- You can play YouTube videos in the background on your iPhone using YouTube Premium or Safari.
- YouTube Premium lets you play videos when the app isn’t open, but it costs $11.99 per month.
- You can also play YouTube videos in the background in Safari using view mode.
Lots of people use YouTube as their main music
app. But unlike other music apps, if you close the app or lock your iPhone while listening, all the music will shut off.
That is, unless you’ve signed up for YouTube’s paid subscription service, YouTube Premium. This is the only official way to play YouTube in the background on your iPhone.
If you don’t want to sign up for
, you can also use a trick involving your iPhone’s Safari app. However, this method can be finicky, and may be removed in a future update.
Here are both ways to play YouTube in the background on your iPhone, so you can start listening to videos without keeping the app open.
How to play YouTube in the background on an iPhone using YouTube Premium
First, you need to sign up for YouTube Premium.
YouTube Premium costs $11.99 a month for a single account ($6.99 a month if you’re a student), or $17.99 a month for six accounts in a “Family Plan.”
Signing up will get rid of all ads on YouTube videos, allow you to download videos to watch offline, and give you access to both “YouTube Original” videos and YouTube Music, the site’s music streaming service.
And, of course, you’ll receive the ability to play and listen to any YouTube video in the background, even while using other apps.
How to sign up for Youtube Premium
Now, let’s go over how to sign up for YouTube premium.
1. Navigate to the YouTube Premium homepage, which can be found here.
2. Click the blue button that says TRY IT FREE, which will open a window for you to enter your payment information.
3. Enter your payment information and zip code. YouTube Premium offers a three-months free trial, so if this is your first time signing up, you won’t be charged the $11.99 fee until the months have passed. YouTube may, however, charge you a $1 fee at first to make sure that the payment information you’ve given them is valid — this dollar should be refunded within a few days.
4. The YouTube account you used to sign up for Premium will be immediately granted access to all the new features of Premium.
How to play YouTube videos in the background
Now that you have YouTube Premium, here’s how to play videos in the background:
1. Open the YouTube app on your iPhone.
2. Navigate to the video that you want to listen to in the background.
3. Once it starts playing, feel free to lock your iPhone or close the app and open another one. You can pause and play the video’s audio from the iPhone’s Control Center, by opening it and holding your finger down on the music tab for a moment.
As long as you’re subscribed to YouTube Premium, you’ll be able to listen to YouTube videos without having the app open.
How to play YouTube in the background using your iPhone’s Safari app
Ever since YouTube Premium launched, Google has worked hard to make sure that it’s the only way to play YouTube in the background. Every few months a new trick appears that lets users bypass it, but it’s quickly patched out.
This is the newest trick. It involves opening YouTube in the Safari app, and then using desktop view to make your phone think it’s just a regular video, which can be played in the background.
1. Open Safari and go to www.youtube.com. If you do this and it automatically redirects to the YouTube app, you might need to uninstall the app.
2. Find the video that you want to play in the background and start playing it.
3. Tap the aA icon in the bottom-left corner of your screen and select Request Desktop Website.
4. The page will reload, and the new video player will look just like the YouTube website you’d see on a computer. Tap on the video again to start playing it. It’ll start playing in fullscreen mode.
5. Close the app. You’ll notice that the sound will stop playing — this is normal.
6. Open your iPhone’s Control Center. In the box that shows what music is currently playing, press the play button.
You’ll now be able to lock your phone, use other apps, and even browse other Safari pages with YouTube playing in the background. Just note that if you’re playing from a playlist, you’ll need to do this for each individual video.