YouTube is the most popular video streaming site in the world. Other video streaming services like Vimeo did pretty well, but they never came close to YouTube's popularity. YouTube has basically become the second most popular search engine!
Unfortunately, YouTube automatically turns off if you lock your phone.
That said, there are ways around this. In this guide, we'll show how you can bypass the phone lock system and ensure that you can listen to YouTube videos whether you're on your phone or not.
How to play YouTube with your phone locked
There are different ways to play YouTube when your phone is locked, regardless of your reasoning as to why you should. Maybe you want to save battery or listen to music or an interview while you sleep. Here's how to get YouTube working 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 $9,99 per month, this service is another paid subscription. If that's not for you, there are a few workarounds.
For someone who uses YouTube a lot, it might be worth looking into YouTube Premium. Membership offers more benefits besides lock screen videos.
Other ways to play YouTube with your phone locked or asleep
Each of these tips depends on your mobile OS and operating system including iOS or Android.
1. Play YouTube through Mozilla Firefox on Android
This Android browser trick is a simple workaround. If you are using an Android device, view a YouTube video in the Mozilla Firefox browser rather than through the YouTube app. Be sure to enter the URL so that your Android device does not automatically redirect you to the app version.
- Tap the three vertical dots in the upper right corner
- Press the Request an office site option
If you do, you can even lock your phone and the device will continue to play audio anyway. That said, you can't control playback when your phone is locked. This scenario means you have to unlock it to browse the video, pause it, play it, or do something else.
Luckily, Mozilla's Firefox app is a free download that you can enjoy whenever you want. It's an awesome, sleek, and lightweight browser that's pure bliss to use.
2. Play YouTube via Google Chrome Browser on Android
The Google Chrome browser workaround on Android is similar to that of Mozilla Firefox. You open the Chrome browser, which should come preloaded on your Android phone, and watch the video in question.
If you lock your phone, the sound should continue to play. However, you can control the pause and play functions via your lock screen thanks to Google integration, a nice, if not unintended touch.
If you want to do this, you need to make sure google chrome is in desktop mode on your android device.
- Open your Google Chrome mobile browser and head to the three dots at the top right of the screen.
- Tap on it and select Office from the resulting list of items.
It will tick a box and the page will refresh to a more visible desktop-themed website. Do this if your video is still playing interrupted when using the Chrome browser in mobile mode.
However, if you have the browser in desktop mode, you can't control playback features through the lock screen, which is unfortunate. But it's better than not being able to lock your screen at all.
3. Play through Safari browser on iOS
While the previous two tips were for Android users, this one is for iPhone and iPad users who love YouTube.
Find the video you want to listen to on the YouTube website in Safari, then follow these steps:
- Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of Safari
- Tap Office
You can use Safari web browser to extract 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 play even on 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.
If you are using an Android device and the above solutions 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 quite limited due to YouTube policies, but you can find one that lasts for a while.
Apps like MiniTube allow YouTube to play in the background when the phone screen is off.
Other options are available in the Play Store. Going to the “Search” option, type in “YouTube player background” and the related apps appear in the list.
When downloading any third-party app, it is essential to read the reviews. Some apps in the Google Play Store will drain your battery life, consume your data, or bombard your phone with ads.