YouTube is the most popular video streaming site in the world. Founded on February 14th, 2005 in San Mateo, California, the platform quickly grew in popularity thanks to its tools enabling anyone to express themselves to the world. And by everyone, I mean everyone can express themselves and share their knowledge. There are other video streaming services such as Vimeo that have done reasonably well but have never even come close to YouTube’s popularity. YouTube has even become the second most popular search engine!
YouTube’s important enough that late-night talk show hosts sometimes make jokes about all the viewers watching the show for free on YouTube rather than traditional cable TV.
Owned by the powerhouse Google company, YouTube makes its revenue through advertising by being partnered with YouTube stars who possess very large audiences. Ad revenue on videos of over 1 million views generates a ton of income, so they really want you to see those ads, hence paying for the ability to turn off the screen.
The point of the YouTube platform is for you to upload content that you find interesting and see if you can gather an audience. Topics on YouTube range from gaming to music to art and anything in between. The possibilities are endless here. In fact, the platform has become so popular that Facebook is trying to create its own video service to compete with YouTube.
However, with all of that content available to users, it makes sense that viewers would want to watch it without having to be on their phone all the time. Maybe they want to sleep with content on in the background, or possibly even want to walk around with their phone locked in their pocket. Personally I use YouTube to listen to music in my car, but that means that my screen is on the whole time I am listening. And as much as I like seeing flashes of music videos out of the corner of my eye, it really isn’t the best set-up. One of the reasons to use YouTube for a main music source is the desire to not pay for a streaming music service, so paying for YouTube premium isn’t a realistic option.
Unfortunately, YouTube automatically shuts off if you lock your phone.
That said, there are ways around this. In this guide, we’re going to showcase how you can work your way around the phone lock system and ensure you can listen to YouTube videos regardless of if you’re on your phone or not.
How To Play YouTube With Phone Locked
There are a few different ways to play YouTube with your phone locked, regardless of your reasoning as to why you need to do it. Maybe you want to save battery or just want to listen to music or an interview while you sleep. It doesn’t matter why – we’re going to help you do so.
Each of these tips depends on your mobile operating system, but don’t worry, we have tips for both iOS and for Android.
Play Through Mozilla Firefox While on Android
This is a simple workaround. If you’re using an Android device, pull up a YouTube video within the Mozilla Firefox browser instead of via the YouTube application.
If you do so, you can even lock your phone and the device will continue to play the audio anyways. That said, you cannot control playback while your phone is locked. This means you have to unlock it to skip through the video, pause it, play it, or do anything else.
Fortunately, Mozilla’s Firefox application is a free download that you can take advantage of whenever you’d like. It’s a great, sleek, light browser that is sheer and utter bliss to use.
Play Through Google Chrome Browser On Android
The Google Chrome Browser on Android workaround is similar to the Mozilla Firefox one. Simply pull up the Chrome Browser – which should come preloaded on your Android phone – and watch the video in question.
If you lock your phone, the audio should continue playing. However, you can control the pause and play features via your lock screen thanks to Google’s integration – a nice, if not unintended touch.
To be fair, if you want to do this, you need to ensure Google Chrome is in Desktop Mode on your Android device. To do so, simply open your Google Chrome mobile browser, and head up to the three dots on the top right of the screen.
Tap that and select “Request Desktop Site” from the resulting list of items. It will check a box, and the page will refresh into a larger, desktop-themed website. Do this if your video playback is still cutting out when using the Chrome Browser in mobile mode.
However, if you have the browser in desktop mode, you won’t be able to control the playback features via the lock screen which is unfortunate. But it’s better than not being able to lock your screen at all.
Play Through the Safari Browser On iOS
While the previous two tips have been for Android users, this one is for you iPhone and iPad users who love YouTube.
You can use the Safari web browser to pull up the desired video and play it from there. If you do use Safari on your iPhone or iPad to play YouTube videos, the audio content should playback even through your locked screen.
iOS users should also be able to use the Mozilla Firefox browser to accomplish the same feat. You should also be able to control playback with the free Firefox browser as well.
There you have it! We hope you found this TechJunkie how-to article useful. While none of these are official workarounds, they are all free ways to watch YouTube with your phone’s screen locked.
That said, there is an “official” way to do this as well. You have to pay for YouTube’s YouTube Premium, which used to be called YouTube Red. You watch videos and or just listen while your out walking or running with YouTube Premium. If you’re willing to do that, then you have an easy way to do so without leaving the application.
For someone who uses YouTube a lot, it may be worth looking into YouTube Premium. There are other benefits other than just the locked screen videos.
If you enjoyed this TechJunkie article, you may also like other articles such as How To Play Youtube in the Background on the iPhone [October 2019].
If you have any tips and tricks for playing YouTube videos with the screen locked on an iPhone, iPad or an Android device, please leave us a comment below? Also, do you have any experience using YouTube Premium (formerly callled YouTube Red)? Did you consider YouTube Premium worth the money? Tell us about it in the comments below!