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YouTube's modern design returns for Edge Insider builds

Updated May 29, 2019: A day after YouTube reverted to its older design, the modern layout is once again working with Edge Insider builds. We've confirmed the modern design is once again available in both the Dev and Canary channels. The original story follows.

What you need to know

  • Google seemingly handicapped YouTube in Microsoft's new Chromium-based Edge Insider builds
  • Visiting YouTube with Edge Dev and Canary builds showed an older design without the option to turn on dark mode..
  • The modern design is now working again with Edge Insider builds as of May 29.

Since Microsoft began testing its new Edge browser built on Chromium, Google has gradually started limiting the functionality of some of its own services with the browser. The latest victim is YouTube, which now reverts to an older design when you view it with Edge Insider builds.

It's unclear when the change was made, but it appears to be relatively recent. Visiting YouTube with the Edge Dev and Canary releases will surface the design that Google used for the site prior to its latest overhaul. That means you also lose out on the option to switch to YouTube's dark theme. As Thurrott points out, trying to force the new, modern YouTube experience by visiting youtube.com/new presents you with a splash page asking you to download Chrome.

How YouTube looks in Chrome.

YouTube is only the latest Google service to be hit by some form of handicap with Edge Insider releases. We first noticed in April that Google Meet was no longer working with Edge Canary and Dev builds. Later, Google Docs began displaying a message saying the browser wasn't compatible with the cloud authoring service.

It's worth noting that Google maintains that at least Meet will be supported in the new Edge once it launches into general availability. "With the recent release of developer previews for Edge, we are thrilled to be able to offer a new preview experience of Hangouts Meet, and we plan to officially support it once it becomes generally available," the company said in a statement after word Edge stopped working with Google Meet.

It's unclear if Google has the same intentions for the rest of its services. However, the arbitrary disabling of features that were working fine with Microsoft's new browser is concerning. We'll likely learn more about Google's intentions as Edge moves closer to general availability, but, for now, YouTube will look a little dated if you're using the Edge Insider builds.

See at Microsoft

Thanks for the tips, Gregory and Archie!

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

48 Comments
  • Seems like a lot of effort, for what?
  • For a better YouTube design, that's a good Reason to switch to Edge ^^
  • So are you saying that the old design of the site is better so use the new Edge? I think anytime a site goes backwards it's a poor customer experice, regardless if its a more popular design to the majority of users. Hopefully this is just a design thing and we aren't opening security holes for only select users. I also think my comment was misunderstood. This seems like a lot of effort on Google's part to curb the experience of the fraction of users that use Edge.
  • Google likes to punish users that don't allow them to spy on your browsing activities.
  • No kidding. People think Huawei are the only ones that spy on them but seem to forget about google, ms, facebook, apple and NSA etc.
  • Microsoft, Apple? Really? And there's a difference between Huawei being used as a backdoor by the Chinese government and Google/Facebook tracking your web habits. You can easily block Cookies, Trackers, and simply.. not user the services. You cannot block the fact that your ISP may be using hardware that is potentially exploitable by a foreign entity. That's the problem with Huawei. They are also not very accountable to foreign governments, and it's very hard to sue a Chinese company in China - basically impossible, as the courts are basically rigged to side with them. It's time for some companies to get together and sue Google. They need the Microsoft treatment, and to be branded a monopoly - and regulated as such. Probably need to be broken up, IMO.
  • BTW it is perfectly legal for a US ISP to sell whatever data they sniff off your browsing history. Including medical data.
  • Yes really. Are you that naive to think otherwise? You don't think that the NSA has direct access to Apple's ISP? You don't think all these companies and organizations track, mine your data and spy on you? You don't think there are backdoors that exist? Who feeds you your information CNN or Fox? Who do you think created the dark web? Mickey Mouse??
  • So dirty move. I guess it ends up with a list of User Agent exceptions for google services not by some "officially support". This is ridiculous, everything will work like yesterday if you change the user agent to chrome in the dev tools.
  • Yeah, Microsoft may have to enable that by default on Google services if they keep acting like this. What's even more ridiculous is that industry best practice, which is also pushed by Google, is that you should be checking for feature support and not even looking at the user agent strings.
  • Don't let Google force you into using Chrome with these dirty tactics, use their User-Agent Switcher for Chrome extension instead. I https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/user-agent-switcher-for-c/djfl... It's made by Google themselves. Just add a custom user agent for Chrome and then add an entry to the permanent spoof list, e.g.: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/74.0.3729.169 Safari/537.36
  • Thanks, but it also required a few other parameters, but I found them in some other tutorial New User-agent name: ChromeOS
    New User-Agent String: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/74.0.3729.169 Safari/537.36
    Group: Chrome
    Indicator Flag: CR
  • Thanks Henry08 and Gatanui for your help to change the user-agent.
    My eyes thank you, Dark Theme is back in action and so is Live Chat.
    Cheers
  • This coming from an enterprise that used to have "Don't be evil" as leitmotiv. Apparently the new leitmotiv is "Be an *******".
  • That was a long time ago. Google hasn't been touting that for years now. Time to move on...
  • Google, first, you kill Google+, now you block Duo from working at all on the new Edge and blocking the new Edge from using the new YouTube design. You are moving further down the list of good companies, you are not going to pass EA and Epic Games, but you already left the top 5.
  • Google Stadia was DOA when they announced they were using Linux servers 😂
  • Yeah, but I can see gaming on Linux working out, Valve is making some good progress with Steam Play.
  • How so? What difference does it make what underlying OS is serving your game?
  • I see Neowin has an update from Google saying it is a bug and they are working to fix. So maybe not bad Google
  • Yeah, these "bugs" seem to be happening with some regularity. Sorry going with malice or incompetence this time.
  • I got hit with this issue just as i was preparing to view a live stream. Clicked video, loaded into the 'old' design, live chat was disabled with a message saying i had an old version of my browser and to update it. I checked, and I was on the latest chromium based edge. Old edge worked fine still. bullshit from google again.
    However, pressing F12 and then clicking the ... for network conditions, allows you to uncheck automatic user-agent and set it as chrome -- windows. and it works fine again. hmm-humm
  • Classy. Real classy. Someone needs to introduce Google to the concepts they helped champion against Microsoft.
  • Uch, with man! I'm loving Chromium edge and I swapped from using mytube to using edge's YouTube.com because it felt super fast. Damn shame this evil bussines
  • I could see these moves by Google causing some legal issues in the US and EU. More fines on the way...
  • Google has the resources to test changes in their websites before rolling them to public. They have computers with all the browsers, major, minor, and in-development likely installed. As such, the effects for a change as simple at this, YouTube specifically indentifying Edge Chromium, should have been discovered and corrected in-house long before rolling it out. They are doing this to try discredit Edge Chromium and embarrass Microsoft, but there are only embarrassing themselves and drawing more attention to their anti-competitive behavior. When Microsoft was found guilty of monopolistic behavior, a consent decree gave the government some oversight over their business affairs for nearly eight years. Whatever lasting effectiveness the oversight had on Microsoft, this period did opened the environment for upstarts to compete better against them. Google has gotten too arrogant and bravado. With moves like this, the more I see a similar government oversight situation needing to be handed down to them.
  • God I missed this layout!
  • Google is a bunch of DoucheBags... they try to sneak in these disabling stuff and when its caught they pretend it was a mistake...a-holes
  • All this is bound to help with their European anti-trust suit :P I mean of course, Google wants to cripple the new Edge. They make most money from search. They dominate search despite perfectly competitive competition in DuckDuckGo because of Chrome and Android. Should they lose either one of those, they will lose money period. Chrome is now quite redundant; Brave offers identical functionality, has the exact same layout but is private/ad-blocking and has a monetization system; Edge (in dev) offers identical functionality and will ship with Windows. There's literally no 'unique selling point' for Chrome right now, and that gets worse then Windows comes with that by default.
  • I think they should be worried about Brave at this exact moment
  • Gooogle is a malevolent company that needs to be split apart.
  • change user agent to chrome and all is fixed. ez pz
  • Care to share how to do this?
  • And YouTube Music doesn't work at all now.
  • I noticed it change a little over 12hrs ago. Wasn't sure what was happening and why my YouTube page was reverting to a while theme (I migrated over from Edge as soon as Chromium Edge Dev build was avail, and I'd forgotten that I opted into the 'New' design, which confusingly the new design still works in Edge. Annoying to say the least but I'm used to the Dark Theme so I've grabbed an extension to do similar.
    Now that the old theme is the standard now in Chromium Edge Live chat no longer works either. #EvilGoogle should fix this so we can see they are not, but I doubt they will any time soon hence my hashtag.
  • It'll be a 'mistake' or 'bug' on their part, or it'll be Microsoft's fault, somehow. Whatever they're constantly 'punishing' Microsoft for, from 15 years ago or whatever, Google really need to get over it, and move on. It's not the same Microsoft.
  • google is worst than the old MS
  • Looks like I should send a note to EU authorities due to Google's attempt to restrict competition. Another 4 billion euros fine incoming.
  • what a surprise /s "don't be evil"
  • Sounds like Google are on the same page as Trump.. when you don't get your way be a ****** and start blocking access.
  • While not a huge Google fan, didn't someone do some messing around w/ the Agent strings for Edge because the latest build used "Edg" and not "Edge" for the string? When they changed their agent string to include that "e", it worked as expected. Kind of wondering if this was actually a Google issue this time around with the way they whitelist browsers. If MS messed up the Agent string, that would be on them, not Google. Of course, whitelisting browsers as opposed to checking capabilities seems more heavy-handed, but likely easier to code at first.
  • Chromecast isn't working anymore for me in Edge Canary or Brave browser.
  • Microsoft should just copy Chrome's user agent 1:1
  • So, this turned out to be a non event.
  • Only if you think a bug in preview software is a non-event.
  • Yeah, I do think a bug in preview software is a non-event, it's literally why the software is in preview, to weed out bugs. It's an expectation.
  • Google is bent to thwart the rise of a new browser. "Use Chrome and let us sell your data to advertisers"
  • I've opened YouTube in both Chrome and Internet Explorer (work computer) almost every day for the past 2 years. This is the first I'm hearing about a new layout. Is the ability to turn on dark mode the only difference, or am I overlooking something obvious?