How to activate YouTube’s transparent player design

Changes on YouTube are not rolled out to all users at once. Google tests them on the live site after testing them internally by enabling them for a fraction of the site's user base only to gather metrics first which it uses to measure the impact of the change on the website.

The company tests a new transparent player design on YouTube currently which changes playback and controls in two fundamental ways.

The first change is that you see the video underneath the player interface thanks to the transparent design of it.

While that looks great, it is the automatic hiding of the player that will have a larger impact on the video streaming website.

youtube transparent player

The player interface is displayed on start and whenever the mouse is in the video area. As soon as you move it away, it is hidden on the site for as long as it is not moved back.

The functionality of the play bar itself has not changed at all.

Activate it now

A cookie that YouTube sets determines whether you get the new player interface or the old. Below you find instructions on how to modify the cookie to set the new player interface on YouTube in Firefox and Chrome.

Firefox users have it the easiest:

firefox set youtube cookie

  1. While on YouTube, use Shift-F2 to display the Developer Console.
  2. As you may know, it comes with functionality to set, modify and delete cookies in Firefox.
  3. Write or copy cookie set VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE Q06SngRDTGA and hit enter afterwards.
  4. This sets the right cookie. Reload the page and you should get the new player interface.
  5. Please note that you may need to switch to the US English interface on the site for it.

Google Chrome users need to download an extension that enables them to edit cookies in the browser. EditThisCookie is one of them. Click on the button of the extension while on YouTube and modify the cookie VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE by replacing its value with Q06SngRDTGA.

Reload and the new player interface should be used as well from that moment on. To go back, delete the cookie so that it is set anew the next time you load a page on YouTube.

In Chrome, tap on F12 while on YouTube. Select Resources > Cookies > www.youtube.com, right-click on VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE and select delete from the context menu.

In Firefox, use Shift-F2 while on YouTube to open the Developer Toolbar again. Type cookie list and select remove next to VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE to delete it in the browser. (via Google System and Caschy)

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How to activate YouTube's transparent player design
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Find out how to activate the new transparent player design on YouTube right now in Firefox and Chrome.
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Responses to How to activate YouTube’s transparent player design

  1. Tom Hawack April 12, 2015 at 11:14 pm #

    It's magic (or "it's alive")!
    I've just tested Youtube with the "cookie trick" ans it works... but only for the automatic hiding of the player's bar, not for its transparency, here anyway. Moreover, if the new functionality (providing the cookie manipulation) works as well for the player in theater mode (wide) it does no longer if the player's width has been modified artificially (I have a style which re-dimensions the player's width to 1066px when in theater mode). I don't care anyway too much about transparency when the player hides automatically (too luxurious for me to dare cheese AND dessert, as we say in French!).

    Thanks for the info, Martin! Never long for Google to change its application settings... this is what they used to call in the seventies "the permanent revolution" ! Viva la revoluthion (Spanish accent) :)

  2. ilev April 13, 2015 at 6:50 am #

    For YouTube with Chrome I use Magic Actions for YouTube extension.

  3. Васёк April 13, 2015 at 11:20 am #

    How to switch it back?

    • Martin Brinkmann April 13, 2015 at 11:36 am #

      Delete the cookie.

      • NFG August 3, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

        I've tried; it keeps popping back up.

  4. Victor April 13, 2015 at 2:14 pm #

    Sadly, it doesn't seem to work, at least on chrome, will be trying out on Mozilla.

    • Johnny April 13, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

      It just worked for me, and I'm using Chrome. Maybe you should try it again? I had to input the value twice before it caught, but it's functioning perfectly now.

  5. Fernando Paladini April 14, 2015 at 4:06 am #

    I’ve made a Google Chrome extension that do this automagically! https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/youtube-transparent-playe/hpbbadllenpbjfnekhipioenfiplmfph

    Also it’s free and open-source: https://github.com/paladini/Youtube-Transparent-Player

  6. thana April 14, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

    Hi, I didn't succeed to make it wwork on mozilla. I tried everything and anything.
    Using the addon Cookie Manager+, or disabling all my addon and removing them. Even on Mozilla at work it didn't work.
    I don't get any special error the value is the new one pasted as said after refreshing the page but the player doens't change.
    Any idea ?

    • Martin Brinkmann April 14, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

      Which interface language are you using? If it is not US, try switching to that.

      • Anonymous April 14, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

        How does one do that?

      • Martin Brinkmann April 14, 2015 at 7:34 pm #

        There is an option at the bottom that lets you change that.

  7. nodnodwinkwink April 15, 2015 at 1:00 am #

    I just wish they didn't get rid of the watch later button. It was so useful! Now I have to the hassle of adding to the playlist the longwinded way...

  8. Pradeep April 15, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    For anyone still trying to figure out how to change ,

    if you have installed EditThisCookie in Chrome, after setting the VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE to Q06SngRDTGA, you should also edit PREF value to f1=50000000&al=en-US&fv=16.0.0&f5=30030 (make sure en-US is present after al=)

    Hope this helps.

  9. mike April 20, 2015 at 4:34 am #

    It breaks Magic Actions for YouTube's theater mode and the player window takes up only a small area within the part where videos are supposed to play.

  10. Quintox303 April 20, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    TO ANYONE ELSE WHO HAS CHANGED THE COOKIE AND IT STILL ISN'T WORKING: You don't need to change your country or your language or sign out or do any of that stuff. Go to youtube.com/html5 and press the button that says "Request the HTML5 Player" and then refresh the video. And there... it works! :D

  11. Thanks April 21, 2015 at 3:12 am #

    Thanks a lot, it works for mozilla. :)

  12. haha May 2, 2015 at 2:45 am #

    just a FYI using the cookie on firefox make the comments not load

  13. TBLightning May 13, 2015 at 6:30 pm #

    All you have to do is go to youtube.com/testtube and click that you want to try the new player.

  14. Matt Crumpacker May 22, 2015 at 1:41 am #

    Your new video player design fucking sucks. Make it an option.

  15. Hmm June 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    YouTube automatically changed old player to the new one... how can I disable this player and use the old one?

  16. Anonymous June 20, 2015 at 2:53 am #

    I am still not able to load the comments section, even after trying the comments suggestions.
    Firefox.
    I followed the directions to the T above.

    Thanks!

  17. Anonymous June 21, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

    I couldn't get comments to load at all.
    Here is what I had to do, as the original cookie install options for firefox did not work on it.
    I went to history and deleted my cookies.
    Then I went to youtube.com/testtube and chose to upgrade to the new player.
    It all works now.
    Thanks

  18. masterJ August 4, 2015 at 10:14 am #

    Hate it, want to go back to the old one.

  19. Shawn August 9, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

    It does not work in FireFox. I keep trying it over and over, because it apparently doesn't buffer as much, but it never changes. I already have the new look in Chrome, but I don't like using Chrome for videos, I always use Firefox for that.

  20. Alexander September 16, 2015 at 8:41 pm #

    I have a weird problem...

    A few months back when the new transparent player was a choice, I've joined the experiment and the transparent player was working.

    Now, the experiment seems to be gone, you cannot join it, if you have the new player you cannot leave it.

    Well, but.

    If I'm logged in with my account, I get the old player. If I logout, the new one. Logging back in... the old one.

    Incognito mode, new player.

    Everywhere seems to be the new player, less in my account.

    Same browser, same everything. I've tried everything, deleting the whole history and cookies, all addons disabled, all Youtube settings verified, nothing. I always get the old player. I even edited the visitor cookie, not working.

    Any ideas, help please?

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