How To Play YouTube In The Background iPhone 2021

When Apple released iOS 14 beta and along with it came the picture and picture feature. You can now watch any video while using other applications or even play them in the background. Unfortunately, when the full version was released, the picture in picture mode stopped working for YouTube. In this guide, I will explain some ways on how to play youtube in the background iPhone iOS 14 devices. You can use the same guide to enable YouTube picture in picture mode on iOS 14 devices.

To play YouTube in the background on iPhone or enable YouTube picture in picture, I would suggest two options.

  • YouTube Red
  • Use Opera Mini Browser (Opera is smoother than Safari) or Safari

I personally use YouTube Red now and have been for over a year now. If you ask me if the subscription is worth it, it is 100% as I spend most of my time on YouTube rather than Spotify or any other platform. I also have a YouTube channel, so it makes it extremely easy and seamless when there are no ads, I can download any video to watch later, and much more. For a detailed review on the best YouTube red features, keep reading.

READ: How To Play YouTube Videos On Repeat

Before I started using YouTube Red, we could use browser tricks to minimize YouTube in the background. This would allow you to play YouTube while using other applications; the tricks stopped working for a while. I discovered last week that it still works. That will be the first trick I will guide you through in this guide.

How To Play YouTube In The Background iPhone iOS

Let’s see how to use the browser trick to minimize YouTube and enable Picture in Picture in iOS 14.

1. Opera Mini & Safari – Minimizing YouTube In iOS 14

Opera mini is a free browser application available in the app store. The only thing you need is your apple id login, and you will be able to download any free application.

 1.1 Downloading Opera Mini

Downloading Opera Mini Browser From App Store

– Open the app store and tap on the search option on the bottom right corner of the screen

– Search for “opera mini.”

– Download the “Opera Browser: Fast & Private”.

READ: How To Set Parental Controls On YouTube & Why You Should

1.2 How To To Play YouTube In The Background iPhone: Using Opera Mini

– Open the opera mini browser that you downloaded in the previous step

– Go through the initial welcome configuration and get to the home page/ dashboard

– Open YouTube from the homepage or just type “” in the address bar on the top of the screen.

Opening On The Opera Mini Browser

– Search for or open the video you want to listen in the background

– When the video loads and if there are any ads, let them play.

– Once the ads are done, and your video starts playing, tap on the options icon on the bottom right corner of the screen

– A tiny settings menu pops up, tap on the “Desktop Site,” and enable the desktop version of the webpage

– Now, the full web version of should load now, try playing the video again. The video will start playing fullscreen

– If you lock the screen, the video stops playing

– Press the unlock button and tap on the play button on the lock screen

Playing YouTube Vide While iPhone Is Locked

– Now, locking the phone does not make any difference, but the YouTube videos will continue playing in the background

READ: Record Screen For YouTube Like A Professional

1.3 Using Safari Browser

You can use Safari to play YouTube in the background; the only thing is the web version of YouTube runs a bit clanky on the safari browser.

If you want to just use the Safari browser, do the following.

– Open Safari and go to “”

– Find and load the video that you want to play

 – Tap on the AA icon on the top left corner of the screen next to the search bar

– Find and tap on the “Request Desktop Website.”

– Give it a few seconds, and once the video loads in the full version of YouTube


– Now, if you switch apps or lock the phone, you can play the video in the background once you tap on the play button in the lock screen/action center

How To Enable YouTube Picture In Picture In iOS 14 iPhone

Enabling Picture in Picture on YouTube in iOS 14 iPhone is the same as playing YouTube in the background on iPhone. If you would like to see the exact steps to download and install opera on your iPhone, see the steps mentioned above.

YouTube Picture in Picture in iOS 14 iPhone Using Opera Mini / Safari Browser

Before getting into the guide, the process to do this is exactly the same on the Safari browser too.

– Open the opera mini browser and go to YouTube from the homepage or enter “” in the address bar on the top of the screen

– Find the video that you want to open in the picture in picture mode

– Pause the video and tap on the settings icon on the bottom right corner of the screen

– Tap on the “Desktop Mode,” and the YouTube page will reload

– After the video loads, play the video. The video should start playing in Fullscreen mode

– Swipe up from the bottom, and now the YouTube video will start playing in Picture in Picture mode.

– You can tap on the same video top open it back in the opera mini browser

If any of these steps mentioned did not work or you need any assistance, please let me know in the comments below.

READ: Do YouTubers Make A Lot Of Money From YouTube?

2. Why YouTube Red Is The Best Alternative To Minimize YouTube on iPhone or iOS devices?

Anyone who is a huge YouTube user should be acquainted with YouTube red by now. If not, I am here to help you out. So, how to play youtube in the background on iPhone using YouTube Red.

YouTube recently launched a new premium subscription service called “YouTube Red.” This is optional, so you can continue to use the free YouTube version unless you decide to opt-in on the premium subscription service from YouTube. This allows you to play YouTube in the background on iPhone or iOS devices.


But I can watch whatever I want on YouTube, so why would I need it?

Yes, you are right, but there are perks of being a premium YouTube Red subscriber.

YouTube Red brings the following features to its users:

YouTube Minimize: YouTube red’s biggest perk is the ability to minimize the official YouTube app and still to be able to listen to the audio from the video that is playing in the application.

Ad-Free Videos: Yes, you will not have to see a single AD when you opt-in on this service.

Offline Playback: Haven’t all of us wanted to download our favorite video to watch it later when we do not have any internet connection? YouTube red brings offline playback to its users. You can download the video and watch it later, regardless of your internet connection status.

Premium Content: Most famous YouTubers are going to create exclusive content for YouTube red subscribers. Yes, content that can only be watched if you are paying for YouTube’s Red service.

YouTube Music: YouTube music is a brand-new application from Google. When you search for a song on YouTube music, the algorithm filters out all the non-musical results and only provides you with the official tracks related to your search term. You can use this service even though you have not got a premium YouTube red subscription service. The limitations of using the free version of YouTube Music are the same as compared to free YouTube.

Offline Videos: YouTube Red allows you to download all the videos on YouTube and watch them later even when you do not have any internet connection.

This is a feature that has me hooked, especially sometimes an especially important video I find might be later taken down or removed by the uploader. With the ability to download the video straight away, I can watch them later whenever I need them, even though the video is removed by the content uploader.

So, how much does it cost to get a YouTube Red subscription?

YouTube Red costs $10 per month, and it is only available for users in Australia, New Zealand, United States, Mexico, and South Korea now.

Are you from other parts of the world? Sorry, bad luck!! 😀

YouTube Red is now available in lots of other countries throughout the world. YouTube Music, on the other hand, is also available in certain countries that might not have access to YouTube Red yet. Check the full list of all the countries that have access to YouTube Red or YouTube Music.

That’s how to play youtube in background iPhone,iPad, or any iOS device. Enabling YouTube Picture In Picture is also quite simple and very useful especially if you multitask a lot.

Prajwal is a senior editor @Windowslovers. A Tech enthusiast who loves to read and write articles that aid users in getting the most out of their gadgets and tech it easy.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.