In recent weeks, YouTube users employing ad blockers noticed a significant slowdown in browser performance, sparking concerns that it was tied to YouTube's ongoing crackdown on ad blockers. However, YouTube has clarified that the latest browser slowdowns are not a result of their ad blocker detection efforts.
Previously, in November, YouTube acknowledged suboptimal viewing experiences for users with ad blockers enabled, and the company took responsibility for the issue. The recent slowdowns, which were initially perceived as an aggressive move by YouTube, have now been attributed to a bug in the popular ad blocker, Adblock.
According to YouTube's statement to Android Central, the reported loading delays are "unrelated" to their ad blocker detection measures. Adblock, in turn, acknowledged the issue and has since released versions 3.22.1 and 5.17.1 to address the bug causing performance slowdowns. The fix is already available in the Opera and Edge extension stores, with pending reviews for the Mozilla and Chrome extension stores.
The issue came to light when users of Adblock and Adblock Plus experienced performance slowdowns and increased CPU usage while browsing on YouTube and other websites. Developers at Adblock Plus identified the problem as a performance regression in version 5.17.0, which has been resolved with the release of version 1.1.2 of eyeo's Web Extension Ad Blocking Toolkit.
Users of alternative ad blockers, such as uBlock Origin, reported that they did not encounter the performance issues, emphasising the bug's connection to specific ad blocker updates.
YouTube asserts that the recent browser slowdowns are not a consequence of their ad blocker detection efforts, and the issue has been traced back to a bug in Adblock and Adblock Plus. Users experiencing performance problems are advised to update their extensions, and running multiple content filters or ad blockers simultaneously is discouraged to avoid potential issues.