Prevent YouTube from Changing Quality & Restarting Video When Switching to Full Screen

We all love watching videos and spending countless hours on YouTube. There is one nagging problem that many users are fed up with. The problem is that when watching a YouTube video on full screen, it automatically changes the video quality and then the video has to restart again to render in full screen. In this article, we’ll learn how to prevent video reloading when switching to full screen.

Let’s discuss this problem in detail. When playing a video, it plays with e.g. 320p. Video will start playing speedily and buffering will also be speedy. The reason for this is that YouTube automatically sets the best video playback quality, depending on your internet speed. But when you click on the “Full screen” button, the video starts playing in full screen and all the previous buffering will be gone, and the video will resume playing. Now when you go and check the quality, you’ll see that video quality has been automatically changed to 480p for e.g. This is really annoying and you would have wanted to play the video always in the same quality and may also wish not to restart the video when switching to full screen.

video quality
So why does the video restarts when switching to full screen? That’s because the screen resolution changes between a normal window and full screen. When watching a video, you must have observed small “change quality” icon. That will present you options like 240p, 360p, 460p, 720p and 1024p. These are the screen resolutions of that video. When you switch to full screen, the resolution changes and hence the video quality. But we can solve this annoying problem.

How to Stop YouTube Video from Restarting on Fullscreen

There are two methods to achieve this. The first method is to just sign-in to YouTube every time you want to watch a video.

Method1: Changing Video Playback Setup Options

  1. Login or create a new account on YouTube if you don’t have one.
  2. From the top right side, click on the drop-down menu and click on “settings”. A new options panel will open.
  3. Go to Playback Setup tab.
  4. In the “Video Playback Quality” section, select “I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality videos”. Don’t forget to click on “Save Changes” button.

youtube video playback

Method2: Use Firefox and Greasemonkey
If you’re not comfortable logging in to YouTube every time, then here’s another method. For this method, you’ll need three things:

  1. Mozilla Firefox
  2. Greasemonkey (Download from here)
  3. Greasemonkey Script (Download from here)

For implementing this method, you must be using Firefox. Install Greasemonkey (which is a Firefox addon) and then the script from User script site contains scripts for all browsers, with thousands of different scripts and an active community.

After installing Greasemonkey, head over to the userscripts download URL provided in step3 and click on “Install” button from the top right side. You will be presented with a notification saying that “This is a Greasemonkey user script. Click install to start using it”. Click on the “Install” button to install this script.


After installation is complete, you can head over to YouTube and start watching videos. This script will insert a “Autobuffer Options” button above the video player. Click on this button to open options. From here you can change autobuffer or auto play options, Auto HD (which resolution to play the video in), enable volume to autobuffer, hide in-video ads and annotations. Yes, this script will not just stop videos from reloading on full screen, but it can also disable/hide YouTube ads and annotations. Thus, you get twice the functionality in one powerful script.

The advantage of this method is there is no need to sign-in every time. From now onwards, video resolution won’t change and no rebuffering on YouTube when you go fullscreen. Use this method when you’re using Firefox, otherwise use method1 if you’re on some other browser.