Xiaomi Removes Feature That Let Users Play YouTube Videos in Background for Free

  • Xiaomi is removing the background YouTube video playback feature from MIUI and HyperOS.
  • Xiaomi introduced video playback support when the screen is off with MIUI 12.

Xiaomi has revealed it is removing a feature that allows users to play YouTube videos in the background for free. The announcement was made through a Mi Fans Home Telegram channel post. Here’s what this is about.

No YouTube Videos in the Background on Xiaomi Phones!

The change will remove the “Play video sound with screen off” feature in the Video toolbox and the Turn-off screen feature in the Game toolbox. This will happen via an over-the-air aka OTA software update. So, if you find the feature not working on your device, it is not a bug but an intentional change from the company’s end.

Why Is This Happening?

It said the decision was taken due to compliance requirements. The ability to play YouTube videos in the background is one of the many perks bundled with YouTube Premium subscription. There are third-party tools and software features that allow users to take advantage of these features without having to pay. It is why Google has been cracking down and shutting down many such tools and features recently.

Since Xiaomi said it had to remove the feature due to compliance requirements, it is safe to assume it was Google that made the company take this decision. It also makes sense, allowing Google to get more paying subscribers.

We have already seen YouTube making it harder for users to skip ads and slowing down video playback for ad blocker users. All of these have been YouTube and Google’s attempt at forcing users to pay for the Premium subscription.

To recall, a similar decision was taken by OPPO in January, which will result in the removal of the background stream feature from the Smart Sidebar.

What Xiaomi Devices Are Affected?

Xiaomi says the decision will affect all smartphones running MIUI 12, MIUI 13, MIUI 14, and newly released HyperOS. These include modern flagships like the Xiaomi 14, Xiaomi 13, Xiaomi 13 Pro, and Xiaomi 12T.

Here is the detailed chart showing what Xiaomi devices won’t play YouTube videos in the background for free.