How to Play YouTube Videos in the Background on Android

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If you’re an avid fan of YouTube and want to listen to tunes on your Android phone, you know the woes of wanting to play a YouTube video in the background using the official app. While playing a video, the audio will stop the moment the screen is turned off or the focus changes.

There are a few ways to get around this restriction, including downloading some apps that take care of it. However, this isn’t an ideal solution for some people; either they have no more room on their phone for more apps, or they simply don’t want to install more apps to do a job that shouldn’t be an issue in the first place. However, there’s a way to do with this an app that most Android users will already be using: a mobile browser. We’ll show you in this article how to do that with Firefox and Chrome.

How It Works

If you’ve played media in Firefox or Chrome before, you may have noticed that the media continues playing after you’ve turned the screen off. It even appears as a notification and on the lock screen, so you can play and pause it at any time. This works for all kinds of media, from Soundcloud music to .mp3 files on the Internet.


The key here is to get Firefox and Chrome to play YouTube videos in the same way as the above media. When this happens it will handle it like any other playing media, allowing you to have the video playing even while the screen is off. Unfortunately, if you open a browser and load YouTube, it will still cut off when you play the video and then turn off the screen. In order to get YouTube to play in the background, we have to tell Firefox or Chrome to make YouTube think it’s playing on a desktop PC. That way it will play as normal and allow the browser to play the media in the background.

Doing This in Firefox

To achieve this in Firefox, first navigate to the YouTube page you want to play in the background. Then, tap the three dots at the top-right of the browser.


Tap “Request Desktop Site.”


Play the video as normal, and you should notice the Firefox logo appears in the notification bar. When you turn the screen off or leave the app, it should stay there and continue playing the audio. It may pause it, at which point you can extend the notifications and play the video again.


Sometimes when you leave the app, the Firefox logo will vanish and the sound will stop playing. If this happens, try turning the desktop site mode off and on again and play the video once more.

Doing This in Chrome

To do this in Chrome, first navigate to the video you want to play. Then, tap the three dots at the top-right.


Tap “Desktop site.”


When you play the video, a small speaker icon will appear in the notification bar. When you navigate away from Chrome, the audio will pause. Don’t worry! When this happens, simply extend the notification bar and press play to continue listening to the video.


In the Background

While there are plenty of apps that allow you to listen to YouTube videos in the background, there’s a way to do it with apps you may already have installed on your device! Now you know how to achieve this using Firefox or Chrome.

What’s your favorite way to play YouTube videos in the background on Android? Let us know below!

Simon Batt
Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.

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