Updated: August 24, 2020
Most people use Youtube. Even I, a dinosaur certified, do. And most of the time, the experience is reasonable, especially on the desktop, where adblocking prevents stupidity from assailing my senses. But now and then, Youtube suffers from a glitch or three, and the viewing ritual is interrupted.
I occasioned across several such glitches in Youtube all of a sudden, both in Firefox and Chrome. Annoyingly, there were different issues, and I found myself ping-ponging from one browser to another, trying to get the problems worked around or fixed, only to get surprised by a fresh new annoyance. So this little article will focus on several supposedly common and silly bugs that I encountered, and what I did to get back to a hassle-free watchdom.
Comments do not load (Chrome)
As it happens, I encountered this in Chrome only, but not Firefox. The comments load icon would show and then turn and turn and turn, and no comments would load. Not a biggie most of the time, as most comments are just as good as drinking sewage, but then, there be flakes of gold here and there.
There are two ways you can (try to) fix this:
Use Incognito mode - the comments ought to load.
Sign into Youtube, and the comments should load. You can then sign out, restart the browser, and comments ought to display at the bottom of videos correctly. Why this, I have no idea. But like a good monkey, I found the lever that works and I'm using it.
Cookies not saved (Firefox)
When I encountered the problem above, I thought, meh, let's see what Firefox does. Lo and behold, the comments did show correctly in Firefox. But then, I would get blasted with the notifications about this and that, terms of service, volume being set to max, autoplay being enabled, and whatnot, most of the stuff that do not show after you've changed them once. But this kept on happening, every time I'd load Youtube, as though I've just deleted my Youtube cookies in the previous browsing session. Indeed, for some odd reason, the cookies weren't being preserved across sessions.
Here, I resorted to the corniest of fixes:
I manually went into Firefox options, and deleted Youtube cookies and site data. Then, next time I visited Youtube, I had to go through the first-time thingie, but after that, things calmed and settled, and I was able to enjoy videos as I like them.
There you have it. Silly things. Why and how, who knows. Google often makes changes to their services, and you do sometimes get bitten by a digital imp. You all must have seen this or that Server 500 error, or this or that service being temporarily unavailable (only to load fine within seconds after refresh). These two issues happen to join the long list of randomsies. The worst part, you might encounter them only once or twice, and never again. So there's an element of chance and superstition, too. Doesn't help when people look for weird conspiracies, and the Internet has never lacked in those.
Anyway, if you encounter issues with Youtube functionality, there are three things you can do. One, nothing. Just wait and let the server-side problems resolve themselves eventually. Two, try a different browser. Three, follow my advice above, and hopefully, you will have cleared your entertainment charkas. With Chrome, incognito or sign-in (ironic, ain't it, if you think about these two options) seem to work, while in Firefox, manually purging the cookies and site data paved the way to success. Overall, I'm not happy with witchcraft articles like the one here, but there you go. If you have similar stories or suggestions, do share them.