How to Listen to YouTube with Screen OFF (Android & iOS)

How to Listen to YouTube with Screen OFF (Android & iOS).

So the other day I was traveling by train and it was a night trip. If you follow me on YouTube, then you probably know that I have a habit of listening to YouTube videos (or any other sound for that matter) before falling asleep. It all started with Ted’s videos, but now I listen to everything from audiobooks to interviews with successful entrepreneurs.

One big problem with the YouTube app, however, is there is no way to play YouTube videos with the screen off for free. If you lock your phone, the video will stop playing. Although, if you listen to YouTube videos at night, the light coming out of the screen and the battery drain are persistent problems that are quite annoying.

Related: 9 Best YouTube App Alternatives for Android

How to Listen to YouTube with Screen OFF (Android & iOS)

Earlier, we mentioned several ways to play YouTube videos in the background. However, playing YouTube videos with the screen off is a completely different scenario.

Yes, you have this opportunity with YouTube Red, but it costs $ 10 per month. To make matters worse, YouTube Red is currently only available to people living in the US. Of course, both of these conditions do not suit me.

So how do I listen to YouTube videos with the screen off?

Fortunately, there are several ways to do this on both Android and iOS. And all of these methods work great in different situations. So let’s take a look at them.

Listen to YouTube with the screen off

1. FireFox Browser

This method is pretty silly, but useful as a last resort. Just copy the URL of the YouTube video to your clipboard (the one you want to play with the screen off). Next, open Firefox browser on your Android device, paste the video url and enable desktop mode. This is it. If you turn off the display, the video should play without issue.

To listen to YouTube with the screen off on an iPhone or iPad, you can use the same method with the Safari browser. Copy the video URL and paste it to the YouTube mobile site in your Safari browser. Now play the video and go to the home screen. The video will stop playing. To resume playback, swipe up to open the control center and click the play button in the lower left corner. The sound will start playing again. Even if you turn off the screen, playback continues.

Watch the following video for a full breakdown.

Apparently, Google Chrome also allows you to play YouTube videos in the background and turn off the screen, just like we did in the Firefox browser. However, since Google owns Chrome itself, we’re not sure how long this will last. But Firefox is an open source project and shouldn’t have any problems in the future.


  • Works on both Android and iOS.
  • No additional software download required.


  • Cannot play offline YouTube videos saved in the YouTube app (YouTube supports offline videos in some countries).

Related: How to Block Specific YouTube Channels

2. Xposed Module

If you’re one of the lucky ones to have a rooted Android device with the Xposed platform installed, then it’s time to rejoice at the fruits of your hard work. YouTube Background Playback is a simple Xposed module that allows you to play YouTube videos in the background and also keeps playing that video even if you turn off the screen. The module is pretty stable and is updated every month, so even if YouTube brings a new update to interfere with the service, the module will find its way.

The way YouTube background playback works is quite ingenious. Once installed, just play the video on the official YouTube app. Now, if you close the app, you will see the video controls appear in the notification bar. You can click the play button to continue where you left off. And now, even if you lock the screen, the video will still play.

You can also use other third party apps such as (Firetube, ListenOnYouTube, OG YouTube, etc.) which we mentioned in the section on how to play YouTube videos in the background link above.


  • Can play offline YouTube videos saved in the YouTube app.


  • Root and Xposed Framework required.
  • Works on Android only.

RELATED: 13 Must-Have Xposed Modules of All Time

3. Black Screen of Life (recommended)

If you’re wondering what method I used to listen to YouTube videos with the screen off while on the train, well, that was this app.

So, there are dozens of apps to play YouTube videos in the background, but the main advantage of this app is that it allows you to play YouTube videos inside the YouTube app with the screen off. The way you want it.

And the working principle is to use a proximity sensor. When you block the proximity sensor (usually near the front camera), the screen goes black and everything playing on your Android continues to play. This works even when you put the phone screen face down or when the phone is in your pocket. Overall, this is the best method as it saves a lot of battery power and does exactly what it says.

The free version is ad-supported, so you’ll have to watch one or two videos from time to time. If you don’t like it, you can use the paid version. It is also possible to adjust the delay seconds, disable persistent notification, lock sound, timer, etc. in the settings.

Needless to say, this app is not available on the Google Play store for obvious reasons, but you can download it from the official website. And I have to say that I am impressed with the creativity that the developer has put into the app title and website.


  • Can play offline YouTube videos saved in the YouTube app.
  • No root required.


  • Only works on Android

On the subject: How much money do youtubers make? Youtubers answer

4. Use the NewPipe application

Another way to listen to YouTube videos in the background is to use the NewPipe app. This app works very differently from the Black Screen of Life app. Basically, this is very similar to using the Xposed module.

When using this application, you can simply press one button and lock your smartphone. The video just plays in the background like a music player.

The best thing about the app is that it is very lightweight, clean and easy to use. In fact, unlike any other third-party YouTube app, NewPipe simply articulates content from the YouTube website and displays it in a user-friendly and usable format. You can even download videos with just a tap if needed.

To play any video of your choice in the background, simply open the video in NewPipe and click the Background icon that appears in the lower right corner. That’s it, the video will pause and the audio will start playing in the background like a music player.

How to Listen to YouTube with Screen OFF (Android & iOS)

You can see the media is playing the action center. During audio playback, you can turn off the screen or lock your smartphone.

How to Listen to YouTube with Screen OFF (Android & iOS)

Another thing that I really like about this app is that you can add other videos to the background playlist. This eliminates the need to manually select a video for the next playback.

How to Listen to YouTube with Screen OFF (Android & iOS)

Moreover, the application is open source, completely free and contains no ads. However, you cannot download this app from the Play Store for obvious reasons.


  • Open source, free, lightweight and easy to use.
  • No ads.
  • Works like any other music player. You can simply lock your smartphone and turn off the screen.
  • Ability to set video quality and upload video to SD card.


  • Unable to sign in to your Google account.
  • You will have to manually search for each video.
  • Unable to save or subscribe to favorite channels from the application.
  • Works on Android only.
  • Unable to play videos saved in the official YouTube app.


I would personally go with the Life app black screen as it does exactly what I want and it works with the official YouTube app. Most of the time, when I listen to my favorite YouTube playlist, I just put my Android phone screen on the table, and the screen turns off and the audio is still playing. Perfect for nights and battery saving.

Also Read: 4 Android Apps to Create Text Animation for YouTube Videos

The post How to Listen to YouTube with Screen OFF (Android & iOS) first appeared on 5000+ Great Articles.



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