3 Ways: Play YouTube In The Background (Android & iOS)

Learning to play YouTube in the background

You might need to switch to another app when watching YouTube videos or listening to music. It becomes irritating when the music playing through YouTube stops when you open any other app on the phone. Playing YouTube in the background is worth it. 

This guide will teach you many basic techniques to play youtube in the background, with or without using an app. Right, let’s get started.

Perks Of Playing Youtube In Background

YouTube is the ultimate entertainment app for both Android and iOS users. The free version doesn’t allow you to play your favorite music and videos in the background. You switch to another app, and the Youtube videos are paused.

However, you can play YouTube videos in the background through YouTube Premium, YouTube Video, or picture-in-picture display.

The following are some benefits of playing YouTube videos in the background:

  • You can check your messages, emails, and texts while listening to your favorite songs and videos. 
  • The video will not pause or play if you switch to another application. 
  • The shows and dramas you love can be watched while you work. 
  • You can reduce the amount of data you use by playing YouTube videos in the background. 

How to Play YouTube in the Background on an Android Device?

  1. Subscribe To YouTube Premium
  2. Picture-In-Picture Mode In Android
  3. Playing Videos With Your Browser

1. Subscribe To YouTube Premium 

YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is an upgraded and ad-free version of YouTube that allows you to get rid of ads on mobile and desktop. This paid premium account was formerly known as YouTube Red. It enables you to download videos and gives you access to the feature of playing videos in the background.

You must first sign up for a YouTube Premium account to access all of YouTube Premium’s features. To join YouTube Premium, follow these steps:

  • Tap on the  Google Play Store on your device.
Opening Google Play Store app
  • Download the YouTube app
Downloading the YouTube app
  • Navigate to the freshly downloaded YouTube app.
Tapping on the YouTube app
  • Tap on the photo icon in the top right corner.
Clicking on the photo icon
  • Select Get YouTube Premium from the list of available options.
Clicking on Get YouTube Premium
  • Select TRY IT FOR FREE. There will be several payment options.
  • Select the premium plan that suits your needs, and then click Confirm.
Clicking on Confirm

In terms of playing videos in the background, YouTube Premium offers the following advantages:

  • Multitasking: The prime advantage of YouTube Premium is that it allows you to continue listening to the videos even after turning the phone screen off or switching to a different app. You no longer have to pause the video to use apps like Gmail, WhatsApp, etc.
  • Access to YouTube Music: Youtube Premium also gives you access to Youtube Music, an upgraded version of Google Play Music. Additionally, it allows you to switch between apps.
  • Low cost: You might think it will cost you a lot of money. No! Youtube premium will not cost you much. Moreover, Youtube Premium is also available as a one-month free trial.

2. Picture-In-Picture Mode In Android

Android users can also enjoy playing YouTube videos in a smaller window called picture-in-picture mode. This method allows you to play almost all YouTube videos while multi-tasking, except those labeled as music.

The following requirements must be met on Android phones to use YouTube picture-in-picture: 

  • A YouTube Premium subscription.
  • Moreover, this feature requires Android 8.0 (Oreo) or later.
  • You can watch ad-supported picture-in-picture (PiP) content in the United States.

On Android phones, you can enable picture-in-picture mode by following these steps:

  • Open Settings from the home screen. 
Selecting Settings
  • Tap on Privacy protection.
Privacy protection
  • Click on Special permissions.
Clicking on Special permissions
  • Selecting picture-in-picture.
Selecting Picture-in-picture
  • A list of applications that support picture-in-picture will be displayed. Locate YouTube.
Tapping on YouTube
  • Toggle on the picture in picture mode.
Toggling the picture-in-picture mode on
  • Go to the YouTube App and play a video. Press the home button on your phone. The video will shrink and allow you to play another application.
A small box will appear. Click on it, and the video will return to full size again. 
  • If you want to go back to full size, tap on the picture in the picture window. A small box will appear. Click on it, and the video will return to full size again. 

3. Playing Videos With Your Browser 

If you don’t want to get YouTube Premium or the picture-in-picture feature is unavailable on your Android phone, you can play video in the background through a browser. This will enable you to play YouTube videos for free in the background.

Opening Google Chrome browser
  • Enter youtube.com in the search bar.
Entering Youtube.com in the search bar
  • Tap on the three vertical dotted menu buttons on the top-right corner.
Tapping on the menu icon
  • Select Desktop Site.
Tapping on Desktop site
  • After switching to Desktop mode, find the video you want to watch and play it.
  • Once you switch to another app, the video will stop playing.
  • After that, pull down the notification bar and see the media controls for the video.
  • Now tap the Play button to let the video play in the background.
Selecting the Play button

You can do the same for other web browsers like Firefox and Opera on Android. 

How To Play Youtube In The Background On IOS?

  1. Youtube Premium For IOS Device
  2. Picture-In-Picture Mode For IOS
  3. Playing Videos In Safari

1. Youtube Premium For IOS Device

Like Android, you can play YouTube in the background on iOS devices with a YouTube Premium subscription. You must install YouTube Premium from the Apple store and explore the entertainment world while handling important tasks like emails and messages.

2. Picture-In-Picture Mode For IOS

Unfortunately, IOS users have only enabled picture-in-picture mode for premium YouTube users. There is, however, an alternative, so don’t be afraid. The following instructions will help you use picture-in-picture mode on your iOS 14.5 or later phone:

  • Tap on the App Store.
Tapping on the App Store
  • Download and run the X.App.
Downloading the X.App
  • Open the YouTube app. Play the video you want.
Opening the YouTube app
  • Tap on Share.
Clicking on Share
  • Select More.
Selecting More
  • Click picture-in-picture mode.
Clicking on picture-in-picture
  • You can now see a small window showing the video you played.
A small window appears

3. Playing Videos In Safari

This last-minute effort avoids forking over cash for a YouTube Premium subscription. You can play YouTube in the background on your iOS device by following these steps: 

Opening Safari
Entering Youtube.com
  • Enter your video name in the search box.
  • Click on the AA icon.
Clicking on AA icon
  • Select Request Desktop Site.
Selecting Request Desktop Site
  • Play the video and close the Safari app by sweeping the desktop version. The video will stop playing.
  • Pull down the Control Centre. You will see the video with the play button there.
Pulling down Control Section
  • Tap on the Play button, and the video will start playing again. 
Tapping on the Play button


Playing YouTube in the background allows you to switch to other apps without irritation. However, YouTube’s basic version doesn’t allow you to play YouTube in the background. 

Android and iPhone users can play YouTube in the background by subscribing to YouTube Premium, enabling picture-in-picture mode, or using web browsers like Google Chrome and Safari. 

So, even on the run, you can keep yourself engaged by listening to music videos of your favorite artists with or without paying for this feature.

Meet the Author

Abdul Rahim has been working in Information Technology for over two decades. Learn how Abdul got his start as a Tech Blogger , and why he decided to start this Software blog. If you want to send Abdul a quick message, then visit his contact page here.