play YouTube videos while multitasking

YouTube in the Background: How to Play on iPhone & Android?

Users can opt for either YouTube Premium or a workaround

YouTube is the go-to platform for watching various types of content for millions of people worldwide. But there are instances when you want to listen to the video of your choice or watch it while doing other stuff on your mobile device. In this post, we will guide you on how to do precisely that.

Playing YouTube videos in the background with YouTube Premium

What could be simpler than going the most straightforward way, right? The premium subscription to YouTube offers several exclusive features, including playing ad-free content, downloading videos at high resolutions, and using YouTube in the background or picture-in-picture mode.

Once you purchase this premium subscription to YouTube, you do not have to do anything further. Just play the video and close the app. It will continue playing in the background. You can even lock your phone with the video playing if you want to listen to music or podcast while you go about your day. YouTube Premium comes bundled with premium access to YouTube Music. Like the YouTube app, you can shut off your screen or have it playing in the background.

videos in the background

YouTube Premium and its prices

YouTube currently offers three plans for its premium subscription — the individual, the family, and the student plan. The monthly individual subscription plan is priced at $11.99 and $119.99 for twelve months. The family subscription plan is priced at $22.99 monthly and offers the same benefits as the individual plan. Users can add up to five family members to use the services of this subscription. Lastly, the student subscription plan costs $6.99 monthly and requires annual verification.

YouTube Music Premium and its prices

If you want to listen to music while the app is in the background, you can try YouTube Music Premium. It gives premium access to the YouTube Music app at a lesser cost than YouTube Premium. A standard individual subscription costs $9.99 monthly and $99.99 for twelve months. The family plan is priced at $14.99 per month and works the same way as YouTube Premium. The student subscription plan is priced at $4.99 monthly and requires annual verification.

Playing YouTube videos in the background without YouTube Premium

For iPhone devices

To play YouTube videos in the background on iOS without paying for YouTube Premium, you will need a browser to bypass the restrictions set by YouTube. You can choose either Firefox or Opera. But if you do not want to select from these, you can test other browsers to see if they suit this method. However, before you do this, we would like to inform you that this method will not work on Chrome or Safari.

First of all, open YouTube in the browser of your choice. After that, open any video you want to play, and switch to the YouTube desktop version. You can easily find the option to do so by navigating the options menu. Then start the video and wait for the ads to end. Once your video has started playing, close the app, and the video should continue playing in picture-in-picture mode. Now, if you do not want to watch the video, you can hide the window by dragging it over the edge or tapping the close button. Or, you can leave the video in picture-in-picture mode if that is how you want it.

If you live in the United States, you do not have to do anything to watch YouTube videos in picture-in-picture mode. Just start the video in the YouTube app and then close the app. Yes, you read that right. US users do not require a YouTube Premium subscription or a workaround.

For Android

The same workaround can be used for playing YouTube videos in the background on an Android device without paying for YouTube Premium. Firstly, open the browser (either Firefox or Opera of your choice and enter the URL of the video you want to play. Then switch over to the desktop version of the site. After that, start the video, minimize the app, and the video should start playing in the background. You can control the playback from your notification panel.

If your device runs on Android 8.0 or newer, you can use picture-in-picture mode. However, this is not free on Android unless you are from the United States. It would be best if you had a YouTube Premium subscription to watch videos in picture-in-picture mode.

For Xiaomi devices

Xiaomi devices running MIUI get a native feature of listening to videos while the screen is off. Head to your device’s Settings, scroll down to the Special Features section, and tap on Sidebar.

Special Features

Turn it on and scroll down to the very bottom, and you will see an option named Video Apps under the Personalisation category. Tap on it and then select YouTube.

app manage

Now, swipe from the sidebar whenever you open YouTube, and you will see the option to play the video with your screen off.

play the video

So, this is it for this post. I hope you found it helpful. Thanks for reading.

About Zaid

Zaid is a tech writer at DealNTech. He loves to explore and research new gadgets and help readers easily decode the features. He can be seen playing mobile games during his free time.

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