Fix iPhone: YouTube Won’t Play in Background

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Your iPhone may sometimes fail to play YouTube in the background. When you lock your phone, there’s no sound coming from Google’s video-sharing service. Let’s explore what might be causing this problem and how you can fix it.

Fix YouTube App Not Playing in the Background on iOS

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

Check Your YouTube Premium Status

First of all, check your YouTube Premium subscription and make sure it’s still valid. Select your profile picture, go to Paid memberships, and select premium manage membership

Re-enable your membership if necessary. However, do keep in mind that you may need to wait two or three hours to regain access to the background play feature.

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

Check YouTube Premium’s Availability

If you travel to a country where YouTube Premium is not available, you won’t be able to use all the app’s options even if you have a valid paid membership in your country of origin. In other words, videos and music won’t play in the background, and you won’t be able to download videos.

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

Check Your Background Playback Settings

If you disable the background playback setting, YouTube Premium won’t play in the background. Ensure the option is enabled.

  1. Launch the YouTube app and go to Settings.
  2. Then go to Background & Downloads and tap Background Play.
  3. Make sure background playback is not set to mobile app background play settings

You can further tweak the settings so as to allow YouTube to always play in the background. Alternatively, you can set videos to play in the background only when your iPhone is connected to a pair of headphones or external speakers.

Update YouTube and Close Background Apps

Outdated YouTube app versions may trigger a plethora of glitches. That’s why you should ensure you’re running the latest app version on your iPhone. Check if there’s a newer YouTube app version available, install it and check if background play is working properly. The same is valid for your iOS version. Update your iPhone’s operating system and check the results.

youtube requires iOS update

Don’t forget to close all background apps. If some of these apps are using your speakers or headphones, YouTube may have trouble accessing your audio output hardware.

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 connect to
  2. Then select the video you want to play and tap the Aa icon in the search bar.
  3. Use the drop-down menu and select the Request desktop site option.Request desktop site ios
  4. Launch the video, lock your phone and check the results.


YouTube background play is only available on YouTube Premium. Make sure you have a valid paid membership and the service is supported in your current location. Don’t forget to update the app and install the latest iOS version. Did you manage to solve the problem? Let us know in the comments below.

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