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April 15, 2016

Background Buffer in YouTube's Android App

I paused a video in YouTube's app for Android and got this message: "paused videos keep buffering if you leave the app". There's a background buffering feature and YouTube shows the how much data has been buffered. For example, "buffering 11.8/39 MB". YouTube videos are actually cached, so that's the reason why YouTube's cache can become huge.

When YouTube caches the entire video, you'll receive a notification which shows that the video is "ready to watch".

This is useful if you have a slow Internet connection: play a YouTube video, pause it, leave the app and wait until the video is cached. Then you can watch it.

An article from Indian Express mentioned in December that "Google will introduce pause buffer feature soon allowing users to pause video, leave it to buffer, even leave the app or site and let it continue buffering". Google CEO Sundar Pichai delivered a keynote speech at a Google India event in New Delhi and announced a lot of interesting features: "tap to translate" will be released this year, "Google will crowd source the data for its translate feature", "1.4 billion Android users in the world", "free WiFi at 100 railway stations in India by December 2016", "Internet access to Indians in their own language is the focus for Google in India".

Android Police reported in December that YouTube was testing background buffering.


  1. And just to make clear, are you using YouTube Red?

    1. Yes, but this feature is not related to YouTube Red. It only caches videos in the background, it doesn't let you play videos in the background.

  2. Back when I had a YouTube Red subscription I used to use the offline feature to do basically this.

  3. Its not working for me when I go to home by pressing home button it gets paused and there is no notification like that! I am on the latest version of YouTube

  4. Hey, why I don't have this feature? My friend that have the same phone have it and I haven't... Why this happens?

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