A Guide to Playing YouTube in the Background on iOS and Android

Tutorials, television shows, and even the most recent music videos can all be easily located on YouTube, making it one of the content platforms with the widest range of offerings in the entire world. But YouTube isn't just for watching videos; sometimes all you want to do is listen to music or podcasts in the background while you're doing something else on your phone.

If you close the YouTube app, the video will no longer play; however, there are a few simple workarounds that will allow you to keep playing a video in the background — and these workarounds are compatible with both iPhones and Android phones. To make matters even better, there are ways to get a miniature pop-up player for YouTube while you browse other websites. This is a short and easy guide that will walk you through playing YouTube videos in the background on your iPhone or Android device.

Trying to find some ambient music to play in the background on YouTube. Take a look at our tutorial on how to save music from YouTube to any device so that you can listen to it later.

Playing videos in the background on YouTube Premium.
You can turn off background playing in YouTube Premium.
YouTube playing in the notification shade.

The step-by-step guide to playing videos in the background with YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a paid subscription service that removes advertisements from the desktop and mobile versions of the website, provides users with access to special videos, and enables users to download videos. But most importantly for our needs, it enables you to keep watching YouTube videos even when the screen on your phone is turned off or when you switch to a different app. Because this feature is activated by default and requires no additional steps to activate, you shouldn't have any problems using it as long as you have a subscription to YouTube Premium.

You'll also get ad-free access to YouTube Music, in addition to having the option to turn off the screen while you're using that app when you subscribe to YouTube Premium. Exactly where is the catch? As you might have guessed, the answer is money. You can get a free trial of YouTube Premium for one month, but after that, the monthly cost is $12 for an individual subscription or $23 for a family subscription that includes up to six users. The mobile application for YouTube can be downloaded on both Android and iPhone.

This is by far the most convenient way, despite the additional cost, to play YouTube videos in the background on your iPhone or Android phone.

IPhone browsers' instructions on how to play YouTube videos in the background.

But what if you don't want to pay for a Premium subscription but still want to play YouTube videos in the background on your iPhone? Web browsers are necessary for accessing websites.

Apple's Control Center can be used in conjunction with certain other web browsers to circumvent YouTube's restrictions. However, this cannot be done in Safari or Chrome, which prevents users from turning off the screen while still listening to YouTube content. There is no doubt that this method will work with the browsers Firefox and Opera; however, we strongly suggest that you test this method with any other iPhone browsers that you prefer.

This is the process you need to follow in order to make this method work.

The first thing you need to do is open your preferred web browser and navigate to YouTube. If Google sends you to the app after you've opened Firefox, try searching for youtube instead. com in the address bar of your browser.

Step 2: Once you have decided which video you want to watch, search for it.

Step 3: After locating and starting the video you want to watch, switch over to the desktop version of the website.

This will be different depending on the browser you're using, but you can typically access it by clicking the Options button in the bottom-right corner, then selecting the Desktop site option from the menu that appears.

Turning on Desktop mode in Firefox.
Turning on desktop mode in Opera.

Step 4: Start your video You might have to wait for the advertisements to end.

Playing a video on YouTube desktop in Firefox.
Playing a video on Opera's desktop mode.

Step 5: After that, navigate your way back to the home screen. The picture-in-picture (PiP) mode should begin playing when you start your video.

Step 6: At this point, you have three options: you can either continue to use your phone normally while the video is playing in the PiP window, you can drag the window to the edge of the screen to conceal it, or you can press the "x" button to close the window.

Even though doing so will require you to take a few extra steps, the end result will be that you will be able to play YouTube videos in the background on your iPhone without having to spend any money.

Playing a video in the background in Firefox.
YouTube playing in the background on Opera.

How to play videos from YouTube in the background on Android browsers

A method analogous to the one outlined above for iPhone users is available for using Firefox on Android devices to play YouTube videos in the background. We have validated this on Firefox, and it has the potential to also function on other, more compact browsers. Due to the fact that Chrome no longer provides this functionality, it is highly unlikely that it will work on any browsers that use Chrome as their primary platform.

First, start up Firefox as you normally would, and head over to the official YouTube website. Make sure to search for videos on YouTube. com in the URL entry, as clicking on a video on YouTube within the search results will typically cause the app to launch on your device.

Step 2: Find the video you want to have playing in the background and click on it.

Playing a video in Android Firefox in desktop mode.

Step 3: Tap the three dots that are located in the lower-right hand corner of the window in order to access the Settings menu. Afterward, tap Request desktop site

Step 4: Once the video has loaded, begin playing it, and then use your finger to swipe up to exit the browser.

5. Your video should continue to play, and it will continue to play in the notification shade.

YouTube playing in notifications.

How to utilize the picture-in-picture mode on YouTube while using an Android device

Because it is not actually an app at all, this one might be considered a little dishonest. Since the release of Android 8.0 Oreo, Google's mobile operating system has included a "picture-in-picture mode," which causes a miniature viewing window to appear on the screen whenever you navigate away from YouTube. This window can be dragged to any location on the screen, and you can tap it to make it bigger or access the controls for the playback.

Picture-in-picture was a feature that was formerly exclusive to Premium subscribers on YouTube; however, in 2018, Google began making it available to users who were not paying for the service, so long as they were located in the United States. On the other hand, it will not function with content that can be categorized as music, so you will still be required to pay for that.

Finding out which version of Android your phone runs is fairly simple on the vast majority of models. To check your Android version, simply navigate to Settings > About phone > Android version. You will require Android 8 or higher. 0 Oreo for this feature, and given that Oreo has been around for more than five years, it's likely that you already have a phone with either this or a more recent version.

How to utilize the picture-in-picture mode on YouTube with your iPhone

In a similar vein, picture-in-picture mode is accessible to all iPhone users who have an active subscription to YouTube Premium. The feature is also accessible to users who do not have Premium U. S users To put it another way, every iPhone user in the U.S. S even if you do not have a YouTube Premium subscription, you can watch videos on YouTube in a pop-up window when the app is closed. It's as simple as that; just start the game, and when you're done, navigate back to your homepage.


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