The official YouTube app stops playing when I minimized, switched to another application, or even when I lock the phone. And when I resume, it restarts downloading the clip from the beginning.

Is there any way that I can play YouTube clips in the background? Note, I only want the audio to continue playing.


11 Answers 11


Here's a solution using entirely free and open source software. The basic idea is that although YouTube can't play clips in the background, VLC for Android can play clips in the background, so all we need to do is pipe the clip to VLC where we can listen to it minimised.

That sounds complicated, but luckily there is software that does it for us.

  1. Install NewPipe (either from APK or from the Fossdroid app).
  2. Install VLC Android.
  3. Open NewPipe, and in Settings, make sure that Use External Player has a checkmark.
  4. Open VLC, and in Preferences, make sure that Play videos in background has a checkmark.
  5. Now, when you play a video in NewPipe, on the dialog that appears select VLC player. It will play in VLC and you can do other things while it plays.
  • +1 for the new pipe! It is a shame that Android version of vlc player does not open the media from the network stream like it's desktop counterpart does.
    – Narayanan
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 5:48
  • 2
    Recent NewPipe versions don't require external player for background playback.
    – janot
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 14:24
  • With all settings, it starts in opera instead of vlc.
    – cipricus
    Commented May 18, 2019 at 10:53
  • Download MX Player
  • Play YouTube video using MX Player.
  • Press Menu button (or the 3 dot icon), and then select Play
  • Make sure "Background Play" is checked
  • Now, you can press Home Button and listen in lock screen. There is also a shortcut for enabling Background Play, which is tapping and holding the Play button, instead of just tapping it to play a video

Update : Now MX player is not allowing to play youtube videos directly as mentioned by narayanan.

Solution :

  • You need to download UC browser .
  • Now play the youtube video through UC browser

(The other browsers redirect to youtube app but it wont since it has its own built in player)

  • Now you have to select option called Play With in top of video player and select MX player. Thats it.

Update #2:

Only For Rooted: You can install Xposed Modules Installer and use Repository called Youtube Background Play

Update #3:
Try YouTube Vanced
For non-rooted phone:

  • Install the MicroG APK if you want to log in with your YouTube account.
  • Find the YouTube Vanced APK that you want and download it.
  • Install the APK like you normally would.

For rooted phone:

  • Download the official installer found in downloads above
  • Select a suitable apk for your device (check your architecture using an app such as CPU-Z) and the secondary theme you want to. (All apks include the white theme)
  • Place the downloaded apk into /sdcard/Downloads or inside the installation zip
  • Uninstall all YouTube updates and disable auto-update in the playstore (If you are able to completely uninstall the youtube app do so)
  • Flash the installer in TWRP
  • Seems to be a very good idea and +1 from me to make me discover mx players okay from network stream feature. Unfortunately, when tried few video [URLs ](youtu.be/m3KdpzL3Hkk) all I get is an error can't play this link . Does it work for YouTube and if so I have a doubt that it will violate YouTube's terms and conditions.
    – Narayanan
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 5:58
  • Thanks for bringing issue to attention..I have just updated answer now it shoud work..
    – Ash Ishh
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 16:11

TubeMate YouTube Downloader is a great app that will let you download either the audio or the video from a YouTube file and save it to your device. When it is on your device, you are then able to use a media player (such as DoubleTwist) to play either in the background. But as for straight background music from YouTube, that's a no-go :/


It's not currently possible but it should be soon. According to AndroidPolice background audio is coming in a future release of the YouTube app.


You can use firefox and request the desktop site. You can change tabs, open other apps, or turn off the screen. However the desktop site layout is not optimal for mobile firefox. This does not work in chrome or the default ("Standard") browser and it will not play videos that require flash (vevo).


Instead of the YouTube app, open YouTube in your standard browser. Then, the video won't pause or stop when you turn your screen off. It will still pause when you go home or minimize, though.


Select a video and start playing. Press home button (ofcourse youtube app will close/minimize). With headphones plugged, stay in the home screen, press play/pause button on the headphone itself. Works for me everytime, but only for playing from browser not from YouTube app.


It is possible with xposed framework, and module youtube background playback:

  1. Download xposed installer
  2. From that app install xposed framework
  3. Than in download section find youtube background playback module, activate it and than reboot. Enjoy!

But beware if your device runs stock rom there is big chance to get bootlop after installing xposed framework.

EDIT: ooh, sorry I didn's see that your device is running 2.1 android, and for using xposed framework 4.0+ android is required..


Firefox for Android had that feature. YouTube blocked it so now you need an extension for that. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/video-background-play-fix/


I'll share 4 methods to play youtube in background and with the screen lock.

  • +1 for YMusic, which can play in background (while a different app is is use, e.g. while the user is browsing internet) and with the screen off (some tools that I've used could do the latter but not the former). A similar app is Firetube.
    – cipricus
    Commented May 20, 2019 at 11:47
  • YMusic (ymusic.io) is quite usable, but it doesn't integrate smoothly with YouTube. (for some reason it requires you to create the channel in order to use playlists) Youtube Vanced is much better in this respect.
    – AntonK
    Commented Jan 30, 2022 at 17:27

Simplest way to play YouTube video or playlist in background:

  1. Play a YouTube video in Google Chrome.

  2. Switch to Desktop Mode (Options ~> Request Desktop Site).

  3. Hit the Home button to push Google Chrome into background.

  4. Pull down notification to find Google Chrome media control. Play the video from here.

There's no thumbs down of it as you can still open new tabs in Google Chrome to do another thing.

Enjoy listening YouTube podcasts and song playlists while doing other things in smartphone or real world!

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