How To Get YouTube To Play In The Background [Android And iPhone]

Reading time: 8 min read
Deyan Georgiev
Written by
Deyan Georgiev

Updated · Sep 26, 2023

Deyan Georgiev
Website Manager | Joined October 2021 | LinkedIn
Deyan Georgiev

Deyan is an avid enthusiast and self-proclaimed fan of the Windows operating system. His passion for... | See full bio

April Grace Asgapo
Edited by
April Grace Asgapo


April Grace Asgapo
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
April Grace Asgapo

April is a proficient content writer with a knack for research and communication. With a keen eye fo... | See full bio

Techjury is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

YouTube is a diverse music and video streaming platform with a massive viewership of 1.7 billion in 2022. It has become a go-to app for people to listen to their favorite songs or watch videos. 

One major downside of using YouTube on Android or iPhone is that you can only play videos in the background if you have a paid subscription. Fortunately, some workarounds allow you to watch YouTube in the background without purchasing a premium subscription.  

This article will teach you how to play YouTube in the background. These methods include paid options and workarounds, allowing you to enjoy your favorite content while using other apps or multitasking.

Key Takeaways

🔑 YouTube Premium automatically allows you to play videos in the background for $11.99 monthly. 

🔑 iPhone users can play YouTube in the background using Safari and the control center to play video audio. 

🔑 Instead of the app, use Chrome browser to play YouTube in the background on Android. 

🔑 With Picture-in-Picture, users can watch videos in a small window while using other apps.

🔑 iPhone users without premium subscriptions can play YouTube videos in pip mode with the PiPifier Safari extension. 

Methods to Play YouTube in the Background on Your Phone

You might find playing YouTube in the background helpful while using other apps or when your screen is turned off. Unfortunately, the official YouTube app does not support background playback for free; instead, you must subscribe to YouTube Premium. 

However, there are various ways you can use YouTube in the background. You can use one of the methods below to play YouTube in the background.

Method 1: Sign Up For A YouTube Premium Subscription

You may stream music and films continuously in the background with YouTube Premium. With this subscription, you get the following benefits:

  • Ad-free YouTube
  • Download videos to watch offline 
  • Play in the background 
  • Access to YouTube Music Premium 
  • Continue watching feature 
  • Picture in Picture 
  • Change video quality 
  • Modify playback with listening controls 
  • Queue on mobile devices and tablets 

✅Pro Tip:

Even without a premium subscription, there are ways you can watch videos on YouTube without ads. One way to do this is by installing an ad-blocker on your browser. 


YouTube Premium subscriptions come with a 1-month or 2-month free trial, depending on your country. If you've previously canceled your YouTube Premium subscription, you might not be eligible for trial offers since they're only available to new customers. 

Here are the available plans for the YouTube Premium subscription: 







YouTube Premium Music




Subscribe to YouTube Premium

There are 2.6 billion active YouTube viewers globally, but not all are premium account holders. If you have a free account and want to subscribe to YouTube Premium, follow these steps: 

1. Launch YouTube on your mobile phone. 

2. Select your profile in the top right corner after logging into your account.

3. Select Get YouTube Premium.

Screenshot of YouTube Get YouTube Premium Option

4. Select Try it free.

Screenshot of YouTube Premium 1 Month-Free Trial Prompt

5. Choose a Premium plan (individual, family, or student) 

6. Tap Confirm

Screenshot of YouTube Premium 1 month-Free Subscription Confirmation

💡Did You Know?

There are many ways to download music on YouTube. One of these is using YouTube MP3. 

Play YouTube in Background with Premium

To play YouTube videos in the background using the premium subscription, follow these steps: 

1. Launch YouTube on your phone. 

2. Choose the video you want to watch. 

3. Turn off the screen or switch to another app while playing the video. 

4. When you minimize YouTube, the video will appear in a floating window.  

Screenshot of Taylor Swift YouTube Video in a Floating Window

💡Did You Know?

YouTube stands as the top video-sharing platform. This is due to its large user base and the impressive 3.7 million videos uploaded daily

The following section will explain how to play YouTube videos on your browser in the background.  

Method 2: Use a Browser to Play YouTube in The Background

If you don't have a paid subscription, using a mobile browser to play YouTube in the background can be a helpful solution.  However, it is essential to note that this might only sometimes work, depending on your browser, device, and YouTube updates.  

Learn how to play YouTube on Safari and Chrome in the sections below.

Safari for iOS

If you don’t have a premium subscription, you can still play YouTube videos in the background using Safari. Here’s how: 

1. Open Safari on your iOS device. 

2. Navigate to the YouTube website and find the video you want to play. 

Screenshot of YouTube Site on Safari Browser

3. Once the video starts playing, exit Safari by pressing the home button or using the gesture to return to the home screen. 

4. To access the Control Center, swipe down from the top right corner of your screen. 

5. Use this to play, stop, or skip the video’s audio. 

Screenshot of iPhone Control Center

Playing YouTube videos in the background on an iPhone only plays the audio. The video itself is not visible on the screen. 


Accessing the Control Center requires swiping down from the top right up from the bottom, depending on the model of your phone. 

Chrome for Android

Using the Chrome browser on your phone is a straightforward way to get YouTube to play in the background on an Android device.  

Here’s how to play YouTube in the background using Chrome

1. Open Chrome and use the search bar to navigate to YouTube's website. 

Screenshot of Chrome’s Search Bar

✅Pro Tip:

Typing m in front of the YouTube URL like this, “,” ensures that you will not be directed to the app version of YouTube. This keeps you on the web version only. 

2. Tap the video you want to play and select desktop by clicking on the three dots in the upper right of the screen. 

Screenshot of Desktop Site for YouTube on Chrome Browser

3. Hit the Start button to play the video.

4. Switch apps or turn your screen off, which will stop the video from playing. 

5. Swipe down to reach the control center

Screenshot of an Android Phone’s Control Center

6. Find the video in your settings and press play

7. Switch apps or turn off your screen; the video should play in the background. 


This method will play YouTube videos, but you can’t watch them as no video images are in the background. 

You can also use the PiP features for iPhone and Android, which are discussed in the following section.

Method 3: Enable Picture-in-Picture (PiP) Mode

Designed to help viewers multi-task, Picture-in-picture, or PiP, minimizes the size of videos you play, whether on an app or browser. 

You can drag the viewing window anywhere on your screen and go back to YouTube by tapping on it twice. 


PiP, or Picture in Picture, compresses a video into a small player that allows you to watch it while using other apps on your mobile device. 

Activating PiP Mode on iOS

PiP allows US users to play YouTube videos in the background without a YouTube Premium subscription. However, there are some limitations, such as being unable to watch the video.

To turn on PiP on your iPhone, here are the steps: 

1. Go to your iOS device's Settings and tap General, then Picture-in-Picture.

Screenshot of iPhone Settings, General, and Picture-in-Picture

2. To turn it on, tap Start PiP Automatically

Screenshot of “Start Pi Automatically”

3. Go to your YouTube app's settings,  then to General.

4. To turn it on, toggle Picture-in-Picture to on.

Use PiPifier App on iPhone to Get PiP 

If you are outside the US and not a YouTube premium subscriber, you can use PiP mode by downloading PiPifier from the App Store. 

The PiPifier app acts as an extension of Safari and works on iPhones running iOS 15 or later. The app allows you to use PiP on any HTML5 video, including YouTube, but you must access it through the Safari browser.

To view YouTube videos in PiP mode, do the following:

1. Download the PiPifier app on the App Store. 

Screenshot of PiPifier Extension from App Store 

2. Enable the PiPifier extension on Safari by tapping the AA icon on the top left. 

3. Go to Manage Extensions.

Screenshot of Safari Browser Manage Extension 

4. Toggle on PiPifier and tap Done.

Screenshot of Toggle PiPifier Extension on Safari

5. Go to YouTube on the Safari app.

6. Find the video you want to watch, tap the AA icon, and hit the PiPifier option.

Screenshot of Safari Browser PiPifier Option for YouTube Video

🎉Fun Fact:

After selecting the video you want to play, you can now exit Safari; the floating window will follow you wherever you are on your iPhone screen. 

Activating the PiP Mode on  Android

Android users can also play YouTube videos in PiP mode without a YouTube premium subscription. However, some content may need to be fixed on PiP. 

To turn on PiP on Android, check out the steps below: 

1. Go to your Android Settings

2. Tap Apps.

3. Scroll down to find the YouTube app

4. Click on YouTube and toggle Allow picture-in-picture.

Screenshot of Android Phone “Allows Pip in Youtube” Prompt

5. To enable PiP, start playing a video on the YouTube app and press the home button. 

The YouTube video will show up in a small window that you can move with your finger. It will keep playing even if you open other apps. 

👍Helpful Article:

You might be interested to know what attracts viewers the most. Check out this list of the top 15 most-viewed YouTube videos.


YouTube Premium lets you enjoy many features, including playing videos in the background. This feature also enables you to listen to or watch your favorite playlist without keeping the app open, thus allowing you to multi-task. 

Without a premium subscription, you may still use the browser to make YouTube play in the background or turn on pip mode, although it has some restrictions.


How do I continue watching YouTube videos from where I left off?

If you stop watching a video before it is done, a bar under the thumbnail will show you where you left off. When you clear your watch history, it will also clear your progress bar.

How do I repeat a playlist on my iPhone?

To repeat a playlist, play any playlist and then tap loop in the playlist control. The playlist will repeat continuously.

How do I play YouTube videos in a loop?

Go to YouTube in a web browser to play YouTube videos in a loop. Right-click or long-press the video and select loop. 

Why can't I play YouTube Premium in the background?

If you can't play YouTube Premium in the background, check your internet connection first. Then try to log in and log out of your account and check whether background playback is enabled.


Facebook LinkedIn Twitter
Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published.