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How to Force YouTube To Always Buffer the Entire Video Before Playing?

If you have been using YouTube for quite a while now, you should have noticed the changes that lead to a less satisfactory streaming experience. You should have noticed that when watching a video, YouTube will only buffer the next 30 seconds or so. So while watching, the video will keep pausing because the few segments needs to be downloaded, which makes for some frustrating viewing experiences. This is because it has decided to use ‘Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP’ or DASH (wiki) which is supposedly better for those who have faster connections (think T2 or T3 broadband or faster). However, for those who have slower connections, this is hardly ideal.

How to Force YouTube To Always Buffer the Entire Video Before Playing

Fortunately, we have discovered a browser extension called YouTube Center that addresses this particular issue. YouTube Center has plenty of other cool features that lets you customize your experience but for the sake of this tutorial, we'll only cover how to disable DASH to force YouTube to always buffer the video before playing.

How to Force YouTube To Always Buffer the Entire Video Before Playing:

    1. First, you will need to download and install YouTube Center extension. It is available for Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari, IE and Maxthon. Click here to download.
    2. Once installed, you will be showed the welcome message. Click Go to Settings.

YouTube Center Welcome_0

    1. From the General Section, click the Player tab.

YouTube Center Settings_0

    1. In the Player tab, look for the Dash Playback option and uncheck the box. Close the settings panel.

YouTube Center Dash Playback_0

    1. Launch any YouTube video to test. Now with Dash Playback disabled, videos should not load by blocks anymore. Just load the video and see it buffer all the way to the end.

YouTube Center DASH Disabled_0

To access the YouTube Center settings again, simply click the gear button next to the sign-in button. Take note that to install this extension in Chrome (it hasn't been released yet), enable developer mode by navigating to Tools > Extensions, then download the CRX from the GitHub link provided above, then simply drag and drop the file on the Extension page.

So what are your thoughts on this neat extension? Were you able to disable DASH playback?

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