YouTube Red is a new subscription service on the streaming video site that gives users exclusive features by paying a monthly subscription fee. However, here’s how to get YouTube Red for free.
First of all, I’m not condoning piracy here. This isn’t a way to hack into the YouTube app and get YouTube Red for free illegally. Instead, it’s just a matter of jailbreaking your iPhone (which is completely legal) and downloading a Cydia tweak that gives you the features that YouTube Red offers. If you don’t have a jailbroken iPhone or don’t want to jailbreak, there’s another option as well, but isn’t quite as streamlined.
The jailbreak tweak is called YouTube ++ and it’s actually been around for a while now, long before YouTube Red even existed. It simply enables a few cool features and disables some features that users might find annoying, like ads.
The tweak wasn’t specifically made to bypass YouTube Red’s subscription service by any means, but it’s funny how things work out. In any case, here’s how to get YouTube Red for free.
What Is YouTube Red?
Google has been talking about a subscription service for YouTube for a while now, but it’s finally here for users to take advantage of.
YouTube Red costs $9.99 per month and comes with a few cool features that might be worth the price for some users. Firstly, it’s completely ad-free so you won’t see any kind of ads while watching YouTube. It also comes with a few exclusive features, like offline viewing of videos that you save, as well as background audio, which allows you to start a video and then exit the app while still having the audio play. This is great for music and other videos where the video portion isn’t entirely needed.
YouTube Red also comes with free access to Google Music, where you get unlimited music to listen to for free. There’s also some exclusive content for YouTube Red subscribers, with PewDiePie being one of the providers for some exclusive videos so far.
These last two features you won’t be able to get with the YouTube ++ jailbreak tweak, but it’s possible you may only be interested in the other features.
How to Get YouTube Red for Free
If you’re not jailbroken on your iPhone and are on iOS 9.0, you can still jailbreak your device using the Pangu jailbreak tool. However, if you’re updated to iOS 9.1 or iOS 9.2, you’re unfortunately out of luck.
You’ll need to install a tweak called YouTube ++, which is found in Cydia. Lucky for you, it contains most of the features that YouTube Red has, so you can essentially get YouTube Red for free, even though you’re not truly subscribing to the service.
YouTube ++ will give you the basic features in YouTube Red, including blocked ads, offline playback, and background audio. Plus, there are a handful of other features you’ll get as well, including custom forward/rewind controls, speed controls, choosing a default playback quality, and an in-app web browser.
After you install YouTube ++, you can go into the YouTube app and access the Settings. From there you’ll see a Preferences button below YouTube ++ where you can access all of the different settings for the jailbreak tweak.
For Non-Jailbroken iPhones
If your iPhone is not jailbroken and you can’t jailbreak it because you’re on a newer version of iOS, you’re not completely out of luck.
While it’s not quite as integrated and seamless as YouTube ++, a great solution is a piece of Mac software called YouTube Converter. It’s made by a really cool development team called Softorino and we’ve talked about it in the past.
To download YouTube Converter, go to this website and click Free Download. From there, install the app like you would with any other Mac app.
The app is smart enough that when you go to YouTube in your web browser and copy the URL, the app will automatically insert the clip into the converter. From there, it’s just a matter of hitting start and transferring it over to your iPhone. The videos then show up in the stock Videos app.
Again, it’s not exactly true YouTube Red functionality, but hey, this is a way to watch YouTube videos without ads and without needing an internet connection.
Why You Should Pay for YouTube Red
So while I showed you easy ways to get YouTube Red for free, it does have its downsides. First off, YouTube ++ doesn’t work on your computer, and it will only work on the iPhone that you have the tweak installed on.
Furthermore, it doesn’t give you all of the features of YouTube Red, especially the free access to Google Music. Plus, the YouTube converter app is a very rough workaround for getting YouTube Red for free.
If you tend to watch YouTube videos on different devices and not solely on your jailbroken iOS device, then it might be worth it to pay for YouTube Red. This will give you an ad-free experience across all platforms that you’re on.
If you watch YouTube videos a lot anyway, then $9.99 per month isn’t a bad price to pay. I have a handful of YouTube channels that I subscribe to and watch daily, so paying three cents per day for YouTube Red is a pretty great deal.
Plus, you’ll be supporting your favorite content creators. So don’t think of it as giving money to Google, but rather giving money to the YouTubers that you enjoy watching.