How to Stop YouTube from Draining the Battery of Your Laptop

If anyone is still in doubt about how amazing video streaming is, then there’s a huge chance that they haven’t been keeping up to date. It’s probably safe to say that the entire online community and the whole digital world would never be the same without the technology that gave way to millions of videos being shown and shared online at such an amazing rate.

This is the revolution that YouTube has started.

YouTube has paved the way for stars to be discovered, good deeds to be shared, and bad acts caught on tape to be broadcasted everywhere. It has become the raw version of reality TV – a way to look at what the rest of the world is interested in without having to turn the TV on.

How YouTube Eats Up Your Battery Life

As informative, entertaining, and amusing YouTube can be however, you can never deny the fact that it also eats up a huge chunk of your battery’s battery power. It’s something that you have probably come to expect. You enjoy a couple of hours of video streaming, and you find yourself with the need to keep your laptop plugged in so that it won’t go suicidal on you.

The funny thing is, this only happens if you’re using YouTube through Chrome or Firefox. Try it on any other web browser like Safari or Microsoft Edge and you’ll see a huge difference.

Why is this the case?

Well, this is actually the effect that the VP8 and VP9 codecs used by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox have. These are the tools that the two popular browsers use to play videos, unlike all the other web browsers that use H.264 playback.

Simply put, H.264 takes advantage of your graphics processor’s capabilities, which means that it doesn’t work up your computer processor too much. This also means that it uses up less power to work, unlike the VP8 and VP9 codecs that use up your computer processor to its maximum. Devices that support hardware-accelerating decoding of VP8 and VP9 codecs just aren’t as common yet.

How to Preserve Your Battery Life when Using YouTube

You actually have two options if you want to use YouTube without the risk of using up all your battery


 Use extensions.

The h264ify extensions, when activated on your browser of choice, can force your browser to start requesting H.264 videos from YouTube. This way, video streaming does not only use up less battery power, they also make YouTube work and play videos in a more efficient manner.

 Use a different browser.

If you do not find this to be as effective, or do not really add on to the many extensions already active on your Chrome or Firefox, then you always have the option to download and install a different browser. It doesn’t matter if you’ve gotten used to Chrome or Firefox. You can always use Safari or other browsers only when you’re on YouTube.

With these two options, you can finally be able to stream videos without having to worry about being plugged into a power source all the time. This makes it easier to move around without having to hunt for a power outlet you can use, or without having to take out that bulky charger all the time.