How to fix YouTube lag on your Chromebook

YouTube Feather

While the Samsung Chromebook has a great form factor, and in general just looks awesome, it suffers from a problem that most other Chromebooks suffer from, as well (except the Chromebook Pixel). Namely, there just isn’t enough memory and processing power to do very intensive computing tasks. And while this isn’t a problem most of the time, and for most people, this issue can rear its ugly head in some of the most inopportune times, like when watching YouTube videos.

Luckily, there’s a really easy solution to the problem – simply navigate to youtube.com/feather_beta, and enable this experimental feature. According to Google:

The ‘Feather’ project is intended to serve YouTube video watch pages with the lowest latency possible. It achieves this by severely limiting the features available to the viewer and making use of advanced web techniques for reducing the total amount of bytes downloaded by the browser. It is a work in progress and may not work for all videos.

In other words, when this feature is enabled, only the most essential parts of the page will load, enabling a smoother playback of video on YouTube, hopefully eliminating some or all of issues you might experience when visiting YouTube from a somewhat less-than-powerful Chromebook.

Pocketables reader Tyler reminded me about this feature, writing, “I completely forgot about the test tube part of YouTube for years, decided to check it out again, opted-in for this, and the video loads much smoother now and faster.” Be sure to try this out for yourself, and see if it makes any difference.

Thanks, Tyler!

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.