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28.01.2023 17:06

YouTube background play. Here’s how to keep playing YouTube in the background

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You want to listen to YouTube while using other apps on your smartphone? Are you wondering how to make sure YouTube works correctly in the background and the sound doesn’t get interrupted when you open other apps or turn off the screen on your phone? How can the YouTube app continue playing in the background? Find out the best solutions for using YouTube to play music in the background for free!

YouTube in the background – is this possible?

YouTube is an online video sharing platform that offers audiovisual content, yet it is often used primarily for streaming music. For that reason, many users would appreciate being able to continue listening to their favourite tracks while using their smartphone to do other things, such as texting, shopping, or online browsing. Unfortunately, for now the basic version of the YouTube app does not offer that option. One of the solutions is thus simply signing up for a Premium account, but there are other ways too. We are presenting the best available options with the guide on how to use them!

Listening to YouTube in the background with YouTube Premium

The most straightforward way to play YouTube music in the background on your phone is signing up for the paid YouTube Premium account. The option costs 11.99USD (6.99USD if you are a student) in the US and the same rates in EUR in Europe. There is also a free 2-month trial available, during which you can cancel the subscription at any time without fees. 

With YouTube Premium, you will be able to play videos and music in the background, even when you open other apps or turn the screen off on your mobile device, and minimise the app without interrupting the video.

Related: Downloading music from YouTube – best and most reliable software

How to play YouTube in the background on an Android smartphone

If you don’t want to go for the paid option, another hack for playing YouTube in the background could be installing a separate application that enables the feature. The apps may differ depending on the operating system your smartphone uses. If your phone runs on Android, right below you will find the list of the suitable software with their key characteristics. iPhone users will find the list of apps compatible with iOS in the next part of the article further below. There are also apps that work on both the Android and iOS operating systems.

YouTube Vanced

Frequent YouTube users who own an Android phone can confidently turn to YouTube Vanced for Android. Along with background playback, the app, being a modified version of regular YouTube, lets you block the ads while listening or watching YouTube, and a lot more. In order to facilitate the app installation, you may also need the Vanced Manager app, which includes software necessary for running the Vanced app, and helps you get rid of some complicated procedures that are involved while installing YouTube Vanced. All you need to do is head to https://vancedmanager.com/, click ‘Download’, and follow the installation step by step.



If the methods above still don’t sound straightforward enough to you, you’re going to like our next fix. To enable playing YouTube in the background, you can simply install the Mozilla Firefox browser on your smartphone. Once it’s downloaded, open a new tab, choose ‘Menu’ and activate the desktop view. While browsing in the desktop view, you will be able to leave the Mozilla Firefox app, open a new tab or window, and even lock your phone – all that without interrupting the music.

Autobeat Player

There is yet another option allowing you to listen to music in the background without purchasing YouTube Premium. An app created specially for Android smartphones not only allows you to do that, but also to create your own playlists and subscribing to your favourite artist pages. We’re talking about Autobeat Player. While using the app, you will be able to play tracks and videos on full screen, as well as open a separate window and search for songs there.

How to play YouTube in the background on an iPhone

Apple users can also take advantage of plenty of options to listen to music in the background for free without having to purchase YouTube Premium. In most cases, the solutions will be similar to those dedicated to Android, except in the App Store you’ll need to search for apps available for iOS. You may even find that some of these will offer a broader range of features than their equivalents available in Play Store or AppGallery. Below are two of the best available options.

Related: YouTube Music and YouTube Premium – Everything you need to know


Much like in the case for Mozilla Firefox for Android, one of the best hacks for iPhone users will be using a particular browser which will enable playing YouTube in the background. Here, your safest bet is Opera, which offers the option to manage audio through a sidebar. Once you install the app on your smartphone, enable the mobile mode to ensure that any sound in the Opera browser pauses every time you choose to play a video or audio file in a given tab. It will then automatically resume the sound once you finish playing the file.


Another solution iPhone device users can take advantage of is the Musi app. Not only is the software free and widely available, it also offers plenty of useful features as well, such as a built-in equaliser, a separate section for lyrics, or the option for creating backup copies. You will also be able to compose your own library or playlist, and share it with friends. Musi is also pretty cool visually – it has a simplistic, clear layout, easy on the eye and matching the iPhone design.

how to play youtube in background
It’s worth listening to our advice to get the most out of YouTube

YouTube in the background – apps compatible with both Android and iPhone

Along with the software allowing for playing music from a minimised page on Android or on iPhone, there are also general apps that are compatible with both of those operating systems. This will be a good solution if you have two phones or are considering switching to another smartphone brand. Although there aren’t many apps that will work on both Android and iPhone, most users recommend two main ones which receive good reviews and have gained the trust of online music enthusiasts.


VLC was one of the first apps to introduce the possibility to play music from YouTube in the background. Initially the app was available only in the version for Android, but for some time it has been available for iPhone users as well. VLC includes everything we mention in the previous points, in addition to audio delay control, a functional search bar, and a clear, intuitive interface. On top of that, VLC lets you browse downloaded files and search for recordings online.


Last, but definitely not least, the ListenYo! service enables listening to music even with a locked screen, exactly as with a regular multimedia player. This solution, however, is only available while running ListenYo! in a browser. It is a tad bit more complicated as an option, but still straightforward and fairly easy to get your head around. The ListenYo! app is available in both mobile and desktop versions.

As you can see, you do not need to invest in purchasing YouTube Premium to make sure you are able to play music in the background. If that is what you’re after, all you need to do is choose the option compatible with the operating system you are using and enjoy the music in the background. In case other advantages offered by the paid account, such as no ads, offline playing, or playing only audio, are of interest to you, you can still go for buying a YouTube Premium subscription for 11.99USD per month.

We are hoping you know now how to play YouTube in the background and that you found the perfect app for this purpose! Make sure you let us know in the comments which one is your favourite!



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