How to Keep YouTube Playing in the Background on iPhone

How to Keep YouTube Playing in the Background on iPhone

It’s frustrating when you’re watching a video on YouTube, and it stops playing the moment you minimize it to use another app.

There are many unofficial methods to keep YouTube playing in the background, but both Apple and YouTube tend to patch them as soon as they’re discovered.

The primary way to play YouTube videos in the background is to subscribe to YouTube Premium. However, if you don’t want to subscribe, there is one unofficial “hack” that still works that we discuss in this article.

Subscribing to YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium, formerly called YouTube Red, allows you to play videos in the background and gives you access to YouTube Music and YouTube Original videos.

It offers a trial version for one month. The monthly package for a single account costs $11.99/month ($6.99 for students), and the “Family Plan” costs $17.99/month.

Using YouTube Premium is the only official way to keep playing YouTube videos in the background on the iPhone.

YouTube Premium Features
These are the features YouTube Premium provides. (Source:

Using YouTube in the Background with Safari

Using the Safari browser on iPhone, you can keep playing YouTube in the background. This is an unofficial trick, which means there’s a possibility Google or Apple might patch it. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Tap Safari.

    Safari App on the iPhone
    Tap Safari.

  2. Go to In the address bar, tap the aA icon.

    Icon That Lets Users View Sites in Desktop Version on the Safari App
    Tap the aA icon.

  3. Tap Request Desktop Website.

    Option to View a Site in Desktop Version on the iPhone
    Tap Request Desktop Website.

  4. You’ll now be able to see the desktop version of YouTube on your iPhone. Open the video you want to start watching.

    Desktop Version of YouTube on the iPhone
    Tap any video.

  5. When the video starts playing, minimize the Safari app.

    Playing Desktop Version of YouTube on the iPhone
    Minimize Safari after the video starts playing.

  6. After you minimize, the audio will stop playing. Open the Control Center by swiping down from the top-right corner on iPhone X or later (swipe up from the bottom of the screen on iPhone 8 or earlier).

    Control Center of the iPhone
    Swipe down to open the control center.

  7. In the music control box, you’ll be able to see the title of your video. Press the play button to unpause the audio. It’ll keep playing in the background allowing you to continue using your iPhone freely!

    Play Button in the Music Control Box in Control Center
    Tap the play button.

Phoebe is an HR assistant in her day job, but is also a web blogger that loves writing guides and sharing her experiences. When she is not out with her friends, she enjoys traveling or binge-watching Netflix. She graduated with a BA in Communication and Media Studies from the University of Utah, and is a chief editor at TechObservatory.

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