It’s common for us to watch content on one half of our screen, whether it’s a computer or a phone, and do other things on the other. Thanks to recent updates, you no longer need to put two apps side by side to achieve this layout. You can play the video or whatever you are watching in a floating window with picture-in-picture mode.
All operating systems, including Windows 10, Windows 11, Chrome OS, macOS, Android, and iOS, support a picture-in-picture view. It lets you minimize a video to a corner of your screen. It keeps playing in a mini floating window over other apps so you can watch it while doing other things. Here’s how to use picture-in-picture mode on your Android phone, iPhone, Mac, Chromebook, or Windows PC.
Picture-in-picture mode on a Mac
At macOSpicture-in-picture mode is available on most applications where you usually stream videos, such as the native QuickTime player, Safari, Google Chrome, and more. Unfortunately, there’s no central switch to instantly jump into this view, but it won’t take you more than a few clicks either.
When you have read a file on Quick Time, you can just press the picture-in-picture button, which should be second from the right on the row of playback controls. On Safari and Google Chrome, right-click twice on a video stream and select “Enter picture in picture”. If it doesn’t work on a website like netflix, you can try right-clicking the speaker icon at the top of Safari and the “Media Control” icon at the top-right corner of Chrome. You can move and resize the hover window by stretching its edges.
Picture-in-picture mode on an iPhone
On a iPhonethe picture-in-picture feature can cut not only videos to a corner, but also FaceTime calls. Apple rolled out this feature with iOS 14and since then, several apps have released updates to take advantage of it, including Netflix, FaceTime, Safari, Google Chrome, Amazon Prime Video, and more.
Unlike macOS, you don’t need to tap an option to enable PiP mode on an iPhone. While playback is active, all you have to do is switch to another app or swipe up to go home, and the video will automatically start playing in a small thumbnail in the corner of the app. screen. So, while watching a movie on Netflix, just swipe up to return to the home screen, and playback will continue in a floating window. You can touch the mini-window to reveal the playback controls.
If you can’t trigger picture-in-picture mode, make sure it’s enabled in Settings > General > Picture-in-Picture. Some sites like Youtube may also refuse to work with your iPhone’s PiP mode even if the browser is compatible. In this case, tap on the full screen option and try again.
Picture-in-picture mode on a Windows PC
Windows 10 and Windows 11 also offers a picture-in-picture feature, and it works with both local files and any video streams you come across online. Most popular programs, such as Google Chrome and the built-in Movies & TV app, are compatible with Windows picture-in-picture mode.
The way you use picture-in-picture mode on a Windows PC is largely the same as what you do on a Mac. On a web browser like Microsoft Edge, right-click twice on an active playback and select “Picture in Picture Mode”. On an offline app such as “Movies & TV”, click the third button from the right of the control panel to switch to picture-in-picture view. You can hold the edges of the mini-window and expand it, and you can also hover over it to reveal pause and close buttons.
Picture-in-picture mode on Android phone
Android phones had a picture-in-picture mode long before any of their counterparts. The multitasking feature is available for Android 8, launched in 2017 and above. The process of using picture in picture on Android phone is simple and you don’t have to do much. When you quit an app that’s already playing video content, it automatically trims it to the corner so you can watch it while working on something else. You can use it on both entertainment apps like Netflix and video calling platforms like Google Duo.
To start a picture-in-picture video on Android, simply quit the app by switching to another app or pressing the home button. For a website, you will need to set the video to full screen before performing this action.
If you are unable to enable picture-in-picture mode, visit Settings > Apps > Special app access > Picture-in-picture. Tap on your app and enable the “Allow picture in picture” option.
Picture-in-picture mode on a Chromebook
On a Chromebook, you can multitask efficiently with picture-in-picture mode. You can enable it anywhere, whether you’re streaming a music video on Google Chrome, talking to someone on the Android Google Duo app, or watching a movie stored locally on your machine.
While playing a video on Chrome, click the “Media Controls” button next to the row of apps on your Chromebook’s taskbar and select the picture-in-picture button. On supported Android apps, click the minimize option to switch to picture-in-picture view. Finally, if you’re using the Chrome OS Gallery app, click the three-dot menu and select “Picture in Picture.”