Fix YouTube Guide button displaying menu every time

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 25, 2013
Tutorials, Youtube

For the past couple of days I have faced something very annoying on YouTube. Whenever I opened a page on the website, and it does not matter if it is the homepage, a video page, or any other page on it, the guide button would expand automatically displaying all of its menu on the screen.

Since I'm not running YouTube in a full screen browser window by default, it meant that it would overshadow part of the video on video pages, part of what is new on the home page, and part of the search results and video listings on other pages.

For those who do not know what the Guide button does: It replaced the sidebar menu on the left displaying links to your subscriptions, what to watch, playlists and more.

As you can see from the screenshot below, it displays on top of other page elements on the screen so that you have to manually remove it before you can see the whole page contents.


youtube guide menu

And since this is happening on every page load, it gets freaking annoying pretty soon.

Fixing the issue

Note: The guide button seems to be an experiment right now, or a new feature that is still being rolled out, since you may not see it yet on your system.

If you now thought that signing out of your YouTube / Google account does the trick, you are sadly mistaken. While signing out removes some of the information displayed in the guide menu, your subscriptions for example, it won't remove the guide button itself.

It is still there and it is still opening up automatically whenever you load a page on YouTube. Not good.

Fix 1: Other browser / Private browsing mode

Since the feature has not been rolled out yet so that it will appear all the time, you can switch to a different web browser or use your favorite browser's private browsing mode to get rid of the menu.

Private Browsing Mode shortcuts

  1. Mozilla Firefox: Ctrl-Shift-P
  2. Google Chrome: Ctrl-Shift-N
  3. Opera 15+: Ctrl-Shift-N
  4. Microsoft Internet Explorer: Ctrl-Shift-P

Fix 2: Clear the cookies

The second option that you have is to clear your browser's cookies. Actually, you only need to delete the YouTube cookies. Here is how you do so in Firefox:

  1. Right-click on the page while you are on YouTube (not on a video, page element or link) and select View Page Info from the context menu.
  2. Switch to the Security tab on the new window.
  3. Click on View Cookies here.
  4. This displays all cookies that are set by YouTube.
  5. Click on Remove all Cookies here to remove them all in one go, or remove them individually instead.
  6. Close the page and reload the YouTube website.
  7. The guide button menu should be gone and you should see the old menu on the left again.

In Google Chrome you need to do the following instead:

  1. Load chrome://settings/ in the browser's address bar.
  2. Click on "Show advanced settings" at the bottom of the page.
  3. Click on Content settings.
  4. Click on "All cookies and site data"
  5. Enter "" in the search cookies field.
  6. Select remove all to remove all matching cookies.
  7. Reload the YouTube page you are on.

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  1. Michael Fisher said on November 25, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Martin

    The YouTubeCenter userscript/addon for Chrome,Opera, Firefox, Opera, Maxthon & Safari has an option called “Guide Mode” under the “UI” section. The guide mode feature gives you the option to have the guide to be opened or closed every time you go to a video [or any other page where the guide is available].

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      That’s great to know, thanks!

      1. nonqu said on November 25, 2013 at 6:09 pm

        If it chooses to work. I’m using YTC addon for Firefox and although player features work great (volume and res control, annotations, etc.) the ones that are supposed to affect the site (minitures, guide, etc.) often don’t work at all since Fx 25.

      2. Michael Fisher said on November 25, 2013 at 8:37 pm

        to nonqu

        Your problem may not be to do with Firefox version. For example if you disable Bash Playback in YTC you can’t get 1080p resolution, but that’s Youtube & not the script/addon nor version of Firefox. Some features of YTC don’t work on Youtube channels that have chosen to accept Google+ & the new comment system. I’ve found that YTC features work on channels that have retained the old style [for example country flags works on old style channels]

  2. nonqu said on November 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    The best way is to use element hiding helper to remove the guide.

    If you don’t want to use EHH just add

    as custom filters to get rid of “new youtube” annoyances.

    1. Keith said on November 25, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      +1 for Element Hiding Helper! Best add-on for eliminating Google/YouTube annoyances.

  3. insanelyapple said on November 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Are you logged in? Because I’m not and I never had such problem with that menu. It’s always collapsed for me.

  4. imu said on November 26, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Hi Martin, apropos Youtube…I have this shortcut in my panel (Linux) pointing to script like this:
    clip=$(xclip -o)
    vlc `echo $clip`
    How can I achieve the same in Windows? I was ixquicking for it for few hours and found nothing but clip.exe which works exactly in opposite to what I need so I thought you might be the guy who knows :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on November 26, 2013 at 8:40 am

      I’m a bit rusty when it comes to Linux. It is used to send the YouTube url to VLC?

      1. imu said on November 26, 2013 at 10:59 am

        yes it is,have a look how it’s done :

        I was trying to get the same with nircmd like this :
        nircmd regedit “~$clipboard$” replacing regedit with vlc of course but I couldn’t get this to work :(

      2. Martin Brinkmann said on November 26, 2013 at 11:23 am

        Have you considered using a browser add-on like Browser View Plus?

  5. imu said on November 26, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Wow thanks,I knew it you can do it :)

    1. imu said on November 26, 2013 at 11:50 am

      The downside is though it can’t handle playlists.

  6. imu said on November 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I just figured it can but the link to playlist has to be taken from here :

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