Want to Buffer YouTube Videos While on Pause? Try These Browser Add-Ons

Want to Buffer YouTube Videos While on Pause?  Try These Browser Add Ons

Awhile back, YouTube changed the way you experienced buffering with adaptive bitrate streaming, where the player would decide what quality the video could reasonably run without interruption.  Obviously, not all internet speeds are created equal, and most of us would like to enjoy the best quality possible.  The problem with the new streaming is that you can't just pause the video and let it buffer all the way to the end...the buffering occurs only when the video is played.  So if you like 1080p, and you have a slow connection, you probably have some issues playing those videos.  Luckily, there are some browser add-ons that help with this.

Carla Marshall pointed me to this article, which touts an add-on known as YouTube Center.  It's available on pretty much all the browsers, as you can see hereAs always, with add-ons, do all the research you can on them before downloading.  YouTube Center does a lot more than change the buffering settings, it centers the page, removes ads, allows you to download videos, repeats videos, and tons more.

So I downloaded it on Mozilla to give it a test drive.  It does not require a browser re-boot, which is cool.

If you're interested specifically in being able to pause the video to allow buffering time, here's what you do:

Once you download YouTube Center, a "gear" icon will show up next to your account name on YouTube.  You'll want to click the sub-tab "Player," where you'll see these options:

Want to Buffer YouTube Videos While on Pause?  Try These Browser Add Ons

You want to deselect "Dash Playback."  Now, when you pause the video, the buffering will go all the way to the end, and you can just wait it out if you'd prefer.  You may have to click on the video again, or another video, to see it working.

Maybe you don't like the way this one does its thing.  So there's another option called SmartVideo For YouTube, which can be found on Mozilla, Chrome, Opera, and Safari.  Once downloaded, this add-on requires you to exit out of the browser and re-load.  Here's what it looks like:

Want to Buffer YouTube Videos While on Pause?  Try These Browser Add Ons

SmartVideo only shows up when you hover the mouse over the player.  Once visible, you'll want to go to "Global Preferences."  A menu will fill your screen.  As you can see, you can control the videos on YouTube and where they are embedded:

Want to Buffer YouTube Videos While on Pause?  Try These Browser Add Ons

You'll want to click the option that says "Ensure that videos are buffered even if they are paused."  It won't happen right away.  You'll need to click on the video again to see this option working.

Whatever add-on you may use, this is a cool option to have for those who have slow connections and don't want to be at the mercy of YouTube's default buffering.

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About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - http://nymoviereviews.com. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • McChris

    Hey, thanks for the tip! I use the torch browser which is a chromium based browser. Will the one for chrome work?

  • Margaret Waage

    Are these tools only available for YouTube platform or are they available as plug in for my own video player?

    • Chris Atkinson

      Maragaret: as far as I know, these are browser add-ons specifically for YouTube. If you want to do something with regular players, you may need to search Mozilla, Chrome, etc. add-on pages to find "all video player" type of tools. I'd simply search for the keywords, "buffering," or "video buffering."

      • Margaret Waage

        Thanks so much Chris - will do!