How to Play YouTube with Phone Locked and the Screen Off
Given YouTube’s popularity and widespread use, it’s no surprise that many users want to use it with their phone locked and the screen off in their pocket, etc., while working, exercising, or just going about the day. Unfortunately, YouTube automatically shuts off if you lock your phone. That said, there are ways around this.
In this guide, we’re going to showcase how you can work your way around the phone lock system and ensure you can listen to YouTube videos regardless of if you’re on your phone or not.
How to Play YouTube with Your Phone Locked
There are a few different ways to play YouTube when your phone gets locked, regardless of your reasoning as to why you need to do it. Maybe you want to save battery or want to listen to music or an interview while you sleep. Here is how to keep YouTube going when your phone is asleep/locked.
YouTube Premium (formerly YouTube Red)
The YouTube Premium streaming service is the official way to play content with your screen locked. At $11.99 per month, this service is yet another paid subscription. If that isn’t for you, there are a few workarounds.
If you’re someone who uses YouTube a lot, it may be worth looking into YouTube Premium. There are other benefits with the subscription other than just the locked screen videos.
Other Ways to Play YouTube with Your Phone Locked or Asleep
Each of these tips depends on your mobile operating system and the OS, including iOS or Android.
1. Play YouTube through Mozilla Firefox while On Android
This Android browser trick is a simple workaround. If you’re using an Android device, pull up a YouTube video within the Mozilla Firefox browser instead of via the YouTube application. Be sure to type in the URL, so your Android device doesn’t automatically redirect you to the app version.
- Tap the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner
- Tap the Request desktop site option
If you do so, you can even lock your phone, and the device will continue to play the audio anyways. That said, you cannot control playback while your phone is locked. This scenario means you have to unlock it to skip through the video, pause it, play it, or do anything else.
Fortunately, Mozilla’s Firefox application is a free download that you can take advantage of whenever you’d like. It’s a great, sleek, light browser that is sheer and utter bliss to use.
2. Play YouTube through Google Chrome Browser On Android
The Google Chrome Browser on Android workaround is similar to the Mozilla Firefox one. You pull up the Chrome Browser, which should come preloaded on your Android phone, and watch the video in question.
If you lock your phone, the audio should continue playing. However, you can control the pause and play features via your lock screen thanks to Google’s integration—a nice, if not unintended, touch.
If you want to do this, you need to ensure Google Chrome is in Desktop Mode on your Android device.
- Open your Google Chrome mobile browser and head up to the three dots on the top right of the screen.
- Tap that and select Desktop site from the resulting list of items.
It will check a box, and the page will refresh into a more prominent, desktop-themed website. Do this if your video playback is still cutting out when using the Chrome Browser in mobile mode.
However, if you have the browser in desktop mode, you can’t control the playback features via the lock screen, which is unfortunate. But it’s better than not being able to lock your screen at all.
3. Play Through the Safari Browser On iOS
While the previous two tips have been for Android users, this one is for you iPhone and iPad users who love YouTube.
Find the video you’d like to listen to on the YouTube website in Safari, then follow these steps:
- Tap the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of Safari
- Tap Desktop
You can use the Safari web browser to pull up the desired video and play it from there. If you use Safari on your iPhone or iPad to play YouTube videos, the audio content should playback even through your locked screen.
iOS users should also be able to use the Mozilla Firefox browser to accomplish the same feat. You should also be able to control playback with the free Firefox browser as well.
If you’re using an Android device and the above workarounds are ineffective, you can always download a third-party app that allows you to listen to YouTube while your smartphone is locked.
This option is pretty limited due to YouTube policies, but you could find one that lasts for a while.
Applications such as MiniTube allow YouTube to play in the background while the phone screen is off.
There are some other options available in the Play Store. By accessing the Search option, type in “YouTube player background,” and related apps appear in the list.
When downloading any third-party application, it’s essential to read the reviews. Some applications on the Google Play Store will drain your battery life, consume your data, or bombard your phone with ads.
Whether you pay for YouTube Premium, use your browser in desktop mode, or use a third-party app, there’s a way to keep YouTube going while your phone is locked, and its screen is off. Although you might have to unlock your phone to play, pause, or change the video, it’s worth the extra effort.
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10 thoughts on “How to Play YouTube with Phone Locked and the Screen Off”
However, the annoying “Video paused, Still watching?” appears on mobile devices, while the desktop devices can use an extension like “YouTube NonStop”.
Chrome doesn’t offer a similar option. Also, the trick with desktop version from the article does no longer work on Chrome (i.e. when you switch the site to desktop version, then lock the screen, playback stops anyway).
For this solution to work, you have to go to the menu and set “Use desktop version” 🙂 That’s the trick.
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