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Every time I navigate to youtube.com it recommends videos and channels that I might be interested in or want to see. I just don't want that annoying stuff to appear and distract me from my actual intentions.

I searched the web the last two days using different wordings and buzz words and got a number of approaches to get rid of those 'recommended xyz' sections, but none helped me out. All techniques had one thing in common: A mechanism that would allow youtube.com to remember me (and the appropriate way to disable this feature):

  • YouTube/Google-Account (with search history)
  • Browser Cookies
  • Browser Cache

The weird thing is, I don't use any of these. I am not logged in to a user account and I am clearing the cookies and the cache every time my browser closes (I use Firefox).

Here is what I have tried so far:

  • Activated the history settings to enable cookies and history to be stored (that was the only way enable the corresponding "delete" buttons) and deleted them manually
  • Tried different browsers
  • Tried different computers (and smartphones!) in my home network
  • Changed my (external) IP address (by resetting my router's internet connection), multiple times

None of these things helped. YouTube.com seems to remember me every single time no matter what browser or PC I use or what IP from I connect.

Is there any thing I've missed? How does YouTube remember "me"? I am using quotation marks because "me" could be anyone using my internet connection (family, friends, etc.). And because of that I don't want a solution that involves installing custom 'blocker' or 'remover' software.

migrated from superuser.com Dec 15 '14 at 23:47

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

2

I suppose you're trying to get rid of this?

Recommended channels

You cannot remove it for everyone that connects to your network and browses YouTube on their device (smartphone, notebook, etc.), but you can prevent the recommended channels section from your showing up on your computer and web browser.

The solution will vary depending on the browser you use, but if you use Google Chrome, try this:

  1. Install CustomBlocker
  2. Create a new filtering rule with the following settings: YouTube filter

  3. Apply the filter and reload YouTube and you should see something like this:

No recommended channels

There's a caveat though. I found out that this filter didn't work with AdBlock enabled so maybe tweak it a little to suit your needs.

1

For anyone still working on this, here's some more data:

  • Firefox, cache clears every time I turn it off.
  • Software Add-on - Disconnect
  • YouTube still remembers my watch history after weeks, while never logged in, or having open Google account.

Solution (possible): at bottom of YouTube page, 'History' button. While it suggested that I be logged in for search and watch histories to appear, selecting 'clear history' on both, then returning to home page. Suggestions and history are gone, replaced by usual popular media.

I hope this helps someone.

1

I know you specifically asked for a solution that does not involve a blocker. I think you have to give up on the idea that YouTube will provide a way for you (however obscure) to disable pushing their 'recommended' content. It is in their best interest to get you to watch as much crap as possible.

For people willing to use a 3rd party blocker, which is a good idea anyway nowadays, removing 'recommended' videos and channels can be done quite easily using uBlock origin's cosmetic filters. On the settings page, under the 'My filters' tab, add the following:

www.youtube.com##:xpath(//li[.//text()="Recommended channel for you"])
www.youtube.com##:xpath(//li[.//text()="Recommended videos for you"])

Of course, it might be necessary to modify the specific text that is being searched for.

  • I strongly agree that it's not in YouTube's best interests to give users such an option. I was also going to recommend uBlock Origin w/ custom filters, albeit (unfortunately) not according to OP's request. So, well done. I also suggest this related topic from Superuser, along with it's excellent answer: How do I block Youtube's suggested videos? – Marc.2377 Nov 23 '16 at 3:24
  • Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! – Zach Saucier Nov 27 '16 at 16:48
0

At the bottom of the YouTube homepage there are options like Country, Restricted mode, history. Just select restricted mode ON so that at least you may be able to hide some of the unwanted videos that you have watched so far the next time you visit YouTube. You can do this after you sign in.

  • You can do this after you sign in. This is exactly what makes your answer not matching my problem. I want to get rid of the video suggestions that I get without being logged in. – ifLoop Jul 28 '15 at 18:23
0

There is a solution which doesn't require any additional software.

  1. Hover over a video thumbnail in the Recommended section. Three little dots should appear just below the video:

3 little dots

  1. Click on them and then click Not interested:

not interested

  1. Tell YouTube why you don't like this kind of videos:

tell them why

  1. Show your lack of interest in the little survey:

survey

  1. Done!

got it!


If you do it a number of times for different recommended videos about a certain topic, let's say , then YouTube/Google will start to see the pattern that you dislike cats very much. As a result you should see fewer recommendations of popular cat videos.

  • 1
    This sounds like a neat way but it requires me to be logged in and that is exactly my point: I am not logged in an still youtube remembers me. HOW? As written above, I tried differend ways of "erasing" my identity but youtube still comes up with recommendations. – ifLoop Feb 9 '16 at 9:47
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    There is no such triple-dot option.. – Amalgovinus Aug 21 '16 at 8:07
  • @Amalgovinus There is. You got to hover over the video thumbnail or the title. – Mateusz Piotrowski Aug 21 '16 at 8:53
  • ...but you would continue to see other recommendations. By doing this you are just teaching Google/YouTube a lot more about you, and wasting precious cognitive resources in doing so, for no real solution. – Marc.2377 Nov 23 '16 at 3:20
-1

If you cleared everything (cookies, sessions, offline data) from browser side then the only thing that youtube knows is your ip. Through that maybe it makes recommendations based on your location and what other users near you watch on youtube.

This just an assumption, but you can test it with a proxy server.

  • I don't remember the source but I've read that youtube/google has about 21 ways to identify one (including a mysterious browser id or operating system id that is send in the http requests). It is awesome how many people are interested in this topic and try to help me but nothing worked so far... – ifLoop Feb 9 '16 at 9:50
-1

Did you try using the addons "Adblock Plus" and the "Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus"? They're both created by Wladimir Palant. I know they're available for Firefox, probably for other browsers too.

With those you "Select an element to hide (Ctrl+Shift+F3)" then click the offending element you don't like, then "Add element hiding rule" and it's gone.

It is possible (easy even) to end up hiding things you would really like to see, but with a more customized rule (of which I can not help create) it may work well. But for any webpage elements you don't want to see, this will hide them.

Besides, even if you deleted your cookies regularly, hourly, or after 10 seconds (Self Destructing Cookies) youtube would probably still be showing you something "recommended", even if it's random videos. And youtube (& google) can keep track of everyone by their house/router/building/company's IP address anyway.

Hiding your IP would be the only way to attempt to hide from youtube, but ways to do that are often either slow or expensive, or both. Changing your router's external IP address might help, doing that once or twice a day probably couldn't hurt, but I'm not sure if your (cable) modem might have it's own IP too, or some neighbourhood IP above it (see traceroute youtube.com for the computers (that respond anyway) between you & youtube )

  • First thanks for your answer. I do use Adblock Plus, the other one I've never heard of. But nevertheless I don't want any solution that involves installation of custom software. E.g. some comes to see me and while in my house he browses with his smartphone (for soccer statistics or what ever). I don't want this person so see the recommendations that youtubes offers (and exaclty that whould happen as I tested this case). – ifLoop Dec 15 '14 at 17:19
  • So... this would work to completely hide all the related videos in your browser, (FYI the rule is youtube.com###watch-related ) which seems to be your question, so you downvoted? – Xen2050 Dec 15 '14 at 17:26
  • Related videos aren't whats annoying me, recommended ones (those that appear on the start page youtube.com in the lower section) are the pain in the neck. No, I did not down vote. If I had done so, I've explained why (thats what I expect from the person who down-voted my question as well) – ifLoop Dec 15 '14 at 17:34
  • Ah, sorry about the downvote questioning, timing just lined up. Some rube's on a downvote kick I think... Anyway, I tried a hiding rule for youtube's main page and it hides everything under the top video & the 3 little ones beside it, so no recomended, no "popular here", nothing. FYI it's "youtube.com##.feed-item-container.browse-list-item-container.yt-section-hover-container.compact-shelf.shelf-item.branded-page-box.clearfix" – Xen2050 Dec 15 '14 at 17:47
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    I believe this is what you want: youtube.adblockplus.me/en I also brought you guys back up to neutral. – jaquer Dec 15 '14 at 19:17
-1

To get rid of YouTube recommended videos you just need to follow these simple steps:

  1. Login with your ID and Password and Scroll down at the bottom and Click on History button where you will find two options Watch history and Search history.

  2. Tap on Clear all watch history to remove recommended videos permanently.

  3. Now, Tap on Search History option and Click on clear all search history.

This will clear complete search history of your YouTube account. After this just refresh your page.

Disclosure: I'm the author of the linked article.

-2

Use AdBlocker it's safe and easy to use and this is how my YouTube main page looks empty and clean!empty and clean

Just install AdBlock then click mouse right button somewhere in the middle of your home/main page then you will see AdBlocker icon move your cursor to that icon and you will see "block this ad", move the slider to the right until you are going to get desirable result then click "looks good", it will most likely show you that it had found similar stuff so confirm again and you are done, type in search bar whatever you want and then searched items will pop up, and going back to home page will keep recommended videos hidden!

  • 2
    OP explicitly stated that they are looking for a solution that does not require installing any software. – Bradley A. Tetreault Dec 2 '15 at 0:33

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