Only YouTube Premium subscribers can play YouTube videos in the background on Android or iOS device, this article will show you 3 ways to keep YouTube videos playing without a subscription, even when you phone or tablet is locked or the screen is off.

“I want to cancel my YouTube Premium account, can I play YouTube video in the background on my iPhone 12? If not, how can I listen to YouTube videos with phone’s screen off? Thanks.”

YouTube is a great place to provide rich videos, tutorials, games, etc. However, to the disappointment of most YouTube lovers, they cannot play YouTube videos with the screen off. In fact, YouTube is a subscription-based video streaming service which mainly relies on advertising fees and subscription fees to make money. Only YouTube subscribers can make YouTube keep YouTube playing in the background with the screen off. Fortunately, for non-subscribers, there are several ways to play YouTube videos in the background even with the screen off. Check it out!

Way 1. Play YouTube Videos with the Screen Off on Android

To play YouTube in the background on Android device, you can use Firefox and Google Chrome. Actually, this method just like play YouTube video online, it will consume lots of mobile data, please think twice.
Step 1. Download the latest version of Firefox or Chrome application on your Android, and then launch it. Navigate to the YouTube website on the Chrome browser (type “”).

Step 2. Find the video you want to play in the background. Click the menu icon (three dots) in the upper right corner, and then click “Desktop Site”.

Step 3. Now start playing the YouTube video, and then click the “Home” button to minimize the browser.

play youtube with screen off on android

Way 2. Play YouTube Videos with the Screen Off on iOS Device

For iOS or iPadOS users, you also have chance to listen to YouTube videos in the background with your screen off. To be straightly, you can use Safari and Apple’s Control Center to bypass YouTube’s restrictions. You can refer to the following details.

Step 1. Open the home screen of iPhone/iPad, then open Safari, type “” in the address bar to navigate to the YouTube website.

Step 2. Open the video and click the “AA” button on Safari’s search console. On the drop-down menu, click the “Request a desktop site” option and start playing the video.

Step 3. Turn off the screen and the video will stop playing.

Step 4. Now go back to the main screen and swipe up to display the Control Center. Here, you need to press the “Play” button to play the video even when the screen is off.

play youtube with screen off on ios

Similarly, this method will consume your data traffic and require you to have a stable network environment. Therefore, unless you are in a WiFi connection, the above two methods are not recommended. Luckily, we will also provide another best method to help you play your favorite YouTube videos or music on any device, even if the device screen is turned off.

Way 3. Download YouTube Videos for Screen Off Playback on Any Device (Best)

If none of the above methods apply to you and you are worried about your mobile phone traffic, here is a solution to play YouTube videos on the lock screen. You only need to use the powerful YouTube video downloader to save YouTube videos to your computer or mobile device.

4kFinder YouTube Downloader comes handy when you need to download YouTube videos for offline playback on a locked device or when the screen is off. This great tool enables you to download videos, TV shows, playlist, channels from YouTube to your Mac/PC without Premium. With it, you can easily download YouTube videos up to 8K resolution in MP4 format and convert YouTube videos to MP3 320kbps. Not only YouTube, it also supports to download videos and audios from 1,000+ popular websites like Vevo, Dailymotion, Veoh, Facebook, Niconico, etc. In this way, you can transfer the downloaded YouTube contents to your iPhone, iPad, Android, PSP, Xbox and more device for offline playback, even the device is locked or the screen is off.

Steps to Download YouTube for Offline Playback on Locked Screen

Step 1. Run 4kFinder Program and Copy YouTube Video URL
Download and install 4kFinder YouTube Downloader on your desktop, and then run the program.

Go to YouTube website on the browser, open the video you want to download, then copy the video URL in the address bar, or right-click video to copy the link.

Copy YouTube Video Link

Step 2. Paste the Video URL to 4kFinder Program
Turn back to main interface of 4kFinder, paste the video URL to the bar of the program and click “Analyze” to let it get the video source.

paste youtube video link to the program

Step 3. Select Output Format and Resolution
As you can see, 4kFinder offers user-friendly formats: MP4 and MP3, and it supports up to 8k resolution. Pick the format for the video.

select output format

Step 4. Download YouTube Video to Computer
Now it’s time to save YouTube videos on local computer, simply press on “Download” button. The download speed can reach up to 6 times, just wait a few seconds. It supports batch download, you can add more video link to the bar.

start to convert youtube video to mp4

Once done, you can view the downloaded contents in “Finished” section, tab “Open Folder” to locate it.

convert youtube video to mp4 completed

Step 5. Play YouTube Videos on Any Device with the Screen Off
Great! You have save the YouTube videos and music on your local drive. Now you can upload them to iTunes library, then sync them to iPhone, iPad, iPods, etc. Or transfer them to Android device for offline playback. Then you can watch YouTube with the screen off on your device anytime, anywhere.

Final Words

The above 3 methods can all help you play YouTube with your phone’s screen off. Of course, the quickest way is to play YouTube videos as picture-in-picture in the YouTube app with YouTube Premium accounts. However, the monthly subscription fee of $11.99 is not a small amount, and browsing YouTube videos online on mobile devices is very data-intensive. Combine various situations, 4kFinder YouTube Downloader is a good choice to help you save any YouTube video to your device, so that you can enjoy your favorite YouTube content on any device anytime, anywhere, even if the screen is off!

Play YouTube Videos With the Screen Off