In my opinion, one of the most annoying aspects of YouTube, the Internet’s leading streaming video provider, is the user added annotations. Whether they’re stupid comments, spam-filled speech bubbles, or desperate requests to subscribe, I have yet to see a worth-while use of the annotation feature on YouTube. In fact, after a particular video, it led me to search how to turn it off by default. I was turning them off for every video anyways as soon as they popped up. Annotations, if you’re not familiar with them, are the little speech bubbles or rectangles with text inside them that pop up over top of the video you’re trying to watch.
The setting to turn off annotations is controlled on a per-account basis, so you’ll need to have a YouTube account in order to configure it and you’ll need to be signed in for it to take effect. Sign into your YouTube account and visit the Account Settings page by hovering over your user name and then going to Account. Next we’ll need to navigate to Playback Setup. Once there, click on ‘> Annotations’ to expand it. Here you’ll find one setting in the form of a simple check box. Uncheck ‘Show annotations’ and click the Save Changes button. Annotations are now set to NOT display by default for any videos you are viewing under your account.
In case you are viewing a video where you need to see the annotations, you can turn them on the same way you had to turn them off before making the above change. In the bottom right corner of a YouTube video, you’ll see an arrow pointing up. Click on that button once to reveal a menu. The top option on the menu, what looks like a square with a down-turned corner, is used to toggle annotations on or off. Just click it once to turn annotations on. You can hover over the button to see its current status as well.
Here’s a screenshot of the excellent ‘Hi, I’m a Marvel… and I’m a DC‘ series showing where to find that button. (The Marvel/DC series has not over-used annotations like many videos, but I was looking for a way to plug this funny show. Go check it out!)
I hope this saves some annoyance. I know I will certainly enjoy the lack of interruptions and no longer having to manually turn off annotations.