How To: Watch or Listen to YouTube in the Background [Android]

You are enjoying the latest additions to Vevo on YouTube, and suddenly someone calls, or you receive a Facebook notification. You switch to Facebook to check that ‘like’ and, unsurprisingly, the music stops. To start the music again, you will have to launch YouTube app and start listening from scratch, or, if you’re lucky, resume playback.

YouTube native Android application might have 2.5 million downloads and a high rating, and allows you to use voice search and enjoy search suggestions, subscribe to favorite channels and manage playlists and watch later lists, and share via email, Facebook, Google + and Twitter, this app won’t let you listen to your favorite music or keep watching the video in the background while you need to switch temporarily to another app.

The same is true about the web version of YouTube for mobile – as long as the web browser page is open, you’re listening to the music, but once you switch to a different page or app, the playback is paused. (There’s a workaround using Chrome or Firefox for Android that keeps YouTube playing in the background, even with the screen locked, but we’re expecting this trick to stop working at some point, with future Android updates.)

iOS users have better luck in this one because the Safari browser lets you play your videos and music in the background, while Android users simply have to browse for a decent YouTube app that lets you play your favorite videos and music in the background, and, luckily, the choice is abundant, and most importantly these apps are free, so here’s our list of suggestions.




This app is especially cool for those who have bandwidth restrictions and slow connections because it lets you stream audio only, leaving out video, which lets your device achieve faster buffering times. You can search YouTube videos and playlists, listen to tracks in the background, create your local playlists and favorites and add unlimited number of items to them. The app is also integrated with YouTube native app, so when in YouTube, you can tap the share menu and choose to open the video in uListen. You don’t need to associate your YouTube account with this app, so all your playlists are local. Another nice features are you can switch between high and low quality streaming, set up the sleep timer, backup and restore playlists to external storages, share via social networks and access the app quickly from the notification bar.

Viral Popup (Youtube Player)



Viral boasts of many features, and is especially ample for those who need to multitask often on their devices. You can have your favorite videos float above another app, so watching videos and listening to music is easy while you compose emails, read books or browse the web. Provided you have a powerful gadget with plenty of RAM, you can have several floating videos playing.

The app also supports full-screen mode, or lets you minimize the play window as much as to the notification tray, so listening to music in the background without occupying too much of your main screen real estate is really easy with Viral.

The UI is intuitive and attractive – the app supports Comcast, YouTube account integration, which gives you access to your playlists and much more. You can also use it to play the video from your local gallery, and choose between large number of video resolutions, as well as brightness and volume with simple one tap actions. The UI is customizable, with plenty of options and colors.

LoopTube – YouTube Player

Keisuke Kobayashi


This simple and straightforward app lets you listen to playlists and standalone tracks in the background, without relying on the official YouTube application, it lets you create favorite lists and blacklists, but most importantly, you can share things you like on social network and use it as a widget on your main screen, while doing something else on your device.

PVSTAR+ (YouTube Music Player)



Okay, this one beats even get YouTube app itself with 7 million downloads and stellar ratings. This player lets you create and manage playlists of videos from YouTube and Dailymotion, as well as enable background playback and continuous playback with repeat options. It lets you search YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, NicoVideo using voice search, search entire YouTube channels and playlists or by category.

Playback features are stellar, so not only can you have your music in the background, but you can also play entire playlists, repeat and shuffle them and create your own lists and back them up, editing title and summary. Also this player features a sleep timer and a special music mode, when you only need the music and not the video. You can share your favorite music or video on twitter and take full advantage of the low quality mode for slow connections. The app supports playlists from YouTube and NicoVideo, so you can import them; has a neat widget with equalizer, bookmarking function and keyword suggestions. It can also connect your device to the car audio system and have the app play while you drive.

Background Media Player


Background media player

This intuitive player is ample for reproduction of YouTube music and video in the background. When in full screen mode, you can go to the next or previous track with a single tap. It also features ample search functions and visualization of album thumbnails and artist information. Do whatever you do, browse Internet, communicate via social networks, Background Media Player lets you listen to your favorite music or watch videos on YouTube in the background. You can randomize playlist, play entire list, shuffle, download artwork, such as posters or movie covers. Another nifty feature is the main screen widgets for play, stop, pause, previous and next, so you can use it in the car mode and quickly switch between items while driving. Available in many languages, it’s a free and simple app that does the job.

FREEdi YouTube Player

FREEdi Multimedia


This free player enables you to choose HQ or HD videos, even when you are using 3G or 4G network; play lists of videos and YouTube channels nonstop; search for videos and lists; create your own lists without accessing your YouTube account (playlists are stored locally); play videos and exchange them with official YouTube app. Most importantly, you can enjoy your favorite YouTube content in the background.

Music Movie Player: YouTube MV


Music Movie Player

Music Movie lets you add videos to a playlist, but most importantly it delivers the required prerequisite – play YouTube videos or music in the background. You can search for videos, personalize your playlists, and enjoy the regular set of a media player functions, such as autoplay, repeat, shuffle, and edit videos’ title and description and share them via Twitter, Facebook, email and Line. It also lets you choose resolution in case your bandwidth is not that ample. The app is available in many languages, including Japanese and Chinese, Indonesian, Thai and many European.