Using Youtube on iOS while screen is off

Posted on Sun 23 June 2019 in engineering

Some months ago Youtube presented Youtube Premium, a suscription plan that between more features, allows you to continue using video in background mode (while you're viewing another app or when you decide turn off the screen).

This easy tweak will allow you to continue seeing Youtube videos in background as you did in the past, and everything without require Jailbreak for your iPhone / iPad.

TL;DR; using Youtube BG shortcut, you will be able to run Youtube videos in background mode from the "Share menu" in the youtube app.


  1. Install Shortcurts app from the AppStore.
  2. From the official Youtube app, press the three dots to show the "Sharing", and once in, press the More button on the bottom-rigth, and again, More in the share menu.
    Enable Shortcuts
  3. Install the Youtube BG shortcut pressing here.

How to play a youtube video in background mode

From the Youtube app, press in the three dots (share menu) -> more -> shortcuts -> youtube bg

It will play the video, and you will be able to turn off the screen or change to another app.

Using Youtube BG shortcut

** Note: if the video sound stops, you can press play from the bottom menu (as when you want to change a song from Spotify), and it will play in background mode.

How it works

Thanks to youtube-dl, I'll get the raw-video URL, and using the iOS app Shortcuts, you will be able to run all the flow from the sharing menu of the official Youtube app.