How to Play YouTube Videos in the Background on Your iPhone

How to Play YouTube Videos in the Background on Your iPhone

I know how frustrating it can be when you want to listen to your favorite music, podcast, or lecture on YouTube, but the app stops playing as soon as you switch to another app or lock your screen. I’ve been there too, and I’ve found some ways to overcome this challenge and enjoy YouTube content more flexibly on my iPhone. Let me share them with you in this article.

Understanding YouTube’s Playback Restrictions

First, let’s understand why YouTube behaves this way. YouTube is primarily a video platform, and it wants you to watch the videos, not just listen to them. That’s why it pauses the playback when you minimize the app or lock your phone, to save bandwidth and battery. It also wants you to see the ads that run on the videos, which is how it makes money. So, unless you pay for a subscription, YouTube will not let you play videos in the background.

Official Solution: YouTube Premium

The official way to play YouTube videos in the background is to subscribe to YouTube Premium, which is a paid service that offers several benefits, such as:

  • Background play: You can listen to YouTube videos while using other apps or locking your screen.
  • Ad-free: You can watch videos without any interruptions from ads.
  • Offline: You can download videos and watch them later without an internet connection.
  • Music: You can access YouTube Music, a separate app that lets you stream music and create playlists.
  • Originals: You can watch exclusive shows and movies produced by YouTube.

If you are interested in YouTube Premium, here’s how you can subscribe:

  • Open the YouTube app on your iPhone and tap on your profile picture in the top right corner.
  • Tap on “Get YouTube Premium” and choose a plan that suits you. You can get a monthly or yearly subscription, or a family plan that covers up to six members.
  • Enter your payment details and confirm your purchase. You can use a credit card, PayPal, or iTunes.
  • Enjoy YouTube Premium features on your iPhone and other devices.

Workarounds for Background Playback

If you don’t want to pay for YouTube Premium, don’t worry. There are some workarounds that can let you play YouTube videos in the background without a subscription. However, these methods may not work for all videos, and they may violate YouTube’s terms of service, so use them at your own risk.

Using Safari or Other Browsers

One workaround is to use Safari or another mobile browser instead of the YouTube app. Here’s how:

  • Open Safari or your preferred browser and go to
  • Search for the video you want to play and tap on it.
  • Tap on the “aA” icon in the address bar and select “Request Desktop Site”. This will load the desktop version of YouTube, which allows background play.
  • Start playing the video and exit Safari or switch to another app. You should hear the audio continue playing in the background.
  • If the audio stops, swipe down from the top right corner of your screen to access the Control Center. You should see a media player with the YouTube video title. Tap on the play button to resume the playback.

For more tips on optimizing your iPhone’s experience, check out our article on making your iPhone more secure and private.

Third-Party Apps

Another workaround is to use a third-party app that enables background playback for YouTube videos. There are many apps that claim to do this, but some of them may not work properly, may contain ads or malware, or may violate YouTube’s policies. So, be careful when choosing an app and read the reviews and ratings before downloading. Some examples of third-party apps that you can try are:

  • Musi: This app lets you stream YouTube music and videos in the background. You can create playlists, shuffle songs, and control the playback from the lock screen or the Control Center.
  • Dolphin: This app is a web browser that supports background play for YouTube videos. You can also use it to browse other websites, sync bookmarks, and customize settings.
  • ProTube: This app is a YouTube client that offers background play, ad-blocking, 4K video support, and more. You can also download videos and audio, and manage your subscriptions and playlists.

Tips for Optimizing Background Playback

Playing YouTube videos in the background can be convenient, but it can also consume a lot of data and battery. Here are some tips to optimize your background playback and avoid unwanted charges or low battery issues:

  • Use Wi-Fi: Whenever possible, connect to a Wi-Fi network instead of using your cellular data. This will save you data and money, especially if you have a limited data plan.
  • Adjust the quality: You can lower the video quality to reduce the data usage and improve the buffering speed. To do this, tap on the three dots icon in the top right corner of the video and select “Quality”. Choose a lower resolution, such as 144p or 240p.
  • Turn off the screen: You can turn off your screen to save battery while listening to YouTube videos in the background. To do this, press the power button on the side of your iPhone. The audio should continue playing, and you can control it from the lock screen or the Control Center.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Sometimes, you may encounter some problems while trying to play YouTube videos in the background. Here are some common issues and how to fix them:

  • The audio stops when you exit the app or lock the screen: This may happen if you are using the YouTube app or the mobile version of YouTube in your browser. To fix this, use the desktop version of YouTube in your browser, or use a third-party app that supports background play.
  • The audio is distorted or choppy: This may happen if you have a poor internet connection or a low-quality video. To fix this, use a Wi-Fi network or lower the video quality.
  • The video is not available for background play: This may happen if the video is restricted by the uploader, the content owner, or YouTube. Some videos, such as music videos, live streams, or premium content, may not allow background play. To fix this, try another video or use YouTube Premium.

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I hope this article helped you learn how to play YouTube videos in the background or with your iPhone locked. Now you can enjoy your favorite YouTube content while multitasking on your iPhone, whether it’s music, podcasts, lectures, or anything else. Just remember to use these methods responsibly and respect YouTube’s terms of service. Have fun and happy listening!

About admin

Hello, I'm iBoy, your mobile solutions companion. I'm passionate about providing easy-to-access solutions for mobile software repair technicians, or what we fondly call MSRTs. I firmly believe that knowledge and resources should be shared and readily available to anyone interested. At here, we're committed to making mobile solutions accessible and user-friendly for both beginners and experienced technicians. Our goal is to help, support, and empower those in the field, without disrupting the hard work of mobile solutions stores, experts, and developers. I'm dedicated to keeping valuable information and resources freely available to everyone. Feel free to explore our content, utilize our resources, and join our vibrant community.

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