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How to Turn On or Off Ambient Mode on YouTube

YouTube got an update for its 17th birthday that aims to improve its design.

They’ve gathered feedback from thousands of viewers and they said that they wanted a cleaner and livelier design.

The update contains a new look and multiple features that offer a more modern experience.

Vibrancy was added without detracting from viewers’ habits like watching recommended videos or looking for new content.

The ambient mode uses dynamic color sampling to introduce an effect that makes the background color matches the video.

They were inspired by the light that screens cast out in a dark room and wanted to recreate it.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to turn on or off ambient mode on YouTube and why you don’t have that mode.

Why don’t I have Ambient Mode on YouTube?

You don’t have the ambient mode on YouTube because it’s only available on the dark theme.

If you’re using a light theme, the ambient mode will not show up.

The mode is available on both desktop and mobile devices.

To switch to a dark theme on your desktop, click on your YouTube profile picture > Appearance > Dark theme.

To switch to a dark theme on the YouTube mobile app, tap on your YouTube profile picture > Settings > General > Appearance > Dark theme.

How to turn off ambient mode on YouTube

To turn off ambient mode on YouTube on your desktop, watch a video, click on the settings icon, and disable “Ambient mode”.

If you’re using the YouTube mobile app, watch a video, tap on the settings icon, and select “Ambient mode” to turn it off.

Another way to disable it is to use the light theme instead of the dark theme.

On your computer:

  1. Go to youtube.com and watch a video.
  2. Click on the settings icon.
  3. Enable/disable “Ambient mode”.

On an Android/iOS device:

  1. Open the YouTube app and watch a video.
  2. Tap on the settings icon.
  3. Select “Ambient mode” to enable/disable it.

Ambient mode is a lighting effect that matches your screen’s background to the video.

In some cases, the effect might not work as intended as some users experience lag and odd shadows.

“I don’t even know why Youtube has that enabled by default. It can be distracting and annoying especially when you can see it get brighter while you’re watching a video”.

“I turned this off because my GPU and CPU usage was spiking to 98%”.

If that’s the case, turning ambient mode off is highly recommended until YouTube improves it.

Further reading

50+ Free YouTube Premium Accounts

How to Fix “Pull up for precise seeking” on YouTube

How to Fix YouTube Video Not Processing or Uploading


About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written thousands of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.

Lim has been quoted and referenced by major publications and media companies like WikiHow, Fast Company, HuffPost, Vice, New York Post, The Conversation, and many others. One of his articles about the gig economy was quoted by Joe Rogan who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience (arguably the most popular podcast in the world), in the This Past Weekend podcast by Theo Von.

In his free time, Lim plays multiple games like Genshin Impact, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, RuneScape, and many others. He creates guides, walkthroughs, solutions, and more on games that he plays to help other players with their progression.