Use Google Chrome on Android to Play YouTube Videos in the Background

U
Published in: Android - Google Chrome - Music - YouTube

Wouldn’t it be great if you could check your emails on the phone and also enjoy YouTube videos in the background at the same time? Or, to save battery, you turn off the phone display and YouTube would still continue to stream the audio from the selected YouTube playlist in the background.

Unfortunately, none of this is possible with the YouTube app on Android and iPhone. The app has to be active in the foreground and the phone display should be turned on else YouTube will immediately stop playback. The limitation holds true whether you are playing videos inside the YouTube app or using a web browser like Google Chrome or Firefox.

youtube in background

Play YouTube in the Background on Android

A few years ago, the Google Play Store listed a bunch of apps - uListen and SuperTube to name a few - that would let you use YouTube as a background music player but they’ve all been removed now.

Also see: Most Useful Android Apps

A bunch of open source options exist - MinTube and NewPipe for example - that are very capable and let you do more with YouTube than just play videos in the background.

Both offer a floating video player which essentially means that you can pull out a YouTube video and place it over any other app. It’s like the Picture-In-Picture effect - you can read the New York Times in the browser and watch a movie on YouTube simultaneously.

Use Google Chrome as Background YouTube Player

If you aren’t too inclined to download another app just to play YouTube videos, you can use the default web browser on your phone itself. Here’s how:

  1. Open Google Chrome or the Firefox browser on your Android.
  2. Open the youtube.com website and search for any video or playlist.
  3. Go to the browser menu and choose “Desktop Site” to switch to the desktop version of the YouTube website.
  4. Tap the play button to start the YouTube video and then switch to any other app on your phone.
  5. YouTube will stop playback. No problem. Just pull down the notification bar and tap the play icon in the drawer to resume playback.

That’s it. YouTube will now play in the background while you multi-task.

youtube-background-music.png

📮  Subscribe to our Email Newsletter for Google tips and tutorials!
Published in: Android - Google Chrome - Music - YouTube

Looking for something? Find here!

Meet the Author

Web Geek, Google Developer Expert
A
Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India. He is the developer of Mail Merge for Gmail and Document Studio. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory

Get in touch

Google Add-ons

Do more with your Gmail and GSuite account
G

We build bespoke solutions that use the capabilities and the features of Google Workspace for automating business processes and driving work productivity.

  1. Mail Merge with Attachments
    Send personalized email to your Google Contact with a Google Sheet and Gmail
  2. Save Emails and Attachments
    Download email messages and file attachments from Gmail to your Google Drive
  3. Google Forms Email Notifications
    Send email notifications to multiple people when a new Google Form is submitted
  4. Document Studio
    Create beautiful pixel perfect documents merging data from Google Sheets and Google Forms
  5. Creator Studio for Google Slides
    Turn your Google Slides presentations into animated GIFs and videos for uploading to YouTube