Switch to the Picture in Picture mode for YouTube

March 25, 2020

Even when other apps are opened and currently in use, you can keep a YouTube video playing on Home Screen by enabling the Picture in Picture mode. It pushes the video in the corner of the screen where you can either dismiss the video, expand it to full-screen or continue playing it in the shrunken mode while working on other apps.

What is Picture in Picture mode?

The Picture in Picture mode is a floating window mode that shrinks the video into a small player you can move around your device's screen and position over other apps. This way, you can keep an eye on what you are watching while interacting with other sites, or applications at the same time. It gives you complete control over a video window!

This hands-on guide shares a handy tip to enable the mode for YouTube in iOS.


How to switch to Picture in Picture mode for YouTube?

You will have to switch to the YouTube website on Safari and watch your favorite YouTube videos with PiP mode. Here’s how!

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Scroll down to Picture in Picture heading.
  4. Enable the option.
  5. Launch the Safari browser.
  6. Go to YouTube to play a video.
  7. Expand it to full-screen.
  8. Switch to PiP mode.
  9. Continue playing the video or dismiss it.

Let's cover the steps in a bit of detail!

How to use Picture in Picture iPhone feature?

Picture In Picture iPhone
Picture In Picture iPhone

Once you've enabled the Picture in Picture iPhone feature via Settings, open the Safari browser and go to YouTube.com.

Look for a video you would like to play.

Full Screen Mode YouTube
Full Screen Mode YouTube

When found, play the video in full-screen mode.

Picture In Picture Icon
Picture In Picture Icon

Tap on the PiP icon and you are ready to go!

Picture In Picture YouTube
Picture In Picture YouTube

If needed, you can drag the video to any suitable location on the screen and resize the video size using two fingers gesture.

Please note, when the mode is active, the floating video window sits silently along the edge of the screen. The video size is also minimized and it becomes borderless. Some controls lie hidden to save space. Simply tap the video to get playback controls, as well as buttons, to return to the full-screen app.

If you would like to close or disable it, simply tap the window in the corner of your screen and hit the close button, marked as ‘X’.

Picture In Picture mode not working?

Clear YouTube App Cache! Open iPhone Settings, go to the General, and look for the Picture in Picture mode. Tap the option and move the slider for Start PiP Automatically to On position (Note - I was unable to replicate the same experience in the YouTube app for iOS 14 and later).

Hope it makes sense!



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Hemant Saxena
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