Simple Hack to Play YouTube Videos in the Background on Your Phone


YouTubeDespite the major steps we have made in the technological space as human beings, there are two things that seem to be too complex for our minds, editing tweets and playing YouTube videos in the background while using the official app. No one said it better than this guy:

In this case, we will be looking to solve the issue of YouTube videos, those who want to edit tweets can go join those who dream of an African president who will just sit for one term on one side.

Moving on, the hack is pretty simple, all you need is to use a little bit of your brain:

Have Google Chrome installed on your android phone, which is highly likely the case.

Next, simply go to and select the video you want to play.

After the video starts playing, tap on the menu icon and select Desktop site.

YouTube Chrome screenshot

After the webpage is done refreshing, now hit play on your video.

Tap on the home button to close the browser.

The video will stop playing, but since you will have media controls on your notification drawer, just tap play.

YouTube Playing Screenshot

Eureka! You can now listen to playlists and podcasts without having YouTube open.

We can confirm that this hack works best with playlists since you can easily skip a song and move to the next one or go to the previous one. One more thing, you will definitely have to bear with hearing the ads as well.

Thanks to Cornelius (@CornColly) for the tip!


  1. Pretty useful hack. Thank you for sharing. you can also try stream an android app that helps you play music from YouTube in the background. It even supports videos which works by minimizing the size of the video and ability to move it to different positions on the screen allowing you to use other applications while the app is still running

  2. With the latest Android(Oreo), its possible to have the video player floating around as you use other apps (called picture-in-picture mode). You just need to switch to full screen in chrome before tapping home. This feature should be coming to the youtube app soon, but only for Android 8 users.

    • Nice one, works in Chrome with this desktop mode hack on Oreo

      For PiP in the Youtube app, its already available, but sadly you have to subscribe to Youtube Red, which is not available in Kenya. Stupid google

  3. Ability to minimize video playing in all apps including facebook videos has been available in iOS 11 for awhile now

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