YouTube users who want audio playback in the background, picture-in-picture mode, ad-free viewing and other premium features will have to cough up a few bucks for a monthly subscription on YouTube Premium, formerly known as YouTube Red. A third-party app for Android, however, provides all these premium features for free. It’s called YouTube Vanced.

What is YouTube Vanced?

Think of YouTube Vanced as the same as the free app version of the video-sharing platform but on steroids. It has a number of features that make it popular among Android users: a built-in ad blocker that lets you proceed directly to the video you want to watch, a background playback feature so you can play videos outside the app, and a forced HDR mode that improves video quality through High Dynamic Range.


In addition, YouTube Vanced also has secondary color themes (besides light and dark), picture-in-picture video, repeat playback, pinch to zoom, and many more that are not yet available in YouTube Premium. 

Is YouTube Vanced legal?

This is something of a legal gray area. So far, YouTube’s parent company Google hasn’t struck the banhammer on YouTube Vanced, so it can be said that the latter hasn’t done anything unlawful for the search giant to mobilize its legal team. Note that YouTube Vanced does not let you download video files, as that one is explicitly prohibited per YouTube’s terms of service.

In the past, Google did go after a number of third-party YouTube apps and video rippers to take them down. The most prominent was ProTube, a paid iOS app that offered features not found in the official YouTube app. In 2017, it was quietly removed from the Apple App Store per Google’s takedown request.

If you’re wary, use YouTube Vanced with a secondary Google account. 

Is YouTube Vanced safe to use?

YouTube Vanced is safe as safe can be when we’re talking about third-party apps outside Google’s Play Store. There are always risks involved when you install and use apps, be it from the Play Store or from external sources. Sad to say, it’s you as the user who must decide if the apps you want to use can be trusted with your personal data.

How do you install YouTube Vanced?

YouTube Vanced app

There are several fake sites out there offering a malware-infested, outdated, or ad-riddled version of YouTube Vanced, so only get the app from the official website. It’s pretty straightforward.

There you can choose to get non-root or root variants. The process requires installing MicroG, which lets you log into YouTube Vanced using your Google account and SAI which is used to install the multiple APK files of YouTube Vanced.

1.) Go to the official YouTube Vanced website:
2.) Download MicroG and install it.
3.) Download the SAI app from the Google Play Store.
4.) Go to the File Manager —> Downloads folder in your device and select the vanced .apks.
5.) Click install and you’re done.

6 Vanced alternatives: Watch YouTube videos without ads

Some ads are annoying that many users would go to great lengths to avoid it. At the same time, ads are what keep many online services and website alive. But until companies lower the intrusiveness and pervasiveness of ads to a tolerable degree, alternative apps like YouTube Vanced will always appear to offer a cleaner web browsing and online experience.

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