How to play Youtube Videos in Background on your Phone

YouTube is Google’s streaming platform having about 5 billion videos watched by different individuals every day. YouTube contains more music than any music vendor platform on the internet. The platform has about 400 hours of video uploaded to it every minute. This includes movies, operas, comedies, musical videos like lyric videos, official videos, marsh ups, etc. However, with all the content available on this video streaming platform, they don’t allow you to stream their content in background without paying for YouTube Premium or YouTube Music.

YouTube Premium was previously known as YouTube Red. The YouTube Premium service allows you to watch many YouTube original videos. On the YouTube premium, you stream for as long as you want on YouTube without seeing a single advert. This, however, doesn’t delete adverts that were made as part of the videos before uploading. The premium service also permits you to download any song and video on the platform to your mobile devices for offline listening. The YouTube Premium allows you to turn on audio-only mode to listen to music without loading the video.

You can also make use of background play to keep your music playing while you minimize your YouTube app to use other apps. YouTube’s premium service goes for $11.99 per month with a 30-day free trial. However, if you don’t have the money to go premium but you still want to play YouTube videos in background on your phone I would be giving tips below. Yes, there is a way you can stream that music/video while you’re on another app or your screen light is turned off without having to pay a dime.

How to Stream YouTube Videos in Background on Android Phones

No matter the manufacturer of your android device, you can still play YouTube using either the Picture in Picture (PIP) mode on android 8 (Oreo) or using a web browser.

How to Play YouTube Videos in Background Using Picture in Picture Mode.

If you own an android device running the Oreo OS (Android 8), you can follow the steps below to activate the picture in picture mode. If you don’t use an Android 8, please go to the next step.

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    • On your Android device, open your device Settings. You can open system settings from your notifications pull-down or your apps menu.
    • In settings, Select “Apps & Notifications”
    • Tap “Advanced” at the bottom of the screen that opens.
    • Select “Special app access”, the “Picture-in-picture” option should display among other app special functions. Select it.
    • You should see the list of apps on your device that support PiP, the ones that PiP mode is enabled is always on top. Select YouTube and check if PiP is enabled; if not, tap on the toggle to turn on YouTube’s PiP feature.


After turning on the PiP mode go back to your YouTube application play a video and hit your home button. Your YouTube app would minimize while leaving a small screen hovering above every app still playing the content you desire. There is a downside to this anyways. If you try using the option on any video that YouTube considers a music video the video closes when you minimize the YouTube app. Also, you cannot lock turn off your display or lock your device. This would instantly turn off the video. Speaking of turning off a video, if you wish to pause or turn off a video you can do so by tapping on the small “X” on the upper-right corner of the music box.

How to Play YouTube Videos in Background Using a Browser.

If you have a web browser that supports desktop views in surfing a web page, you’re one step away from playing YouTube videos in the background on your android device. However, if you don’t have a browser on your android device – which is impossible you can download any of these browsers listed below;

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Puffin Web Browser

The three browsers listed above allow users to switch their view to desktop views. When you switch to desktop view, your mobile device requests a desktop version of the web page you are viewing. Having a desktop view is solely dependent on the developer of the web page. If a website is built to serve mobile devices alone, switching to Desktop mode won’t make much difference. However, YouTube has a different interface for its desktop users so if you’ve downloaded any of the browsers above, you’re ready to begin.

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  • Open the browser you downloaded, go to YouTube’s website. You can do this by typing this URL: in your browser’s address bar.
  • Try locating the video you want to play because once you switch to the desktop view, navigation might not be as easy as you wish it should be.
  • Tap on your browser option. This is the three dots in the upper-right corner of the browser screen.
  •  Among the list of options there, you’ll find a checkbox labeled “Desktop site”. Tick it.
  • Your browser screen should now refresh. When the reload is completed, the desktop version of YouTube should display. Tap on the video so that it starts playing.
  • Tap the Home key at the bottom of your screen to minimize the browser.
  • On some occasions, the music may stop playing. Just pull down your notifications curtain from the top of the screen, you would see the notification for the song you were playing. Hit the play button on that notification to restart it.


Note: The steps are the same on all the recommended browsers above.


How to Stream YouTube Videos in Background on iPhones (iOS)

To stream YouTube videos on background on iOS, you could use your YouTube premium account. However, we’re looking for free steps, right? So let’s talk tips and tricks. Since iOS doesn’t offer Picture in Picture for its YouTube application, we would be doing our background streaming using a web browser.

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  • Open Safari browser on your iPhone device.
  • Visit You should see the mobile version of YouTube.
  • Tap on the “AA” symbol at the top-left corner of your mobile screen.
  • In the drop-down menu displayed, select the “Request Desktop Website”
  • Your browser would reload displaying a desktop view. In the desktop version of YouTube, tap the play button to start streaming your video.
  • Swipe up to close the Safari app application.
  • If your video stops playing, pull down the Control Centre from the top right of your screen. You should see the video loaded there. Press the play button and the video should start playing again.



The easiest way of playing YouTube videos in the background on any device is by subscribing to YouTube premium. However, the above steps work perfectly well. However, If you have a procedure not listed above which you’ll want us to add, feel free to leave a comment below.

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