensions, you won’t ever be bothered by YouTube ads again.
Hide algorithmic feeds on YouTube
Many people find YouTube’s recommendations to be unhelpful. Over time, low-quality clickbait videos tend to show up with an alarming frequency. If you find YouTube recommendations to be less than inspiring, then you should install Unhook. The extension lets you block all kinds of recommended content on YouTube, and it even allows you to hide comments, live chat, YouTube Shorts, and other elements that you don’t want to see. An underrated feature is its ability to hide unwanted search results on YouTube, which does a great job at hiding YouTube’s suggested content.
(Another way around this is to disable your watch history, as YouTube will now show a blank home page when you do.)
Block spammy channels and videos
BlockTube is a great extension for those who want to permanently hide certain videos and channels from their YouTube feeds. You can click the three dots next to any video and block it, or the entire channel. The extension has several other useful features, such as blocking certain words in comments, blocking all comments by a user, and showing or hiding videos based on the duration of each video.
Get rid of clickbait
When you’re done with annoying all caps titles and awful thumbnails, you can install Clickbait Remover. It will turn all video titles to lowercase, which makes them easier to read. The extension also replaces all video thumbnails with an actual frame from the video, which makes each thumbnail a lot duller and encourages you to click only on the videos you may actually be interested in.
An all-in-one extension to fix many YouTube annoyances
Improve YouTube is the Swiss army knife of YouTube extensions. It blocks ads, removes recommended videos and other junk you may not be interested in, and lets you customize plenty of settings, including auto-subtitles, video quality, and disabling autoplay. You can also quickly take screenshots of any YouTube video, and enable a nifty loudness normalization feature that reduces loud sounds in each video. If you spend a bit of time working with this extension’s settings, you’ll end up with a far better YouTube experience.