I am using Chrome as my usual browser on OS X.

Since the introduction of VP9, youtube videos are now mostly streamed in VP9, requiring a lot of CPU computing to decode and killing my battery. In safari, which is not compatible VP9, videos are streamed in h.264 and the CPU load is very low due to hardware acceleration for this format.

Is there a way to force Chrome to ask for the video in h.264 instead of VP9, via an extension or script ?

Or is Safari the only way ?



1 Answer 1


You can use the h264ify extension (also has a Firefox version).

h264ify is a Firefox/Chrome extension that makes YouTube stream H.264 videos instead of VP8/VP9 videos.

Try h264ify if YouTube videos stutter, take up too much CPU, eat battery life, or make your laptop hot.

By default, YouTube streams VP8/VP9 encoded video. However, this can cause problems with less powerful machines because VP8/VP9 is not typically hardware accelerated.

In contrast, H.264 is commonly hardware accelerated by GPUs, which usually means smoother video playback and reduced CPU usage.

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