How to Keep YouTube Playing on iPhone: An easy guide

Do you want to keep YouTube playing on your iPhone while you multitask or lock your screen? It’s a common frustration for many iPhone users but don’t worry; it’s a simple process once you know the steps. Here’s a quick rundown: You’ll need to use Safari instead of the YouTube app, request the desktop site, and then start playing your video. Even if you lock your screen or switch to another app, the audio will continue to play.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Keep YouTube Playing on iPhone

Before we dive into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re achieving here. Playing YouTube videos in the background can be incredibly useful. Whether you’re listening to a podcast, a music playlist, or just need some background noise, these steps will allow you to do that while using other apps or with your screen off.

Step 1: Open Safari

Open the Safari browser on your iPhone. This step is essential because the YouTube app doesn’t support background play.

Using Safari is crucial because it has the capability to request desktop websites, which is a feature the YouTube mobile app lacks. The desktop version of YouTube will allow you to play videos in the background.

Step 2: Go to

Type in in the address bar and hit go. You’ll be directed to the mobile version of YouTube.

Once you’re on YouTube’s mobile site, you might notice that it looks a little different than what you’re used to in the app. But don’t worry, all the same content is there.

Step 3: Request Desktop Site

Tap the AA icon in the address bar and choose ‘Request Desktop Site’ from the dropdown menu.

Requesting the desktop site is essential because it tricks your iPhone into thinking it’s not a mobile device. This way, YouTube will allow videos to play even when the Safari app isn’t active on your screen.

Step 4: Play the Video

Play the video you want to listen to. Make sure it’s playing before moving on to the next step.

You might want to pick a longer video or a playlist if you’re planning on listening for an extended period. This way, you won’t have to keep going back to your phone to select a new video.

Step 5: Exit Safari or Lock Your iPhone

Press the Home button or swipe up from the bottom of the screen to minimize Safari. Your video will pause, but don’t worry, that’s supposed to happen.

At this point, you might think something went wrong because the video pauses, but that’s just the iPhone’s default behavior. The next step will remedy that.

Step 6: Control Center

Swipe down from the top right corner to access the Control Center. You’ll see the media player with the YouTube video paused.

The Control Center is essentially the command center for your iPhone. It’s where you can control the music, adjust the brightness, and a bunch of other handy shortcuts.

Step 7: Press Play

Press play on the media player in the Control Center, and voilà, your video will continue to play, even if you lock your iPhone or open another app.

By now, the audio from the YouTube video should resume playing. You can now lock your phone, and the audio will continue to play in the background, or you can start using other apps.

After completing these steps, YouTube will continue to play even when you’re not directly in the Safari app. You can lock your screen, check your emails, or use any other app while still listening to your video.

Tips on How to Keep YouTube Playing on iPhone

  • Ensure your iPhone’s iOS is up-to-date for the best performance.
  • If audio stops playing, double-check that you requested the desktop site on Safari.
  • Remember to use Safari, not the YouTube app, for this to work.
  • Consider using headphones or a Bluetooth speaker for better audio quality.
  • If you’re on a limited data plan, connect to Wi-Fi to avoid using up your data allowance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I do this with the YouTube app?

No, the YouTube app doesn’t support background play unless you have a YouTube Premium subscription.

The YouTube app is designed to pause playback when it’s not the active app on your screen. This is why using Safari and the desktop site is a necessary workaround.

Does this work on all iPhones?

Yes, as long as you’re using Safari and following the steps outlined, this should work on any iPhone model.

All iPhone models that can run a recent version of iOS and have Safari should be able to execute these steps successfully.

Will this use a lot of data?

It could, especially if you’re listening to videos for an extended period. Use Wi-Fi when possible to avoid using your mobile data.

Streaming videos generally use more data than just audio, but since you’re not watching the video, the data usage might be slightly less. However, it’s best to be cautious and use Wi-Fi if you’re concerned about data usage.

Can I listen to music playlists using this method?

Absolutely, this method works great for music playlists on YouTube.

Creating a music playlist on YouTube and then using these steps to play it in the background is a fantastic way to enjoy music without needing a separate app.

Why does the video stop when I minimize Safari?

It’s a default feature designed by Apple to pause videos when you switch apps to help save battery and data.

When you minimize Safari, the iPhone pauses the video as it assumes you’re done watching. By using the Control Center to resume playback, you’re telling the iPhone you still want to listen.


  1. Open Safari on your iPhone.
  2. Visit
  3. Request the desktop version of the site.
  4. Play the video you want to listen to.
  5. Minimize Safari or lock your iPhone.
  6. Open the Control Center.
  7. Press play on the media player.


Keeping YouTube playing on your iPhone doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. With the simple workaround of using Safari and its desktop site request feature, you can enjoy continuous playback while you go about your day. Whether it’s for entertainment, education, or just some background noise, the ability to multitask without interrupting your listening experience is a game-changer.

Remember, while the YouTube app may have its limitations, your iPhone and Safari offer flexibility that can enhance your user experience. This method is perfect for those who don’t have a YouTube Premium subscription but still want the benefits of background play.

So, go ahead and give it a try. Set up your playlist, start playing, and enjoy the freedom of listening to YouTube uninterrupted. And who knows, maybe you’ll discover even more iPhone tricks along the way!

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