YouTube do not support background playback. For instance, if you exit you YouTube app or lock your smartphone, the video will stop as well.
This is because YouTube makes money from the Video Ads. More video are played more money they make. And if they start supporting background playback, then there will be no ads revenue for the company. This is also the same reason, it took them 8 years to add a simple loop feature in the desktop version.
Update: Now you can pay $10/month for YouTube red and get background music support within the official app. But still, this feature is available only in the US and $10 monthly subscription is too much.
So, here are some Android Apps to play YouTube videos in the background. Or you can try this simple workaround to play YouTube videos in the background without using any software. (Video at the bottom)
Play YouTube Videos in Background
#1 Torch Music
A nice little app that does what it claims. Well, kind of. You open the app, search for the artist, song or album name and once you find it, simply hit the play button.
As promised, it will play the song — even if you minimize the app or lock your device.
However, you can only find popular artist or songs in this app. For instance, if you listen to YouTube podcast or other less popular channels, then this app is not what you want.
I used My Data Manager to find out how much bandwidth does it consume. And guess what, it stream the complete video instead of only audio. Thus wasting a lot of bandwidths.
Bottom-line: Okish app to play favorite songs on YouTube in the background. But since better alternatives are available, so avoid if you can.
New Pipe is available on F-droid, open source repository of Android apps. After using it for few months, I can say the app is stable and does its job nicely. You can search for video from the app or share video from YouTube, though for this, you’ll have to download another small extension — share with NewPipe.
Bottom line: A stable app that does the job well.
This app does not directly play the video in the background but opens it as a new pop-up window. So you can do your thing and simultaneously listen to the video on the same screen but a different window. It’s similar to using multiple windows on a PC.
But, if you turn OFF your screen, the audio will still play, so indirectly you are playing YouTube videos in the background.
Though, even when the screen is OFF, it still eats bandwidth for both video & audio.
Floating Tube has ads on the app, and this can be annoying sometimes. So if you are looking for something clean, use Stick it. It’s paid ($2) and works quite well.
Bottom-line: If you need a multiple window app and bandwidth is not a problem, then it’s good.
Update Aug 2016: After one complete year, the app is now removed from Play Store. That was quick Google!
This is best option to play YouTube videos in the background. It’s free and work as advertised. Though, I don’t understand how it’s still on Play Store.
The working is simple, play a YouTube video > tap on share button > select Audio pocket from the options and that’s it. After a small buffering time, it’ll start playing the video in the background. For smaller videos, it takes no more than one second to buffer but for 30 minutes video, buffering may take up to 1 minutes.
It also lets you pause, fast-forward/background video from notification and lock screen. Sweet.
And the best part is, it only stream audio and not video, thus saving you up to 90 percent bandwidth. However, I have to say, the app is not stable. It crashes a lot.
Bottom-line: A simple app which does what it say. Make sure to take the backup of this app before it gets removed from Google play.
This is another popular app to play YouTube videos in the background. But you’ll find it on Amazon app store. And like all the other apps in the list, it comes with both free (ad supported) and premium version.
However, like Audio pocket, this app also crashes a lot. Not very reliable.
#6 OG YouTube
Finally found the all rounded YouTube app — OG YouTube. You can listen to YouTube video when the screen is OFF or locked. Or pop out the video like the picture in picture effect. And yes, you can also download YouTube video in different formats. You can also login to your YouTube accounts and import all your playlist.
For obvious reason, the app is not available on Google play. But you can easily sideload it from other sources. Simply download the apk on your Android phone from the link above and then tap on it to install it. Though make sure Installation from unknown source is checked.
Also Read: Best Android Apps not on Google Play
If you have Xposed framework install, then look no further. YouTube Background Playback is a simple Xposed module that let play YouYube videos in the background and it works like a charm. It’s pretty stable, and I never had any problem with this one.
The way it works it quite ingenious. Simply play the video in the official YouTube app and now, if you quit the app, you’ll see that video appear in the notification tray. where you can press the play button to resume from where you left. It even works when the screen is OFF.
Related: Best Xposed Modules for 2016
#8 FireFox or Safari (recommended)
This is probably the best way to play YouTube videos in the background. And the good part is, it works for any OS i.e. — Android, iOS or even Windows phone.
All you have to do is, play a YouTube videos in a supported browser (Firefox for Android, Safari for iOS and Microsoft Edge on Windows) and turn on desktop mode. Now even if you close the browser or turn OFF the screen, the audio will play in the background.
The advantage of using this method over other is — it’s stable, works on every device, and don’t interfere with Ads which makes it legal for YT point of view. Though, since you are basically playing every video, your bandwidth will consume like normal. The following
The following video explains the process in detail.
I accidentally discover this app while I was looking for a how to loop YouTube videos on Android.
So, the app does what its name suggest, that’s it repeats YouTube video. And surprising, even if you close this app or turn off your Android screen, the app still plays the music. So, if you are someone who wants to listen to music on repeat before falling asleep (currently I’m listening to Surprises from Radiohead), then this what you need.
Simply open the app, search for the song you want to listen on repeat and play it. And that’s it. The app will play the song infinitely, and even if you turn off your screen or switch to some other app, the music will still go on. There is also an auto search feature in this app, that makes like a little easier. And the app also don’t have any shady pop-up ads in their free version, which I usually don’t see that often with these apps.
So, these were some way to play YouTube videos in the background on Android smartphone and tablet. If you know some workaround that we miss, let us know in the comments below.