How to Listen to YouTube for Free When Your iPhone is Locked

Imagine you are on the go and wish to catch up with some of your favorite YouTube videos. However, instead of watching the video, you want to listen to the audio in the background even when your device is locked. But when you go on to try it, you come to know that the freemium version of the video-sharing app does not support this feature. So, disappointing! But worry not, there is a neat hack through which you can listen to YouTube for free when your iPhone is locked. 

Play YouTube Videos in the Background for Free on iPhone

To get started, let’s discuss how this lesser-known trick works!

So, how do you play YouTube in the background while your iOS device is locked? 

Well, this workaround requires you to play YouTube in Safari – Apple’s popular browser. Yeah, you got that right! Apple Safari can let you play videos while your device is set to the lock position. 

But instead of streaming the video via the mobile site, you will have to switch to the desktop version of YouTube. Gone were the times when switching from the mobile version of a site to a desktop version or vice versa used to be a hassle. Now, you can go back and forth with just a tap or two thanks to a built-in option. 

What about the software requirement? Though this feature has existed for a long time, I would recommend you update the software on your iPhone to ward off any glitches. 

Play YouTube Videos in the Background on iOS

1. First off, open Safari on your ‌iPhone‌ and go to

Go to

2. After that, head over to the video that you would like to listen to. 

3. Next, tap on the menu button (i.e. aA) in Safari’s address bar. 

4. Next up, select Request Desktop Website in the popup menu. 

request desktoop site on iPhone and iPad in Sfari

5. Up next, tap on the play button to start listening to the video. Make sure to get rid of any popups that may ask you to open the YouTube mobile app. 

6. After that, press the side button to lock your ‌iPhone‌.

7. Note that your audio will now be paused. To resume the play, just tap on the Play button in the Lock Screen playback controls widget.

Play YouTube Videos in the Background for Free on iPhone

And that’s pretty much it! Now, go ahead and listen to your favorite video without any interference. It’s worth pointing out that you can take advantage of this very workaround to play more YouTube videos in the background on your iOS device. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. Is YouTube the best video-sharing platform? 

While the market is flooded with a ton of video-sharing platforms, YouTube remains by far the most loved platform. Thanks to the deep integration with Google, a massive community of creators, and a more reliable monetization system, YouTube is always ahead of the curve. 

2. Why is YouTube not working on my iPhone? 

An outdated version could be at the heart of the problem. Therefore, go to the App Store -> your profile -> scroll down to find YouTube and then update the app as usual. If that doesn’t fix the app, delete and reinstall it. 

Posted by
Rajesh Mishra

Co-founder/Editor-in-Chief: Rajesh Mishra (Your beloved “R.K” 360 Reader Voice) is a Shakespearean poet at heart who turned a tech nerd while having a secret rendezvous with iPhone 4. When that rendezvous turned obsession, he let go of his hard-core political journalism in favour of the lifelong love-affair with technology. In a career spanning one and a half decades, Mr. Mishra has crafted over 8K articles and around 2K YouTube videos. He is probably the only journalist alive with this unique achievement. When he is not at his desk, you may find him either engrossed in a Deathmatch or chasing Wordsworth!

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