How to Play YouTube in Background on iPhone: Easy Steps

YouTube, the digital platform renowned for everything from amusing cat videos to informative tutorials, offers more than just amusement. It serves as a hub for streaming music, podcasts, and various audio content that doesn’t necessitate undivided focus.

Yet, what if you desire to listen while multitasking on your iPhone? The solution lies in background playback. However, there’s a caveat: this functionality is restricted to YouTube Premium members. For users of the free version, playback halts as soon as the app is closed.

However, a solution exists. The most apparent one involves subscribing to YouTube Premium, which comes for $13.99 per month (following a subtle $2 price increase). This subscription not only provides ad-free background playback but also includes video downloads and an enhanced YouTube Music subscription, a service independently priced at $9.99/month.

It’s a comprehensive bundle. Nevertheless, if the idea of adding yet another subscription to your expenses doesn’t sit well with you, fret not. There are methods to enable background playback for YouTube on your iPhone without spending a penny.

There is no need to resort to external tools. Your default iPhone web browser, Safari, has this capability. Here’s how:

  1. Launch Safari and input ‘’ into the address bar, then press “go.”
  2. Once on the YouTube website, locate your desired video and tap to initiate playback.
  3. Tap the ‘Aa’ symbol in the address bar and opt for ‘request desktop site’ from the ensuing menu.

While the video is in progress, navigate back to your home screen. The playback will momentarily cease at this point. However, resuming it is a simple process: swipe down on your screen and tap the “play” button within the Media widget located in your Control Centre. For iPhones equipped with TouchID, you can access the Control Centre by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

As you proceed with other tasks, your audio will persist in the background, freeing up your iPhone for various activities. The video may transition into picture-in-picture (PiP) mode, allowing you to relocate it to the screen’s edge or close it by selecting the “X” button.

Additionally, you can oversee playback from your lock screen. A music widget will be accessible, granting you control to play, pause, rewind, or fast-forward the audio. However, be aware that the next video on the playlist or queue won’t begin playing automatically.

To continue, manual intervention is needed as you return to Safari to make your next selection. Alternatively, consider opting for longer videos, such as compilations or live concert recordings, for uninterrupted listening pleasure.

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