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On my iPad mini 3, a currently-playing YouTube video in Safari used to continue to play if the active tab was changed, similar to how a tabbed browser on an actual computer functions. This fact was true for the past year that I've been using this iPad.

But, since very recently, video no longer behaves in this manner on my iPad (running iOS 10.3.1.).

For example:

  • I have 2 tabs open in Safari.

  • One tab is a Stack Exchange webpage and the other is a YouTube video.

  • The YouTube tab is the active tab. I tap the video area to play the YouTube video.

  • As soon as I tap and switch to the Stack Exchange tab, the video ceases to play.

  • When I return to the YouTube video tab, the video does not automatically play where it left off. The video is paused, so I must tap (i.e., un-pause) the video to get the video to continue playing.

I am assuming that this is an "Apple" issue, and not a "YouTube" issue.

I tried pressing the media control buttons that appear when one swipes the bottom of the screen upward. These buttons do not affect the YouTube video (excluding the volume slider). This is more unusual behavior, because I recall that the media play/pause button used to play/pause a YouTube video, no matter whether the YouTube tab was active or hidden.

I have tried rebooting the iPad by holding the sleep button down for a few seconds, and then sliding the button to power off. Doing this did not solve the issue.

I prefer to view YouTube videos in Safari, as opposed to in a dedicated YouTube app, because having the YouTube video in a Safari tab is more convenient (i.e., it takes fewer taps to access).

Does anyone know how to keep a YouTube video in Safari playing, when another Safari tab is active?

  • I'm not even going to try and answer the question directly since I don't use Safari and know nothing about it. Just... One way you could get around it is for example ProTube. It's a paid app for youtube that has the ability to play videos in the background. Also you can use the picture in picture video mode with it. My only gripe is that it doesn't work with airplay, so I gotta switch to the default client or use airplay mirroring to do that. Also the interface took a bit getting used to. – Joonas May 13 '17 at 11:01
  • Nobody has answered anything, so I thought I'd at least test it myself. Sure enough, my Safari behaves the same way in my ipad and iPhone (ios 10.3.1). I tested different browsers I use, and they were pretty inconsistent. Chrome had the same problem. Sleipnir kept playing the video as long as I stayed in the app and it stopped and wouldn't let me continue playing if I switched to another app. Mercury passed with flying colors. The audio still cut off when I changed apps, but it did allow me to continue playing outside of it. My best guess is that it's a bug introduced by an ios update. – Joonas May 14 '17 at 17:03
  • Thanks for the info. I was excited to try the Mercury Browser, but it appears that it no longer exists in the App Store. – rubik's sphere May 15 '17 at 23:25
  • Huh... I had no idea. There still might be other browsers that do work, but who knows. The only thing I got left is to go back to saying what I said in my first comment and recommend ProTube... – Joonas May 16 '17 at 0:08

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