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How to play YouTube videos in the background

One of the most annoying restrictions on YouTube for Android is that it automatically pauses the video you're watching or listening to when you navigate to another screen or open another app on your device. But there are ways around this. Read on to find out how to play YouTube videos in the background.

Free solution

The easiest and most cost effective solution is to use the FireFox browser rather than the YouTube app. This browser will allow you to continue to listen to the video of your choice with the screen off or while doing something else on your device. You can download FireFox below. If you want more features than this, read on.

Firefox. Browse Freely Install on Google Play

YouTube Red

One way to play YouTube videos in the background is to purchase a YouTube Red subscription, which costs $9.99 per month. This comes with the feature called 'Background Play' which allows your video play in the background when you open different apps or turn the screen off.

An added bonus of YouTube Red is that it also removes YouTube ads and includes a subscription to Google Play Music. If you already have Google Play Music then you'll get YouTube Red for free.

androidpit youtube hero 1
YouTube Red gives you plenty more features. / © ANDROIDPIT

Awesome Pop-up Video Pro app

Another option for playing your videos in the background is Awesome Pop-up Video Pro. Now, it doesn't play YouTube videos in the background, as such, rather it plays them in a small, movable pop-up window, which can be dragged to the side of the screen to achieve a similar effect. You can download the app below.

Awesome Pop-up Video Pro Install on Google Play

Please note that although this app allows you to play videos in the background, it won't let you play them with the screen off. The Mozilla Firefox option does.

With this app you'll pay only a few bucks as a one time purchase instead of a monthly payment from YouTube Red. You won't have access to the great features available from the monthly package deal but it's a cheap and quick way to play YouTube videos in the background.

Do you have any other methods for playing your YouTube videos in the background? Tell us in the comments.

Readers' favorite comments

  • Jack Frost Jan 13, 2016

    Two words, Firefox browser. Problem solved.You can play in background and/or have your screen turned off.

74 comments

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  • Use below method it always works on chrome Android:
    Select below mentioned options serially:

    1) Android settings> application>YouTube app>set as default>Go to supported URLS>always ask

    2) Open chrome browser>open you tube website>select desktop site from options(three dot menu, upper right corner)

    A notification of chrome media player appears in notification panel. Now directly press home (without exiting chrome, don't hit back key, go directly to homescreen)

    Now chrome notification player paused in notification panel, just open notification panel and hit play button. YouTube will start to play in background. Also can be played in screen locked and off.

    This works on my Galaxy S7, previously on Android 6.0 & now on Android nougat.

    Enjoy!!

  • If your phone is rooted, you can also use Lucky Patcher and install the custom patch to YouTube

  • Google chrome and safari can also play YouTube while screen is locked on iPhone

  • You can download "Tube master - Free music Video" application for the background Youtube music in Android. it is perfect application. You can download from Google Play Store. (play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.monalisa.tubemaster)

  • Zoli 1 month ago Link to comment

    Samsung Galaxy Tab3 10.1 - Android 4.4.2: working with currently latest Firefox. Started playing, locked the screen right after, and there you go :-)

    BUT: When leaving the app (background mode), playing stops almost instantly. :-(

    Z.

  • In my tablet, with firefox when change to other app, youtu stop. This does not work for me

  • The easiest way (for savvy Android users who have rooted their phones) is to just use the Xposed module for YouTube background playback.

    It allows YouTube to function fully in the background and even provides controls in the notification drawer.

  • you can try iTube Box from Taha Interactive
    tahainteractive.com/itube-box/

  • Some apps like “Vream music video for Youtube” can be installed without root access on android devices and can play youtube in a popup. You can filter for music videos only which I find really interesting play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vreamapp.vreammusicstreamforyoutube

  • You can use "FTube - floating tube free music" application for the background Youtube music in Android. it is perfect application.

  • Samsung's Multi Window feature in their phones is useful if you want to be able to skip videos/tracks through Bluetooth using the official YouTube app (a feature the YouTube app inside Firefox does not support) while having a view of another app on screen; ex Google Maps.

  • fufu 3 months ago Link to comment

    or try No Pause Lock on google play. It lets you lock your phone without pausing active app

  • You Can use NetMBuddy from the F-droid app Store

  • I use firefox also to turn off screen. and also if you have multiple windows option in your phone you can use youtube app with other apps.

  • There used to be an app called "Black screen of life" on the play store. It was free and using your proximity sensor to blacken the screen . So when you were streaming an album on youtube, you just had to flip your phone and voila !

    Unfortunately it's been removed...and im pretty sure that's because YT didn't liked it.

    EDIT : I just found they have a website where you can download the app for free or premium via Paypal ! Go grab it and say "HAHA F*CK YOU YOUTUBE"
    AndroidPit, if you plan to share about the app, please give me a bit ov credit.

  • All I do is "request desktop site" on my browser.

  • I found out that on a Moto G running Android Lollipop (5.1) pinning the YouTube app and then turning the screen off will let it play with the screen off. It's nice.

  • Has anyone experienced Firefox changes to this in the past couple of weeks? It used to work, but it suddenly stopped working about 10 days ago. The Youtube video just stops when I open a new tab or an app, whereas previously the video would continue to play.

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