Make any YouTube embed click-to-load using uBlock Origin

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 2, 2021

Part of YouTube's success comes from the fact that it is easy to embed YouTube videos on third-party sites. Many website owners publish YouTube videos on the site itself but also on their own sites, and others may embed YouTube videos by other creators on their sites.

It is convenient to supplement an article that you are writing with a video, either self-created or created by someone else. On the other hand, users who don't want to watch the video may still have it played outright on the site or at least loaded to a degree. Connections to YouTube may not be wanted because of privacy. Some web browsers come with options to control media playback, others offer limited functionality in this regard only.

If you are using the content blocker uBlock Origin, you may use it to turn any YouTube embeds on third-party sites into click-to-play widgets. The main benefit of doing so is that there won't be any connections to YouTube and that nothing will load from the site unless you interact with that widget.

Here is an example screenshot captured here on this site after making the change in uBlock Origin. Note that we use the nocookie version of YouTube embeds on this site only.

ublock origin click to load

A click on the widget loads the content; in this case just the YouTube video with options to start playback. On other sites, videos may play right away depending on factors such as the web browser that is used, the video in question, and the site.

The only downside to the approach is that you don't see the thumbnail or title of the video anymore on the page.

How to make YouTube embeds click-to-play in uBlock Origin

ublock origin youtube block embeds

It is actually very easy and can be done in just a minute. Here are the steps:

  1. Activate the uBlock Origin icon in the browser's toolbar and select the "open the dashboard" option to open the management dashboard.
  2. Switch to the "My filters" section when the page opens.
  3. Add the following two lines to the list of filters:
    • ||^$3p,frame,redirect=click2load.html
    • ||^$3p,frame,redirect=click2load.html
  4. Click on "apply changes" to save the new filters.

Once done, visit any site with YouTube embeds to test the filters. You can try our Vivaldi 2.10 review for example, as it includes a video embed.

Closing Words

Turning third-party embeds into click-to-play widgets is an excellent way of speeding up the loading of websites and improving privacy at the same time. Raymond Hill, the creator of uBlock Origin, published the tip on Twitter recently.

It should be easy enough to use the two filters as a blueprint for other third-party embeds that you encounter. All you have to do, usually, is replace the domain name of the site in question while leaving the instructions untouched.

Now You: do you prefer click to play or autoload?

Make any YouTube embed click-to-load using uBlock Origin
Article Name
Make any YouTube embed click-to-load using uBlock Origin
Find out how to make any YouTube embed on any third-party website click-to-play to improve loading performance and privacy using uBlock Origin.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

  10. Anonymous said on September 28, 2023 at 8:19 am

    When will you put an end to the mess in the comments?

  11. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Ghacks comments have been broken for too long. What article did you see this comment on? Reply below. If we get to 20 different articles we should all stop using the site in protest.

    I posted this on [] so please reply if you see it on a different article.

    1. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  12. RIP said on September 28, 2023 at 10:48 am

    Comment redirected me to [] which seems to be the ‘real’ article it is attached to

  13. Mystique said on September 28, 2023 at 12:13 pm

    Article Title: Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue
    Article URL:

    No surprises here. This is just the beginning really. I cannot see a valid reason as to why anyone would continue to use the platform anymore when there are enough alternatives fill that void.

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