Background play isn't working

Background play only works in YouTube mobile apps and requires a YouTube Premium membership. Some videos aren't available for background play or to download offline, even if you have a channel membership. Review the steps below for help resolving your issue.

Common troubleshooting steps

 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 that your membership hasn't expired

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

Try signing in to YouTube Premium again

Make sure that you're signed in to the account associated with your YouTube Premium membership.

  • Try signing out and signing back in to the account associated with YouTube Premium.
  • Check that you can see the YouTube Premium logo (instead of the YouTube logo) in YouTube.

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 been launched.

Check your background playback settings

Check your background playback settings in the YouTube app to make sure that 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recently restored your phone, it may include an old version of the YouTube app (versions below 12.0 are considered outdated).

Check your phone's mobile data settings

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

Additional steps to try

Verify that no other apps are playing audio

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

Check the strength of your Internet connection

Video downloads require a strong Internet connection. Make sure that your device is connected to a 3 Mbps 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 in 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.

If this happens, you'll need to re-enable YouTube notifications at the OS level and, if you still don't want to receive notifications, you can disable them from the YouTube app settings.

Contact support and 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 away when you leave the app or whether it plays for some time but then stops unexpectedly.
  • Please specify any error messages that you see when you return to the app.
  • Please submit in-app feedback.
Send product feedback to YouTube:
  • You can also submit in-product feedback. You won't get a response but your feedback will be shared with the YouTube product teams.
  • To do this, select your profile photo and then Feedback Feedback.
  • Make sure that you tick the box for 'System logs'. This helps us to better understand your issue. 


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