Fix iPhone: YouTube Won’t Play in Background


Sometimes your iPhone may not play YouTube in the background. When you lock your phone, no sound comes from Google’s video sharing service. Let’s explore what might be causing this issue and how you can fix it.

Fix YouTube app not playing in background on iOS

⇒ Important note: Background playback is only available on YouTube Premium. In other words, you need a paid subscription for this feature to work.

Check your YouTube Premium status

First, check your YouTube Premium subscription and make sure it is still valid. Select your profile picture, go to Paid subscriptionsand select premium manage membership

Reactivate your subscription if necessary. However, keep in mind that you may have to wait two or three hours to regain access to the background playback feature.

Additionally, log out of the app and turn off your iPhone. Wait a minute and then restart your device. Launch YouTube and check if background playback is working. Hopefully, disconnecting and restarting your device will speed up the process.

Check the availability of YouTube Premium

If you are traveling to a country where YouTube Premium is not available, you will not be able to use all the options of the app, even if you have a paid subscription valid in your home country. In other words, the videos and music will not play in the background and you will not be able to download videos.

For more information on the countries where YouTube Premium is available, go to the YouTube support page.

Check your background playback settings

If you turn off the background play setting, YouTube Premium will not play in the background. Make sure the option is enabled.

  1. Launch the YouTube app and navigate to Settings.
  2. Then go to Background and downloads and touch Play in the background.
  3. Make sure that background playback is not set to mobile app background playback settings

You can further change the settings to allow YouTube to always play in the background. You can also set up videos to play in the background only when your iPhone is connected to headphones or external speakers.

Update YouTube and close background apps

Outdated versions of the YouTube app can trigger a plethora of issues. That is why you need to make sure that you are running the latest version of the app on your iPhone. Check if a newer version of the YouTube app is available, install it, and check if background playback is working properly. The same is valid for your iOS version. Update your iPhone operating system and check the results.

youtube requires iOS update

Remember to close all background apps. If some of these apps are using your speakers or headphones, YouTube may have difficulty accessing your audio output material.

Play YouTube in the background on Safari

If the YT app still fails to play videos in the background, you can use Safari to get the job done.

  1. Launch Safari and sign in to
  2. Then select the video you want to play and press the button. Aa icon in the search bar.
  3. Use the drop-down menu and select the Request a computer site option.Request an iOS desktop site
  4. Start the video, lock your phone and check the results.


YouTube background playback is only available on YouTube Premium. Make sure you have a valid paid subscription and the service is supported in your current location. Remember to update the app and install the latest iOS version. Did you manage to resolve the issue? Let us know in the comments below.


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