You’ve probably noticed that YouTube recently removed the dislike counter on all videos. Despite the major outrage that followed the announcement, it doesn’t seem like YouTube is returning dislikes any time soon. That said, is there still some way to see dislikes on YouTube videos?
Here’s how to see dislikes on YouTube videos again:
- Open browser extension store on your internet browser.
- Download the ‘Return YouTube Dislike’ browser extension.
- Enable ‘Return YouTube Dislike’ in your browser.
The rest of this article will explain how to return YouTube dislikes in more detail with the help of a browser extension. I’ll also explain why YouTube removed the dislike counter in the first place and how to enable it on your smartphone.
1. Open Browser Extension Store on Your Internet Browser
If you’re not a techie, chances are you haven’t heard of browser extensions before. They’re essentially a minor software addon that modifies or adds functionality to your Internet browser.
Don’t worry about installing extensions to your browser; it’s very safe if you install it from an official web store, and you won’t get a virus. However, you should beware of unknown third-party browser extensions from random websites.
The most popular browser extension store for Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers like Microsoft Edge is the Chrome Web Store. Click the link to open it if you have one of the browsers mentioned above.
If you’re using Mozilla Firefox, here’s the link to their addon store.
If you’re running Safari or some other browser, you may first need to install one of the browsers above to return YouTube dislikes.
2. Download the ‘Return YouTube Dislike’ Browser Extension
You can download the popular Return YouTube Dislike extension by searching for it in the extension store. Alternatively, click on the appropriate link below:
The ratings and download tell us that this extension works and works well. I’ve been using it myself for the past few weeks, and I can add my vote of confidence as well.
You can also download the UserScript for unsupported browsers or even install it onto a Jailbroken iOS device from their official website.
3. Enable ‘Return YouTube Dislike’ in Your Browser
Although browser extensions are typically enabled automatically, there’s a chance that it’s disabled by default because of your browser settings.
An easy check is to open any YouTube video. If you see the dislike counter like normal, it’s working. But if you don’t, open the extensions settings on your browser.
If you’re on Google Chrome, copy and paste this into the address bar: chrome://extensions/.
Alternatively, follow these steps:
- Open Google Chrome and left-click the three dots in the top right corner.
- Open Settings.
- On the right, select Extensions.
Once you get to the extension setting page, ensure that Return YouTube Dislike is enabled.
If you’re still having trouble getting the extensions to work, try deleting all cookies or reinstalling your browser.
Why Did YouTube Remove Dislikes?
YouTube removed dislikes to stop targeted dislike attacks on content creators. Before they removed dislikes, viewers would be prompted to press the dislike button if there were already many dislikes. Another possible reason is to protect major companies and to improve advertisement.
If you haven’t watched YouTube’s official announcement yet, you can find all the answers here:
According to YouTube themselves, they did research and found that people were less likely to dislike a video if they couldn’t see the counter.
They also mentioned that several other platforms don’t have a dislike counter.
To better understand this complex topic, I’ve broken it down into a few possible reasons why YouTube removed the dislike counter:
To Stop Targeted Dislike Attacks on Content Creators
This is the main reason YouTube wants you to think they removed YouTube dislikes.
They want to “promote respectful interactions” and “improve the experience.” By removing dislikes, content creators may feel less pressure from the community. It’s especially true for smaller channels.
And it’s a valid reason, except – the creators can still see the number of dislikes. And it just moves the negativity to the comments instead, which can be even more hurtful.
To Protect Major Brands and Companies
The “real” reason YouTube removed dislikes is probably to protect large companies and brands from targeted dislikes.
The first example that comes to mind is the backlash that followed the Diablo Immortal mobile game. The original announcement was disliked heavily and consequently removed from YouTube.
YouTube Rewind 2018 is another great example, watch the video below:
Basically, by removing dislikes, the companies will get protection from major public outcry.
To Compete With Other Video Platforms
TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and most other platforms focusing on short videos don’t have dislike buttons.
So, one of YouTube’s strongest arguments in their official statement is that there’s no reason for them to have one either. They believe that users won’t miss it, so what’s the point of having one?
It’s likely not a coincidence that YouTube removed the dislike count a few months after being overtaken by TikTok in watch time in both the US and the UK.
To Reduce the Negative Impact of Controversial Content
Controversial content and drama are super popular because they allow clickbaity titles and thumbnails.
Of course, YouTube wants this type of content on their platform to increase watch time.
However, they don’t necessarily want the huge negativity that comes with it.
People won’t stop arguing about controversial news and rumors in the comments. But removing the dislike count can mislead the viewer into believing the video is worth watching.
To Increase Overall Watch Time
This directly ties into the previous point. If you’ve ever spent 15 minutes watching a how-to guide only to realize it’s completely misleading, you’re not alone.
This logic extends to all videos on YouTube.
You’re more likely to watch a video for a few minutes longer than usual if you can’t tell that the like-to-dislike ratio is 1:10.
Increasing watch time is the primary goal of all video platforms, and this is especially true of YouTube. They can serve you more ads without you even noticing. This leads to enormous ad revenue earnings for both content creators and YouTube.
How To See Dislikes on YouTube
You can see dislikes on YouTube by installing the ‘Return YouTube Dislike’ Internet browser extension. It combines archived dislikes with extrapolated behavior of other extension users, allowing it to provide an accurate estimate of dislikes. The extension becomes more precise the more it is used.
You can download the extension at https://returnyoutubedislike.com. It’s completely free to use and works pretty well. However, if you want to to support them financially, you can donate on their official website.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to see the official number, so we must resort to this. They primarily source data from YouTube’s API, so it’s very accurate for any video released before 13th December 2021 (the date when dislikes were removed).
How To See Dislikes on YouTube on Your Phone
You can probably guess by now that this workaround only works for an Internet browser extension. If you’re looking for a workaround for your phone, the story’s a bit different.
For a jailbroken iOS device, you can download a modded app from Lillie’s Repo (please note that you will be using this app at your own risk, and I cannot guarantee its safety).
For Android users, it’s a whole other story, and the process of getting the dislike counter back on YouTube is much safer. Here’s what you need to do:
- Download and install Kiwi Browser from the Play Store.
- Download and install the Return YouTube Dislike extension from the Chrome Web Store.
- Watch YouTube through the browser.
Unfortunately, this means you can’t rely on your YouTube app if you want to watch videos and see dislikes simultaneously. So, you’ll probably only use this solution when you really want to see the dislike count on your phone.
The easiest way to see YouTube dislikes again is to install the Return YouTube Dislike web browser extension. It’s not completely accurate, but it can give you a reasonable estimate by combining archived data with extension user data.