YouTube in background

How to play YouTube in background on Android for FREE

YouTube in Background: Dope or Nope?

What do you think? If not for YouTube premium, do you think playing YouTube in the background is possible? Well, let’s find out in this article. 

The official YouTube app doesn’t allow users to watch the videos in the background unless they buy a premium subscription.

However, there are ways out for you to watch YouTube videos in the background for free on your Android device. 

The need for playing YouTube videos in the background is unclassified as more often than not we feel like quickly replying to a friend via text or checking live cricket score updates on Google.  

With the first trick I’m going to reveal today, you would be able to play the audio version of the YouTube videos in the background. Using the second trick, you can play YouTube like how you usually would.


How to Use YouTube Premium (Formerly YouTube Red)

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Is YouTube premium worth it?

The answer to this is yes. And no! Who doesn’t like to watch videos without ads? I suspect you fall in this category, and that’s why YouTube premium is worthy enough.

Want more? It’s not just the ad-free streaming that YouTube premium has in store for you. 

Playing videos in the background, download videos and watch offline, and YouTube Music premium 一 you get all these features with the YouTube premium subscription. 

But if your sole requirement is to be able to play the videos in the background, you can just manage it without a premium. And I guarantee you won’t regret it with the trick I’m going to share with you in this article. 

Read on to know the secret trick to play YouTube videos in the background on Android!

Play YouTube in background on Android

I’ve got two methods to play YouTube in background on Android for free.

  1. From Chrome browser
  2. Using split screen

1. Play YouTube in background from Chrome

Here’s a video guide to help you play YouTube in the background. If you are not fond of multimedia, proceed to the written step-by-step guide below.

The following are a few simple steps that will enable you to play YouTube in the background on Android for free:

Step 1

Open Google Chrome on your Android device

Step 2

Tap on the kebab menu (three dots) on the top right corner

Step 3

Tap on the ‘Desktop site’ option from the list

Step 4

The YouTube desktop version will open on Google Chrome. Tap on the video you would like to play in the background.

Step 5

The video will start playing. Go to the home screen and the video will stop playing. 

Step 6

Next, swipe down the notification shade and tap the play button from the media controls of the YouTube video. The video will start playing in the background. 

The best part of this is the video will keep playing even on lock screen.

So until you pause the video from the media controls in the notification shade by yourself, you will keep enjoying the YouTube video in the background. 

2. Using split screen

Split screen allows you to play YouTube while you use other apps. Well, before we move to playing YouTube in background using split screen, I recommend you to first learn how to split screen on Android.

Now, let me guide you play YouTube in background using split screen.

Step 1

Open the YouTube app first

Step 2

Select the video you would like to play in the background

Step 3

Now tap the recent apps key

Step 4

Press and hold the YouTube app and select the split screen option (two rectangles stacked one over the other). The screen will be split with YouTube on the top portion of your Android screen. The video would have paused and you can resume it by tapping the play button.

Step 5

Now, open any app you would like to use simultaneously while YouTube video plays in the background. Note that certain apps like Instagram and Camera don’t support split screen.

The second app will be present on the remaining portion of your Android screen. Use any other supporting app while your favorite YouTube video plays in the background.

Suggested reads:

6 methods to fix YouTube “Connection to server lost” error

3 Ways On How To Transcribe YouTube Videos


Who can use YouTube picture-in-picture?

YouTube picture-in-picture feature is only available to YouTube premium users and Android users across US running Android Oreo or above.

How can I listen to YouTube on lock screen?

To listen to YouTube on lock screen, simply open the YouTube desktop version and play the video. Go to home screen and play the video from the notification shade and lock your Android screen. The audio will keep playing on the lock screen.

How do I watch YouTube while using other apps?

To watch YouTube while using other apps, you need to get YouTube Premium. Before, the picture-in-picture feature allowed users to watch YouTube while using other apps but now this feature is limited to only Premium users. YouTube Premium costs $11.99 per month. With an extra $6 per month, you can add five family members to your Premium subscription.


Watching YouTube videos while you can’t do anything else on your Android phone is the most annoying thing.

Every time you want to use any other app than YouTube for texting or browsing, you have to close the YouTube app and pause the video. 

Playing YouTube videos in the background gives you the freedom to switch between apps and carry out other activities while you are still playing them in the background.

These simple tricks make our lives much easier and also save our pockets, although YouTube premium doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Besides, these tricks save our time by allowing us to use other apps simultaneously while watching our favorite YouTube videos. 

I hope this article brought some value to your Android usage. Have you tried this trick to play YouTube in the background on your Android device? Let me know in the comments section whether it was hassle-free or not. See you next time. Take care and stay safe, cheers!

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