How to play YouTube videos in the background on your iPhone, without having to keep the app open

Mateusz Slodkowski/Getty ImagesYou can play YouTube in the background on your iPhone with a Premium subscription.
  • To play YouTube videos in the background on your iPhone, you’ll need to sign up for a YouTube Premium subscription.
  • There used to be a way to play YouTube in the background using the iPhone’s built-in Safari app, but this method no longer works.
  • YouTube Premium costs $US11.99 per month for a standard account, and lets you play music when the app isn’t open, among other features.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories .

Say you’re riding shotgun in your friend’s car. It’s Friday night, and you’re playing music from your favourite YouTube playlist. Then, someone asks you to look up directions. You leave YouTube to open up another app, and the music stops and everyone in the car collectively sighs.

YouTube lovers have long expressed dismay over this inconvenience. There used to be a way to get around this by navigating to YouTube using Safari instead of the YouTube app, but that trick has since been patched out.

That means that, unfortunately, the only way to play music from YouTube in the background is to sign up for YouTube’s paid subscription service, YouTube Premium.

Here’s how to sign up for YouTube Premium, and start listening to YouTube whenever you want in the background.

Check out the products mentioned in this article:

iPhone 11 (From $US699.99 at Apple)

How to play YouTube in the background using YouTube Premium

First, you need to sign up for YouTube Premium.

YouTube Premium costs $US11.99 a month for a single account ($US6.99 a month if you’re a student), or $US17.99 a month for six accounts in a “Family Plan.” Signing up will get rid of all ads on YouTube videos, allow you to download videos to watch offline, and give you access to both “YouTube Original” videos and YouTube Music, the site’s music streaming service.

And, of course, you’ll receive the ability to listen to audio from YouTube videos in the background, even while using other apps.

1. Navigate to the YouTube Premium homepage,which can be found here.

2. Click the blue button that says “TRY IT FREE,” which will open a window for you to enter your payment information.

Screen Shot 2019 05 28 at 4.36.38 PMWilliam Antonelli/Business InsiderGo to the YouTube Premium homepage to start the signup process.

3. Enter your payment information and zip code. YouTube Premium offers a one-month free trial, so if this is your first time signing up, you won’t be charged the $US11.99 fee until a month has passed. YouTube may, however, charge you a $US1 fee at first to make sure that the payment information you’ve given them is valid – this dollar should be refunded within a few days.

Screen Shot 2019 05 28 at 4.42.29 PMWilliam Antonelli/Business InsiderEnter the payment information that you want to use to pay for Premium.

4. The YouTube account you used to sign up for Premium will be immediately granted access to all the new features of Premium.

Now, here’s how to play songs in the background.

5. Open the YouTube app.

6. Navigate to the video that you want to listen to in the background.

7. Once it starts playing, feel free to return to your phone’s Home screen, and open other apps. You can pause and play the video’s audio from the iPhone’s Control Centre, by opening it and holding your finger down on the music tab for a moment.

William Antonelli/Business InsiderYou can control volume and playback from your iPhone’s Control Centre.

As long as you’re subscribed to YouTube Premium, you’ll be able to listen to YouTube videos without having the app open.

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