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How to Enable HTML5 in YouTube

Updated on July 13, 2010

If you haven't heard of HTML5 by now, it's the latest buzz-word that's making its way around the internet. Essentially, HTML5 is the next version of HTML, the web-programming language that makes websites tick. With HTML5, new websites will be able to support many new features such as drag-and-drop. In addition, HTML5 is being supported by Apple because it works on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch unlike Flash. HTML5 is a direct competitor to Adobe's Flash because it supports many of the same features, especially video. Lately, many website designers have been making the transition to HTML5 because it is the next form of programming that they will need to support and it allows them to add many new features to their sites.

YouTube and HTML5

One such site is YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google who itself is a huge supporter of HTML5. Recently, YouTube has allowed anyone who wishes to use HTML5 to enable the option of playing videos in the HTML5 format. This is great news for anyone who wants to watch YouTube videos on their Android or iOS phones from within the browser as opposed to using the separate app. In addition, anyone who doesn't want to install flash (or can't because of corporate IT policies) can use the HTML5 format for viewing YouTube videos.

Browser Compatibility

Before you enable HTML5, you must make sure you are using a supported browser. HTML5 support is quickly growing, but some older browsers don't support it. Below is a list of browsers supported, according to YouTube.

  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Opera
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 9
  • Apple Safari
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer with Google Chrome Frame installed (Get Google Chrome Frame)

If you aren't using one of those browsers, you must update before using HTML5.

Things to Note

Before enabling HTML5, remember that the video viewer on YouTube will appear slightly different than with Flash. It will probably have less features. If you don't have a reason to use HTML5, I would wait a bit until it becomes more mainstreamed. Nonetheless, the videos will still play, and it can't hurt to enable it.

Enabling HTML5

To enable HTML5, sign into YouTube using your Google account or other login details. Then, click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/html5. At the bottom, click "Join the HTML5 beta."

Now, HTML5 will be enabled and you will notice that the video player is no longer Flash-based. Remember that some videos are not yet supported, so you will still see the old player occasionally.


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    • howtoguides2learn profile image

      Vidhya L 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      Youtube using HTML5? I was not aware of this. Thank you for the good info.

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