Background play isn't working

Background play only works in the YouTube mobile apps and requires a YouTube Premium membership. Review the steps below for help resolving your issue.

Common troubleshooting steps

Check that your membership hasn’t expired

Make sure your YouTube Premium membership has not expired. In the YouTube app, tap your profile picture and then Paid memberships and scroll down to Manage.

If you recently lost access to YouTube Premium and then re-subscribed, note that it will take a few hours for saved videos to become available again once you've re-subscribed. If you need to watch a video right away, tap More  and select Retry download.

Check YouTube Premium availability in your location

YouTube Premium benefits only work in countries where YouTube Premium is available. Check that you're in a location where YouTube Premium has launched.

Check your background playback settings

Check your background playback settings in the YouTube app to make sure you haven’t disabled the setting.

Update your YouTube app

Make sure that you're using the latest version of the YouTube app. Visit your device's app store and check if you have any pending updates for the YouTube app.

If you have a new phone, or you've recently restored your phone, it may include an old version of the YouTube app (e.g., versions below 12.0 are considered outdated).

Check your phone's mobile data settings

Check the settings on your mobile device to ensure you have enabled background data for YouTube.

Additional steps to try 

Verify that no other apps are playing audio

Check any other apps you have open to ensure that none of them are playing audio. Background play will not work while other apps are playing audio.

Restart the YouTube app or reboot your device

If the YouTube app or your mobile device has been running for some time, there may not be enough resources for background play to work smoothly. Try closing the YouTube app or rebooting your phone.

Check the strength of your internet connection

Video downloads require a strong internet connection. Make sure that your device is connected to a 3Mbps or faster Wi-Fi network, or a mobile network with a data plan that supports 3G, 4G, or LTE speeds. If you're not sure what your current internet speed is, you can test your speed online.

Check your phone's notification settings

Check that you haven't blocked all notifications for the YouTube app. You can confirm this within your device settings. If you've blocked notifications, the YouTube app might not be able to run smoothly and/or access the internet in the background.

Contact support & submit product feedback

If you're still having trouble, contact support. When contacting support, please mention the following:
  • Please specify whether the sound stops right when you leave the app, or whether it plays for some time but then stops unexpectedly.
  • Please specify any error messages you see when you return to the app.
Send product feedback to YouTube:
  • You can also submit feedback about your issue. You won't get a response, but your feedback will be shared with YouTube.
  • To do this, select your profile photo and then Feedback Feedback in YouTube.
  • Make sure to check the box for "System logs." This helps us better understand your issue. 

 

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