YouTube denies ad blocker crackdown is causing browser slowdowns for Premium users

Users are reporting widespread issues across the platform, such as lagging, higher CPU usage, and delayed load times.

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YouTube denied further intensifying loading speed issues as part of its efforts to discourage ad blocker use.

However, both Premium users and those using ad blockers have reported problems with the platform, such as lagging, higher CPU usage, and delayed load times.

Why we care. YouTube’s intensified efforts against ad blockers, at the potential expense of user experience, could discourage platform usage, impacting the reach of your advertising campaigns. Furthermore, if the widespread issue of slow loading speeds persists, it may affect ad loading times, potentially reducing the effectiveness of your campaigns and negatively impacting user engagement.

Ad blocker accusations. Users reported widespread performance issues on a thread posted to the YouTube subreddit.

One user commented: “It makes the whole site laggy. I can’t type a comment, load anything, but every other tab on chrome is normal, even other video steaming stuff like twitch or netflix. It’s kind of annoying. Just happened to me for the first time last night. Still not going to disable my adblock though.”

Another added: “Today youtube started being sluggish and stuttery on chrome (I have adblock enabled) I ended up switching to firefox and now it’s perfect.”

A third wrote: “No joke this happened to me yesterday, i thought it was my laptop acting up but when i went to other sites it worked fine, youtube so desperate for revenue it’s crazy.”

YouTube Premium issues. The delayed loading speeds are also affecting YouTube Premium members who have ad blockers enabled for other sites, reports PC Games.

What YouTube is saying. YouTube has denied that the latest loading delays are caused by its ad blocker crackdown. A spokesperson told  Android Central:

  • “Recent reports of users experiencing loading delays on YouTube are unrelated to our ad blocker detection efforts.”
  • “Our help center offers troubleshooting tips for users experiencing issues.”

Explanation. Raymond Hill, a developer for the uBlock Origin content-filtering browser extension, supported YouTube’s comments. He asserted that the speed issues some users are facing are attributed to updates in the Adblock and Adblock Plus extensions. The impact is reportedly more severe for those who use both extensions simultaneously. He wrote on X:

  • “There is a lot of chatter in the last days about how Youtube is slow with content blockers. Those performance issues affect only the latest version of both Adblock Plus (3.22) & AdBlock (5.17), and afflict more than just Youtube.”
  • “I investigated a bit the performance regressions, and the cause is many distinct code paths, and affect many sites, those for which the problematic code paths are triggered.”
  • “Since it affects both Adblock Plus and AdBlock, the performance regression hits harder those who had the bad idea to use both at once. I keep repeating it: do not use more than one content blocker.”

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Deep dive. Read our report on why YouTube has previously deliberately delivered a “suboptimal” service for people using ad blockers.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Nicola Agius
Nicola Agius was Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land from 2023-2024. She covered paid media, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company's editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.

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