How to Listen to YouTube with Screen Off on iPhone/iPad or Android?

YouTube is the most used video platform in the world. It is not uncommon to find albums or songs that you won’t find elsewhere (even on Spotify or iTunes). Because a lot of music is uploaded by users and there are sometimes rare gems in the field of self-production or on independent micro-labels that you won’t find outside of YouTube. That’s what happened to me this weekend. I was at a friend’s house last weekend to celebrate their fortieth birthday and despite having a Spotify Premium account, at one point we switched to YouTube to listen to a 90’s hip-hop album that couldn’t be found on Spotify. Problem: YouTube shuts down as soon as the phone goes to sleep… When the YouTube app goes into the background, the YouTube sound cuts off, whether you’re on an Android device or an iPhone/iPad running iOS


Ways to Play YouTube Videos with Locked Screen on Android

Here are some free or paid solutions to play YouTube videos with the screen off/locked on an Android smartphone or tablet. Beware, Google tries by all means to counter the apps that allow to play a video in the background. It is therefore possible that the solutions proposed here will not be valid in a few months or years…

Use YouTube Premium

The first solution to play a YouTube video in the background is to subscribe to the paid version of YouTube, YouTube Premium:

This premium version allows you to access the entire YouTube catalog without ads or restrictions. It is indicated on the website of the application:

Background playback
With YouTube Premium, your video continues to play in the background without interruption, even when you open another application.

However, this solution is not free, as you will have to pay about ten euros per month to access the entire YouTube catalog.


Use the computer version of Chrome to listen to the sound of Youtube with the screen off

And yes! The YouTube application does not allow you to listen to the sound of a video with the screen turned off. But if you use Google Chrome and the computer version, the sound of YouTube will be played in the background. Proceed as follows:

  1. Open Google Chrome, go to YouTube and then click on the 3 little squares at the top that open the Google Chrome menu.
  2. Select View computer version.
  3. Once on the computer version of YouTube, launch your video.
  4. Turn off the screen. The sound disappears… But it is possible to restart it via the Chrome playback controls in the notification bar of your phone.

The sound will not be muted anymore! You can now browse other tabs with Chrome, open another application or turn off your screen!

Install a free app on Android to bypass YouTube app restrictions

NewPipe app is the best solution to play a YouTube video in the background while cutting off Google’s advertising and tracking. It is an open source application that is an alternative YouTube client. Like the previous app, Google has banned it from its PlayStore. You will have to download the installation file (APK file extension) of NewPipe from F-Droid ( by clicking on the link Download APK.

  • Download the NewPipe installation file from F-Droid
  • Then run the downloaded file which should be in your downloads and finish installing the app.
  • Launch the app and then look for a video. Just click on the background headset icon to play the video in the background.

Now you can surf the web at your leisure or use other apps, the sound will not be muted, even if your smartphone screen is locked. You can easily create your playlists and navigate between songs from the notification bar of your phone. Very practical app, it’s the best solution for Android I’ve tested!

On the other hand, as Google doesn’t really like this application, it violates its terms of use. It is therefore to be used at your own risk. Thus, you will not be able to connect with your YouTube / Google account. You will have to save your playlists locally on your device. It’s also possible that Google will eventually ban access to the YouTube API, which would render the app useless…

Install the YouTube Vanced application

The problem of ads and screen-off playback has been a constant for YouTube users for a long time. Here is an application that should help you solve this problem: YouTube Vanced.

Download the app from the official website, install it by allowing the installation of apps from unknown sources and you will finally be able to listen to the video sound with your smartphone or tablet screen turned off. This unofficial version offers most of the features of the paid version of YouTube, such as the absence of advertisements, the overlay of the video in thumbnail mode and even an "alternative" version (which could easily be described as pirate) of YouTube Music. Given the free features that the application offers, there is a good chance that this application will disappear quickly…

Install Black Screen Of Life

Black Screen Of Life is a battery-saving application. It runs in the background and allows you to turn off your screen while continuing to play music. This allows, according to the developer of the application to save 60% of its battery and to play YouTube videos with the screen off.

Google believes that this service that allows you to bypass YouTube restrictions does not respect its terms of use (like software or sites that allow you to download a YouTube video), has removed the application from the Google Play Store. You will have to allow the installation of applications from unknown sources and then download and install the application from the developer’s website (

Note that there is a free version (with ads) and a Premium version (without ads).

  • Black Screen Of Life – Premium version (paid)
  • Black Screen Of Life – free version

Once installed, simply launch and activate the application. Search and play your YouTube video then hide the proximity sensor (which is used to automatically put the phone to sleep), put your phone in your pocket or turn it face down. The video will still play but the screen will be turned off!

Warning, if you have a magnetic flap shell, do not use the flap because it will put your device on standby without going through the app.

This application allows you to play a YouTube video while saving the battery. But it does not allow you to play the sound in the background and therefore to surf at the same time or to use other applications at the same time.

Playing a YouTube video with the lock sScreen on iPhone or iPad (iOS)

On iOS, there are also several paid or free methods to play a video in the background on an iPhone or iPad. Except if you subscribe to YouTube Premium (with a monthly subscription fee) as mentioned at the top of the article, you will have to install an alternative application to YouTube.

Here I present you a free iOS 11 compatible app that allows you to play YouTube videos in the background. This application is free, it is called FlyTunes Music. It can be downloaded here: The iOS app is free. But in return (because developers have to get paid), it contains ads that fortunately are not too annoying.

Using FlyTunes Music is easy! Search for your video (or browse through the music styles offered), play the video. You can then continue to surf the web or use another application, the music will be played in the background without any further manipulation!

Note: you must have an iOS version greater than or equal to iOS 9 to use this iOS app.