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2,862 Tutorials

How to play YouTube videos in the background on Android

Keep listening or playing YouTube video while using other Android apps

Believe it or not, YouTube is the largest online streaming service, with music videos making up an estimated 39 percent of all videos played. Needless to say, there is an appetite for users to be able to continue listening to music on YouTube while using other apps on their Android devices. Here’s where we show you how to play YouTube videos in the background on Android. See all Android How-to tutorials.

The official YouTube app does not allow you to continue to keep playing video, or at least listen to video, when you exit the app. However, there are apps that act as portals to YouTube’s content that do. So all you need to do is download the right app. We used the app NextVid and it worked well for us on a Sony Xperia SP smartphone running Android Jelly Bean OS. Visit Group test: what's the best Android phone?

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How to play YouTube videos in the background on Android

Step one

The first thing that you are going to need to do is open Google Play on your Android device and search for the app NextVid. The full name of the app you need is called ‘NextVid – YouTube player’ you will only need the free version of the app for this to work. Once you have found the app, download and install it.


Step two

When the app has been installed, you obviously need to open it and then search for the YouTube video you want to watch. Search, selecting and playing video in this app is pretty straight forwards and intuitive.

Step three

Once you are playing the video you want in the NextVid app, simply hit the Android Back or Home buttons. When you return to the Home Screen you will see that there is a NextVid message in the notifications bar…and the audio to your YouTube video will still be playing.

Step four

You’re pretty much there now. All you need to do next, is open whatever app you want to use at the same time as playing a YouTube video in the background.

Note: To return to the NextVid app, simply bring in the notifications bar and select the NextVid option.

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