Over what I feels like the past few weeks, a strange, new feature has appeared on YouTube while browsing my feed. At first, I thought it was due to a Chrome extension I had chosen to install, but nope – just another annoying Google update that I could live without. While perusing on the home screen, hovering over any video thumbnail causes it to zoom in, and begin playing in real-time.
This sounds great and all until you think about it the hover preview worked before – no zoom in, no animation delay, and you could still see several frames from the video to get an idea of whether or not you wanted to click on it to watch the whole thing. This is called an “Inline preview”, and I’ve dealt with it for quite a while now, being too lazy to figure out how to turn it off.
However, because I would have to wait for the entire video thumbnail to enlarge as it zooms toward me and then wait for the video to start previewing “inline”, it’s been a lot more tedious to add things to my Watch Later list using the small clock icon at the corner of the video. I can’t tell you how annoying this is!
If you click on your profile image at the top-right of the YouTube window, and then go to “Settings”, you can turn off “Inline playback” under the “Playback and Performance” section. Anyone who has also been frustrated by this update will immediately get a breath of fresh air upon revisiting the home screen of the video service as hovering over videos will simply play a handful of frames without the zoom effect!
I just want the steps
1. Click your profile image at the top-right of YouTube.com
2. Visit the “Playback and performance” section on the left hand side
3. Scroll down to the “Browsing” section and toggle the “Inline playback” feature
4. “Your changes were saved” will appear at the bottom-left of the screen (see above)
5. Return to the YouTube home screen and enjoy!
Let me know in the comments if you prefer inline playback to be turned on or off. Are still frames from the video enough to entice you to click on them, or do you need sound and a larger preview to appear on screen when you place your mouse over it? I would personally be fine with this update if Google allowed the video to play in full with audio on hover (like it does on my living room TV), but the whole enlarged player with a delayed animation just kind of irks me, perhaps more than it ought to!