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Watch YouTube While Multitasking: Background Playback Methods Explained

How to Play YouTube in the Background on Your Phone

Playing YouTube videos in the background on your phone can be challenging without a subscription to YouTube Premium. However, there are several methods to bypass this limitation on both Android and iOS devices. Here’s how you can do it.

On Android: Using Desktop Mode in Chrome

One straightforward method is to use the desktop version of YouTube in the Chrome browser. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Chrome and navigate to YouTube’s mobile site.
  2. Search for Your Video and tap on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Select Desktop Site from the dropdown menu.
  4. Start Playing the Video and then switch to another app or put your screen into silent mode, causing the video to stop.
  5. Swipe Down to the Control Center, find the video in your settings, and press play.
  6. Turn Off Your Screen or Switch Apps and YouTube will continue to play.

On Android: Using Picture-in-Picture (PiP) Mode

If your device is running Android 8.0 Oreo or later, you can use Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode:

  1. Open Settings and navigate to Apps.
  2. Select YouTube and find the Picture-in-Picture option at the bottom.
  3. Enable PiP by selecting Allowed.
  4. Open the YouTube App, start playing a video, and then press the home button.
  5. Move the Small Window around your screen as needed, while the video continues to play in the background.

Note: PiP for music content is only available for YouTube Premium members.

On iOS: Using Alternative Browsers

For iOS devices, using alternative browsers like Dolphin or Opera can help:

  1. Download Dolphin for iOS or Opera for iOS from the App Store.
  2. Open the Browser and navigate to YouTube’s mobile site.
  3. Search and Play Your Video, then switch to another app or put your screen to sleep.
  4. Swipe to the Music Player and check if your video title is displayed.
  5. Press Play in the control center to resume playback.

If the media player defaults to your music library, return to the browser and press play on the YouTube video again.

If All Else Fails: Subscribe or Download

YouTube may eventually block these workarounds. In such cases, consider subscribing to YouTube’s services:

  • YouTube Premium: Allows background play, ad-free experience, and access to original content.
  • YouTube Music: A cheaper option focused on music streaming with background play.

Alternatively, you can download videos to your device using a subscription or third-party apps, avoiding the YouTube app entirely.


How do I download YouTube videos on an Android device?

If you have a YouTube Premium subscription, you can download videos directly in the YouTube app. Simply find the video and tap Download. Without a subscription, you will need to use third-party apps.

How do I play YouTube videos in a loop?

To loop a YouTube video, open YouTube in a web browser, right-click or long-press the video, and select Loop from the context menu.

Using these methods, you can enjoy YouTube videos in the background on your phone without needing a subscription.

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