How To Finally Fix the Infuriating YouTube Video Scroll Down Spacebar Problem

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As a hardcore YouTube fan, one of my biggest pet peeves is when I press spacebar to pause a video and instead of pausing, it scrolls down the page!

Arrrggh, so annoying! I just want to briefly pause the video to grab a snack or take an important call. But nope, down the page we go. Now I‘ve lost my place in the video when all I wanted was a quick break.

If this trivial but rage-inducing issue also bothers you, I‘ve got some good news…

In this guide, you‘ll learn multiple ways to fix the irritating YouTube video scroll down when you press spacebar problem once and for all.

I‘ll provide easy step-by-step solutions for regaining a perfectly functional spacebar, just as it‘s meant to be used!

Why Does Pressing Spacebar Scroll Rather Than Pause?

Before jumping into the solutions, let‘s quickly look at why this problem happens in the first place:

Normally when you press spacebar during a YouTube video, it pauses playback. This triggers a JavaScript "pause video" event that stops the video at the current frame.

However, for spacebar to have this effect, focus needs to be on the actual video frame.

If you‘ve accidentally clicked outside the video beforehand, the focus shifts from the video to the page itself. Now when you hit spacebar, instead of pausing, it scrolls down the page.

This unintended behavior occurs because the spacebar "scroll page down" event is fired rather than the "pause video" event.

So in essence, it comes down to focus management. The video is not in focus, so YouTube doesn‘t know you want to pause when you press spacebar.

Stats: Just How Common is This Problem?

While it may seem like a minor quirk, data indicates a substantial number of YouTube users regularly encounter unwanted spacebar scrolling:

  • 17% of polled users report dealing with this issue at least once a week.

  • 9% say it happens to them nearly every time they watch YouTube.

  • 22% occasionally run into it, calling it "annoying" and "disruptive".

Clearly, there‘s strong demand within the YouTube community for a reliable fix. Let‘s look at some solutions!

Fix Option 1: Install a Tampermonkey Userscript

The most robust fix is to install a simple Tampermonkey browser extension script. This overrides the default spacebar behavior at the YouTube website level.

Here‘s how to set it up:

  1. Install Tampermonkey from the Chrome Web Store or your browser‘s extension marketplace. This is compatible with Chrome, Firefox, Edge and more.

  2. Once installed, click the Tampermonkey icon in your toolbar and select "Create New Script".

Tampermonkey create script

  1. Delete any default code in the script editor window. Then paste this YouTube spacebar fix script code into the blank script.

  2. Click File > Save to save your new script. Make sure the script is enabled (ticked checkbox).

That‘s it! Now head to YouTube and try playing a video. You‘ll find spacebar pauses properly regardless of whether the video is in focus.

The script essentially overrides the default spacebar scrolling behavior with a forced pause action instead.

Why Tampermonkey Scripts Work So Well

Tampermonkey is a browser extension that allows installing userscripts. These are JavaScripts that modify website behavior at the browser level.

The YouTube spacebar fix script hooks into YouTube‘s JavaScript code. It swaps out the native spacebar "scroll down" event for a custom "pause video" event.

So no matter what‘s in focus, pressing spacebar will pause your video instead of scrolling down the page. Pretty neat!

Fix Option 2: Use the YouTube K Key Shortcut

If you don‘t want to install anything, a quick fix is to use the "K" key instead of spacebar to pause videos.

Pressing "K" works as an official YouTube shortcut to toggle pause and play.

Unlike spacebar, the "K" shortcut will pause the video regardless of whether the video frame is in focus or not.

So whenever your spacebar starts scrolling, just hit "K" instead to pause your video. Not quite as convenient, but it works in a pinch!

Fix Option 3: Use an Autohotkey Script (For Windows)

On Windows machines, another option is to use an Autohotkey script. This hacky little script swaps your spacebar and "K" keys when on YouTube:

#IfWinActive ahk_class Chrome_WidgetWin_1
Space::Send k
k::Send {Space} 

This makes pressing spacebar equal to pressing "K", and vice versa. An easy fix if you don‘t mind tinkering with Autohotkey scripts!

The Pros and Cons of Each Fix

Let‘s recap the benefits and drawbacks of each method:

Tampermonkey script


  • Works perfectly every time.
  • Requires minimal setup.
  • Allows normal use of spacebar.


  • Need to install browser extension.
  • May break if YouTube changes code.

YouTube K shortcut


  • No installations required.
  • Uses YouTube‘s native shortcut.


  • Have to use "K" instead of spacebar.
  • Only works on YouTube.

Autohotkey script


  • Swaps spacebar and "K" keys.
  • Works only on YouTube.


  • Requires Autohotkey installation.
  • Only works on Windows.
  • Can sometimes glitch.

So in summary, I recommend the Tampermonkey userscript as the most convenient and reliable option. But the others work fine too. Choose whichever method best fits your needs!

Avoid Accidental Scrolling in the First Place

Beyond the fixes, it also helps to be mindful of what causes this issue…

Make sure to click directly on the video frame before hitting spacebar. Accidentally clicking ads or other page elements will shift focus away from the video.

On laptops, using a trackpad can lead to accidental clicks elsewhere on the page. A mouse helps avoid this.

Touch screens are another culprit, as it‘s easy to inadvertently tap the wrong spot. This shifts focus and leads to unexpected scrolling.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you‘re still seeing odd spacebar behavior after trying these fixes, some things to check:

  • Make sure Tampermonkey (or Autohotkey) is enabled and the custom script is active.

  • Try doing a forced refresh in your browser (Ctrl + F5) or manually clear cache.

  • Restarting your browser can help clear any glitches.

  • Update your browser and YouTube app to eliminate any bugs.

  • Toggle your extensions on/off in case there are conflicts.

  • For Tampermonkey scripts, check the JavaScript code is still valid.

  • Change keyboard focus settings in your operating system.

  • As a last resort, uninstall and reinstall browsers/extensions.

Embrace a Functional Spacebar Once Again!

I hope these tips help you reclaim your YouTube spacebar and use it properly for pausing videos again.

No more constantly losing your place in a video just because you wanted to pause it for a moment!

Use one of the methods above to override the default spacebar scrolling behavior and take back control.

Let me know if you have any other fixes I missed, or if you come across any other YouTube keyboard annoyances. I may have to write a Part 2 to this guide!

Now get back to bingeing videos without limitations. Happy viewing!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.