How To Run YouTube in the Background on Your iPhone

Woman using her Mobile Phone in the street
iPhone users cannot play YouTube videos in the background while they use other apps. There are, however, many ways of getting around this issue.

iPhone users, particularly those with iOS 10.1 or later versions of the OS on their phone, are facing issues with playing YouTube videos in the background.

It is reported that this is being engineered by Google to promote its new product YouTube Red, which calls for a subscription.

But there are ways to get around this and keep playing your favorite YouTube videos while you’re busy doing something else on your phone or even just attending to your chores.

There are more ways than one to handle this issue, and each of them is described here in a step-by-step approach. You can possibly try these one by one or stick to the one you feel comfortable with.

Step 1: Use an alternate browser.

The normal practice with iPhone users is to access sites, including YouTube, via the Safari browser that is native to iOS-run devices. But if the current problem is seen with the Safari browser, then you may try an alternate browser available within the Apple App Store, such as Dolphin, Mercury or Opera Mini.

Simply access the YouTube site, select the video you wish to play and then exit the app. This step uses the iPhone’s Control Center to resume the video content.

Step 2: Use third-party apps to pull the videos.

There are several apps with the capability of pulling YouTube videos and saving them in the desired format on your device. You can then listen to them without being intervened or blocked by Google or YouTube. The video can play in the background and you can keep using the device.

There are, again, a few tips to ensure the process is duly understood and followed. Often, there are ads in these videos; after the ad plays out, the video you selected starts playing. You will have to wait until the ad is complete before you press the Home button to exit the app and go to any other app.

Apart from this, there is one more aspect to be kept in view: As you exit the third-party app playing the video and switch to another app, it’s possible that the video may stop playing. This is a transition issue and if it occurs, you can resort to the earlier process of going to the Control Center to resume playing the video.

Step 3: Request YouTube’s desktop site.

You can always send a request for your browser to access the YouTube desktop site, which is not formatted for mobile. If you are on a Safari browser, this is how you will go about this:

1. Go to YouTube.com.

2. You will find the ‘Refresh’ button on the browser bar.

iPhone Refresh Button

3. Press and hold the ‘Refresh’ button and the ‘Request Desktop Site’ option will appear.

Request Desktop Site on Youtube

4. Click on it and you are good to go.

Desktop App on Mobile Youtube

Safari also offers another method to reach the desktop site. This is done through a ‘Share’ button at the bottom of the browser page:

1. Once you click on ‘Share,’ there will be a row of options.

iPhone Share Button

2. If it is not visible, swipe right to locate it and click to reach the desired page.

Share Option on iPhoneRequest Desktop Site in Share Button on iPhone

3. From here, you can go to the video you wish to play and follow the same Home>Control Center route to move to other apps. (Remember that the ads must run before the actual video starts to play.)

Desktop App on Mobile Youtube

Step 4: Try using a local download.

If you do not mind the effort and time, you can choose the option of downloading the video to your local drive. Once you download the file, you can watch or listen to it whenever you want.

Step 5: Use headphones.

Headphones connected with Iphone
Simply connect the headset to the iPhone or iPad and start the video you want to listen to.

Another way to avoid being blocked from listening to YouTube videos in the background on your iPhone is to use a headset that has independent controls. Simply connect the headset to the iPhone or iPad and start the video you want to listen to.

If you want to use other apps while playing the video in the background, just click the Home button and go on to the app. Note that the moment you press the Home button, the video will stop. However, you can use the Play button on the headset to resume the video.

Also note that if you remove the earbuds, the audio will mute while the video runs to the end. You may have to go back to YouTube to select the next video to play and follow the same steps.

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