How do I stop YouTube from resizing videos?
July 24, 2018 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Oh Google and YouTube why do you vex me? Stop giving me what I don't ask for.

I've noticed in the past week or so that when I go to watch a video on Youtube, the player starts out the old usual size on the page (there are margins and the page seems centered) and then quickly snaps to a much bigger size (now filling up the whole width), giving me a video that is way too big for my personal tastes. I can't seem to figure a way to make it smaller. There are plenty of ways to make it bigger of course.

No, I am not signed in to YouTube and I don't plan on doing that.
Yes, I do have a larger wide-screen monitor, but just because I do have one doesn't mean I want my videos played larger - I've always used the 'full screen' or 'theater mode' for that.
Yes, I know I can just resize my Firefox window and make it smaller to make the video smaller as a work-around, but I don't want to have to change my window size every time I go to YouTube.

I've tried searching on Google, but the search terms I'm using are not helping, anything with "Youtube" in the search gives me videos - for example, when I searched for "Youtube snaps to larger player" I got a bunch of crocodile videos. :sigh:

Any help would be appreciated, I have no problem using a Firefox addon for this, I just don't know which one would help me. I'm hoping its just a setting somewhere I can tweak, I just don't know where that setting is.

As always, thanks in advance!
posted by NoraCharles to Technology (4 answers total)
Is it defaulting to cinema mode? There is a button in the lower right hand corner of the player to switch back and forth from cinema mode. It's kind a of a rectangle icon.

You might be able to use a firefox addon like Iridium or Enhancer for YouTube to override defaults without logging in. I don't use firefox and have not used those specific addons, but they look like what you'd want.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 9:56 AM on July 24, 2018

Hmmm, I wonder if it's something in the code because I've noticed something similar:

* I get to the page, and I actually voluntarily select "full size."
* Video starts playing.
* But after 2 seconds, the size reduces back to the smaller default.

I've noticed that usually the video starts auto-playing as soon as the video itself loads, but usually the video loads before all the other cruft does on that particular page (the comments, the "also suggested" other videos on the right, etc.). If I wait until all of that loads and then select the size I prefer, it stays there.

I also noticed that this has only been happening over the past couple months. Maybe next time, see whether the page fully loads before the video starts playing?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:58 AM on July 24, 2018

I had this problem because of a theater mode addon I had installed. Youtube has three modes: default, theater, and full screen. Default has a fixed width box on the left side of the page with a column of crap on the right. Theater mode is as wide as your browser. Full screen is, well, full screen.

Youtube recently changed how theater mode works. It used to be full width but not full height; the rest of the Youtube page would display below the video. About two weeks ago this changed so that theater mode was also full height, pushing page content off the screen. Now that I test this though theater mode is back to not being full height. So that's confusing. Perhaps they changed it back, or it's inconsistent.
posted by Nelson at 10:00 AM on July 24, 2018

When I use youtube-dl to download a video I can select the size I want, then I usually play the resulting video file in Firefox. You'd only want to use youtube-dl if you're comfortable with the command line but Wikipedia's comparison of YouTube downloaders also lists Video DownloadHelper which is apparently a Firefox extension. (I'm assuming, perhaps incorrectly since I've never used it, that Video DownloadHelper would also have some way to select from the various sizes YouTube offers for a particular video.)
posted by XMLicious at 10:04 AM on July 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

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