Complete Guide to Background Play on YouTube Music


How to play YouTube  Music in Background
How to play YouTube Music in Background | photo courtesy | Facebook


YouTube Music, similar to Spotify, provides a free, ad-supported plan, but the background play feature is exclusive to the premium subscription.

Unlike Spotify, YouTube restricts background play on its free tier, encouraging users to upgrade.

Nevertheless, there are legal methods available to play YouTube music in the background without opting for a premium plan.

Stream YouTube Music in the Background

While alternatives like YouTube Vanced and New Pipe offer similar functionality, this guide focuses on legal apps and methods.

YouTube Music Website

  • Open your browser and navigate to
  • Tap the three-dot menu icon and select “Desktop site” to open the website in desktop view.
  • Play songs and seamlessly switch back to the home screen to engage with other apps.


  • Enjoy uninterrupted playback even when the app is closed and the screen is turned off.
  • Access YouTube Music playlists and other features hassle-free.


  • The desktop mode experience on the phone may be less enjoyable.

Stream App

  • Install the Stream app from the Play Store.
  • The app prompts for permission to ‘draw over other apps’ to enable the pop-up view.
  • Start playing a song in the Stream app, and it will initiate in pop-up view, allowing multitasking.


  • Ability to play songs in a convenient pop-up view.
  • The app layout is preferable compared to opening the website in desktop mode.


  • Background play is restricted to pop-up view; songs cannot be played when the screen is turned off.


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Pi Music Player

  • Download and install Pi Music Player from the Play Store.
  • Grant the necessary permissions and launch the app.
  • Swipe left to access the Discover tab, where you’ll find songs powered by YouTube Music.
  • Play a song, and the app requests permission to ‘draw over other apps.’
  • Choose Pi Music Player and activate ‘Allow display over other apps.’
  • When the screen is turned off, the app will suggest using power-saving mode.


  • Activates power-saving mode during playback.
  • Enables a pop-up view for added convenience.


  • I cannot access YouTube playlists.
  • Audio-only mode is not supported.

Black Screen of Life

  • Download the Black Screen of Life app directly from the Play Store.
  • Open the app and enable the sensor feature.
  • Launch You Tube Music, play a song and obstruct the proximity sensor to turn the screen off.


  • It allows you to turn off the phone while music from You Tube is playing.


  • Does not provide the option to close the You Tube Music app.


While several methods exist, a recommended approach is to combine Stream with Black Screen of Life.

Stream is a dedicated app for playing YouTube songs cleanly in a pop-up mode, and Black Screen of Life allows users to turn off their phone when the device is not in use, providing complete control over background playback for free.

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