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Disable YouTube previews on hover

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6 years ago

Updated 2 years ago.

December 20, 2021 Update: I tried this method and it still works. However if it's not working for you, you may let others know in the comments.

Since some time, YouTube animates video thumbnails when you hover them with the mouse. Surely it's a nice feature to have, but if you find is distracting and unnecessary, you'll want to disable it.

YouTube doesn't provide any setting to disable video previews on hover, but you can stop the animation with a simple trick. 

Use an Adblock filter

If you use Adblock Plus extension, add this filter under Adblock Options:

i.ytimg.com/an_webp

You can also block this address in any kind of blocker extension; it'll stop loading animated previews but thumbnails will be shown as always.

How to find the right URL to block?

You can find elements of web page under the developer console. Press F12 to open Developer Tools (works in Chrome and Firefox) and go to Sources > Network tab. In this occasion, you can see the thumbnail element is located under i.ytimg.com/an_webp.

Did this filter work for you? Do you have a better solution? Let us know in the comments.

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Guest OP says : 12 months ago 3/16/2023 5:10 PM
The problem with this "feature" on YouTube is that it is considered a "play" and gets added to your watch history. And therefore it affects your recommendations. So if you accidentally hovered over something that you have no interest in, and wish YT would stop recommending for you ... you're going to get more of that crap because of this anti-feature.

RK OP says : 14 months ago 1/18/2023 3:53 AM
THANK YOU! Working for me... I use Firefox with AdBlocker Ultimate (Jan 2023)

ME OP says : 23 months ago 4/25/2022 9:23 AM
Thanks. Worked for me. At least for now. Though I had to add some garbage to the front of it to get it to accept. adding stuff to adblock is all greek to me so it would be nice if it were already cooked and ready to eat.

kmsameboy OP says : 2 years ago 2/15/2022 4:25 PM
Adding the following filter in uBlock Origin worked for me:
youtube.com###preview:remove()

kmsameboy OP says in reply to kmsameboy : 2 years ago 2/15/2022 4:27 PM
Remove the spaces:
youtube.com### preview : remove()

Guest OP says : 2 years ago 2/13/2022 8:50 AM
No workie.

Guest OP says : 2 years ago 1/28/2022 6:24 AM
As of 1/27/2022, this no longer works for me under firefox.

Guest says in reply to Guest : 2 years ago 1/30/2022 12:36 AM
Check if Adblock didn't remove the filter after update.

Guest OP says in reply to Guest : 2 years ago 1/30/2022 4:57 AM
I did check and the filter is still in place. I even added image.youtube.com/an_webp
since I saw on one site that youtube also uses that url.
I suspect that one could see where it is getting the thumb but that would
require looking at either the source or tracing the web traffic and I am not
capable of doing that.

Guest OP says : 2 years ago 1/9/2022 11:02 AM
I tried with ad block plus but YouTube seems to have got around it again

Guest OP says : 2 years ago 1/9/2022 11:01 AM
I tried with ad block plus but YouTube seems to have got around it again

Guest OP says : 2 years ago 1/8/2022 12:58 AM
Worked fine for me, Waterfox G4.0.5.1, AdBlocker Ultimate, 2012 MacBook Pro OS 10.12.6
Thanks!

Guest OP says : 2 years ago 11/4/2021 2:56 AM
It use to work, but YouTube now has hover zoom and play which seems to override the above script.

Zeynel says in reply to Guest : 2 years ago 12/20/2021 8:38 AM
I checked and it is still working for me. When I add the filter on Adblock Plus, hover-play in homepage and recommendations arae gone. However I'm not sure if I'm using another version of YouTube or something.

Guest OP says : 2 years ago 9/24/2021 9:54 PM
It works!!! Good bye previews!!! Thank you!