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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 10 months ago

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


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  • 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.

  • I like using Firefox browser for Youtube background play, but after sometimes when i open few more apps, it suddenly stops playing. Any Solution?

  • PWUK 2 months ago Link to comment

    Extract and d/l as MP3

    Haitch Tee Tee pee colon dub dub dub

    No visuals, but if you've turned the screen off....

  • You can just get OGYoutube which is just normal YouTube with background listening, pop out and downloading

  • As simple as that.. Firefox Browser, search youtube.... play music... minimise app... job done... nice one Cory, thank you

  • Thank you thank you thank you for this tip! It was nervous as hell

  • Thanks a ton guys.. FireFox is one of the best hassle free solution for this and I am enjoying music and playing games simultaneously... thanks once again

  • Aditi G 4 months ago Link to comment

    Wow, didn't know that FF could do that - time to install it on my device. Its about time Google adds this feature in the app itself.

  • Kadir 4 months ago Link to comment

    ya i know one and it just need a chrome that's it

  • The tricks are fine, mostly useful too.. But if you want to optimize your data usage, why would you listen to music on YouTube you are wasting data on video part for only listening to the Audio.

    • i don't want to optimize data usage, i want to play youtube with screen off. Also, where can i find this song out of youtube? ( La Ne Hoştu Eskiden (Mahmut Karadağ) )

  • I never knew that Firefox did that! Thanks for the tip - it's been bugging me since my YouTube Red stopped working in Germany

  • I have the Xposed Framework installed on my phone and use a module called Youtube Background Play that plays sounds in the background on the normal Youtube app.

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