With the iOS 14 update, Apple unveiled the Picture-in-Picture feature that enables users to watch videos in a floating window on the iPhone or iPad.
As a result, you can continue watching a movie or any video without being on the streaming app. How do you activate it? Simply swipe the video up.
Can you watch YouTube in picture-in-picture mode on your iPhone?
Unfortunately, the picture-in-picture mode doesn’t work with all video streaming iOS apps, including YouTube.
Why can’t YouTube do picture-in-picture on iPhone?
The YouTube picture-in-picture was run as a test on the YouTube Premium iPhone app and for users in the U.S for almost a year. After which, it was removed. Therefore, it’s unavailable for new users. But it still works for those who have already activated it.
Here’s how you activate Picture-in-Picture on YouTube on iPhone
- Open the YouTube app on your iPhone.
- Tap on the profile icon.
- Go to settings.
- Tap on the “Try new features” menu.
- Open YouTube Picture-in-Picture mode for iPhone.
- Turn it On, then go back and try to use the feature.
YouTube is yet to communicate when the feature will return to iOS. So, while we wait, our team figured out a few workarounds for YouTube picture-in-picture mode on iPhone and would happily share them with you. Read on to get the details.
How to use picture-in-picture with YouTube on iOS
Follow these steps to enable picture-in-picture mode on your iPhone;
1. Use the PiPifier app
The first reliable way to use PiP with YouTube on your iPhone and iPad is through the PiPifier app. It is an extension for your Safari browser and will enable PIP with any HTML5 video in Safari. This means you’ll have to access YouTube in your browser for it to work.
The app is free to download on the App Store but requires at least iOS or iPadOS 15 to run.
Here is a breakdown of how the app works:
- Download and install the PiPifier app on your iPhone.
- Go to your Safari browser and turn on the PiPifier extension.
- Find the “AA” icon on the top-left corner of your browser and tap on it.
- Select “Manage Extensions.”
- Toggle on PiPifier to enable it and tap on “Done.”
Once it’s enabled, enter the YouTube URL on your Safari browser and find the video you want to watch. Next, tap the “AA” icon on the top-left corner and tap on the “Pipifier” option. You should see a small floating window at the bottom of your screen playing the youtube video.
You can even swipe out of the Safari browser window, and the floating youtube window will move to whichever interface you switch to, including the home screen and other apps.
To reposition the floating window on the screen, tap, and hold, then drag it around. Also, you can resize it by pinching in and out. Lastly, tapping on the window will allow you to rewind, fast-forward, pause, play, and maximize to full-screen. When you finish, tap the “X” icon on the window’s top-left to close it.
All the youtube video features and options will be available when using PiP on the Safari browser. For instance, you can like and save videos, leave a comment, and create a queue.
2. Use the YouTube PiP shortcut
The second option for getting YouTube picture-in-picture working on iOS is to use the PiP shortcut. Here is how:
- First, you need to download and install the shortcuts and scriptable apps from the App Store.
- Open “Settings” and scroll down to “Shortcuts.” Tap on it and toggle on “Allow untrusted shortcuts.”
- If the option is unavailable, open the shortcuts app, go to the gallery, and install any shortcut.
- Next, go back to the shortcut settings and toggle on the option.
- Open the YouTube PiP shortcut link and select “Get shortcut.”
- Scroll down the shortcuts app and pick “Add untrusted shortcuts.”
- Open a youtube video and tap on the “Share” button at the bottom, followed by “More.”
- Scroll down and choose the YouTube PiP shortcut.
- Tap on the shortcut, and the video will start playing in picture-in-picture mode.
- You can set your preferred playback speed and video resolution.
Picture-in-picture is not working on iPhone? The fix
If picture-in-picture mode is not working on your iPhone and you had activated it on your YouTube premium, you’re located in the U.S, or you’re using the pipifier app, you should try the following troubleshooting options.
1. Restart your device
Restarting your device helps solve many software-related issues that might prevent PiP from working. Here’s how to restart your iPhone:
- For devices with the home button, press and hold the side button until you see the power off slider.
- If your iPhone doesn’t have the home button, simultaneously press and hold the side button and volume buttons until you see the power off slider.
- Slide the power off slider to the right to turn off your device.
- Wait for 30 seconds for the device to power off completely.
- Press the side button until you see the Apple logo on your screen.
- Wait for the device to power on fully, then try to use the PiP mode on YouTube.
2. Update your device
Your PiP mode might glitch or fail to work completely because the iOS is outdated. Follow the steps below to update your iOS:
- Open “Settings” and select “General.”
- Select “Software Update.”
- If an update is available, tap on “Download and Install.”
3. Update the YouTube app
Next, you need to update your YouTube app to fix PiP not working.
- Open the App Store app.
- Tap on your profile and select “Purchased” to access the downloaded apps on your device.
- Scroll down to the “Youtube app.”
- If there’s an “Update” option next to it, click on it.
- Wait for it to finish updating.
- Go back and open your YouTube app, then try to use picture-in-picture mode.
4. Change the location
Seeing as picture-in-picture was only working for people in the U.S, you could change your youtube location. Use the guide below:
- Launch the YouTube app and tap on the profile icon.
- Tap on “Settings” followed by “General.”
- Tap on location, then select “United States” from the list of countries.
- Restart your device, then check if PiP works.
- If that doesn’t help, download a VPN and use it to connect to a location in the U.S.
That’s how you fix the picture-in-picture feature on your iPhone. It’s a handy tool that can help you multitask with ease. We’ll keep you posted in case of new PiP updates from google. In the meantime, enjoy your picture-in-picture function.
Alex is an IT technician who shares his experiences with Apple devices occasionally. He has a collection of Apple devices (from iPhone 4) and has recently started trying out Android.
IG: @I M_Alex