The new version of youtube is horrible. Everything loads extremely slow and is laggy. If you jump through a bunch of different youtube channels, everything gets even worse. There was an option on the top of the page to go back to the old version, but Youtube recently removed it and once you delete your cookies, you can no longer go back.

These instructions will restore the old layout on all youtube pages until you delete your cookies, then you will have to do it again. There is probably an easier way to do this with a script or through Tampermonkey or Stylish, but I don't know how to do that. There may even be an add-on for this already, but I don't like running a bunch of add-ons.

Chrome

  • Open a Youtube page
  • Press Control+Shift+I (that is an i as in information)
  • Application tab on top (may have to click the arrows to view more tabs)
  • On the left, in Storage, expand "cookies"
  • Click on the cookie for Youtube
  • On the right you should see columns for "Name" and "Value"
  • In the Name column there should be one called "PREF". If this is missing, do something on the Youtube page to create it. Just disable autoplay on a video or change the sort order if you are viewing someones videos in their profile
  • For PREF, double click the Value to edit it and replace it with f6=8 or add it to what is already there with &f6=8
  • Click off of the Value or press enter to save it and then refresh the page. All Youtube pages will now use the old layout


Firefox (Firefox is the same as Chrome, but getting to the page to edit the cookie is slightly different.)

  • Open a Youtube page
  • Press Control+Shift+I (that is an i as in information)
  • This step is only needed the first time. Click the gear icon on the top right of the window that was opened to view the settings page. Put a check in the box for "Storage"
  • Click on the "Storage" tab
  • Expand "Cookies" on the left and click on the one for Youtube
  • Follow Chrome steps above

You can experiment on Youtube with different settings and see what it adds to the Value field if you want. f6=8 should set it back to the old layout, but my browser that already had it set back was showing f6=40008. I don't know what the difference is, but they both work.


There is also something you can add to the end of the URL to make the current page use the old layout instead of editing the cookie, but you have to add this to the URL and reload the page every single time you go to a new page. This is not needed if you edit the Youtube cookie shown above.

The way to temporarily change an individual page is just to add &disable_polymer=1 to the end of a video URL. If you want to use the old layout on a page from a users profile, you need to add ?disable_polymer=1.


If you are interested in a Greasy Fork script to do this for you automatically, Andrewski linked one in his comment below.

8 months ago*

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I still don't understand why they felt the need to remove the option to put your subscriptions into categories.

8 months ago
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I almost never sign into Youtube, so I don't use subscriptions or any of the features that you need to be signed in for.

8 months ago
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Same here, but I also don't really spend much time on youtube or follow youtubers at all so that might be why

8 months ago
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Yup, that was an awesome feature which I've been actively using and was really sad when they removed it 3 years ago :<
And I still miss them...

8 months ago
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Is there a similar guide for Opera users? You can do that Ctrl+Shift+I step, but I can't seem to find any option to show cookies in that opening window.

8 months ago
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I don't use Opera, but it sounds like you can. I don't know if these instructions for editing cookies in Opera are still correct since they are from 2011, but it was the first result that showed up. https://www.svenbit.com/2011/04/edit-cookies-in-opera/

Once you find the correct cookie for youtube, you can probably follow the same steps for the other browsers.

Edit: Those instructions may not work. It looks like Opera is based on Chromium now, so I would think it would be similar to Chrome.

Edit 2: Try Preferences > Advanced > Cookies and then look for "Cookie Manager". You should be able to find and edit cookies there.

Also, If the same Ctrl+Shift+I shortcut works as it does in Chrome, the "Application" tab was not shown in the tabs. I had to click the two little arrows on the right to display more tabs to see it. In previous versions of Opera, it used a tab there called Storage like Firefox does.

8 months ago*
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There's also a userscript that sets the cookie for you automatically called Get me old Youtube

8 months ago
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I figured there would probably be scripts or add-ons, but I didn't bother looking. I don't like running a lot of extra stuff. I don't know enough about scripts or what someone could do with them if they wanted to, so I tend to stay away from them for security reasons. Maybe if I could view the text of a script and see that it was very short and only changing that one thing. Also, I don't have Greasy Fork and that would be one more thing to install.

Thanks for the info, I'll add it to the OP for others.

8 months ago
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and a nice dark skin for the old style. 🌈

8 months ago
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Bump for exposure because the new version is garbage. Open a page and immediately pause the video and it shows the pause symbol on the video showing that you paused it, then the page continues to load and decides to play the video so you have to hit pause again.

Why does every major version of software eventually get worse over time? The companies just like to ruin their product.

8 months ago
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Bump for now there's an extension for Chromium based browsers to revert to the old layout. So basically what it does it adds: disable_polymer=true to all youtube links. Maybe it's a crutch but it works.
https://github.com/signekatt/Youtube-Layout-Fixer-Chrome-extension

7 months ago
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