Freetube - desktop YT app

Freetube is a privacy-focused YT client for desktop (Windows, Linux, macOS).

They recently released a new version with lots of improvements. It looks like they even have a dark mode.

Anyone have experience using this app? Thoughts? Feedback?

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My problem stems from the rampant use of electron. Electron is horrible; its a disease that is spreading through programming. Electron is absolving people’s responsibility to program an application with the many types of languages that are available. I will not tolerate the petty excuse of “its easier and faster to do this”, if programming with Rust, C#, or Python is too difficult, then you too inept to be a programmer. The other aspects of FreeTube are fine, but I wish people would stop using electron.

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I primarily use Invidious with the Invidition extension but FreeTube also works great and its UI is customizable; reminds me of NewPipe but for desktop.


found it about a year ago, and really like for daily use and subscriptions (which I exported out from youtube and closed that very old account as I continue to unplug from the goog).

Freetube dev stays on top of things and is real responsive in matrix/chat and on github issues, and if i’m guessing correctly, the dev for is also very active in those matrix chat rooms: and (e2ee).

in late May i frustrated while trying to unfsck things (OS) so i could build freetube from source and test some fixes for socks/tor proxy as it was leaking in last release. will forego that route and test new release instead, saying that- please do test proxy if you rely on such for privacy.

Also, the browser extension to redirect youtube links to freetube didn’t work well for me, which is ok as I prefer to use the freetube app versus browser for vid watches anyways, so just copy link and paste into FT which searches invidious and serves the appropriate video.

+1 to @nitrohorse mention of Invidition extension also mentioned the other day, if quick watch in browser is preferred then that extension has proven to work as i expect.

edit to add: according to blog post for release it sounds like the proxy fail to clearnet issue may be fixed.

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Tried it out today. Overall I am impressed. I think I will switch to FreeTube from Google’s web client.

Some positives:

  • Easy to use UI/UX.
  • Dark Mode.
  • Support for subscriptions (without a Google account).

Areas for improvement:

  • Dark mode on Windows 10 is a bit buggy; the title bar isn’t themed.
  • I had issues with the default “local playback” option.
  • Minor UX weaknesses relative to Google’s clients.
  • Subscription management would be a nice feature (e.g. folders).

I still need to check out FF integration. Overall I think this is a good option for moving off Google’s clients on desktop.


local playback option issues and better subscription management are being discussed in chat room today, the latter of which is on roadmap.

a global back button is in the works as is playlists, two more things I’d really like to see added as well.

in case you haven’t sorted it already, to get your subs out of youtube, see this:

Download the OPML file by clicking Export subscriptions at the bottom of your Manage Subscriptions page. This will download a file named “subscription_manager.xml”.

then import that into freetube. There was another way to get it done, from google accounts, but i cannot find the link and i closed the account last year. regardless the above should work fine as was verified in chat a bit ago.

Those would be nice additions too, especially a global back button.

I use youtube-dl and pipe it into media player. But anyway FreeTube is a nice project.

i use freetube to find videos, then i copy the invidious link, now i just press super + shift + v to open the video in mpv :slight_smile: i have actuallty never used freetube to watch a video, i just find them there and get a link!

(edit sorry didnt realize this was 4 months old)

Note that there was a recent issue regarding subscriptions, in my case I resolved the issue by tweaking the Invidio instance settings, and things got back to working like normal.

To me this is why decentralized architexture ( and I don’t mean blockchain ) is important.