A Guide to Enabling or Disabling Picture-in-Picture Mode on iPhone and iPad

A Guide to Enabling or Disabling Picture-in-Picture Mode on iPhone and iPad

Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode is a massive addition of iOS 14 to the iPhone, allowing you to watch videos without interruption while using other apps. It was available on the iPad for years, but that doesn’t make PiP any less exciting on the iPhone. On the contrary, it’s even better since you can now make the most of the iPhone’s smaller screen size.


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That being said, both iPhone and iPad require apps to support Picture-in-Picture for the feature to work. Fortunately, there are a lot of apps that do. For example, Apple TV automatically switches to PiP when you exit it. The same goes for FaceTime, where you can continue video calling even when you switch apps.

For some apps that don’t support the feature, you can use the iPhone’s native Safari browser as a workaround (more on that later).

How Picture-in-Picture Mode Works

Exit the Home screen on the iPhone or iPad while watching a video in a supported app, and the Picture-in-Picture pane should automatically appear. You can also tap the PiP icon in the video pane of some apps (top left of the screen) to activate the feature. Additionally, you can two-finger tap on a video to bring up the PiP pane.


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Start using another app and the Picture in Picture pane will continue to play at the top. You can push the Picture-in-Picture pane to all four corners of the screen and double-tap the video pane to cycle through three different sizes: small, medium, and large. You can also hide the shutter by pushing it to a corner of the screen – you will still hear the sound.


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To exit Picture-in-Picture mode, tap the PiP icon in the video pane – this should prompt the video to automatically open in the appropriate app. You can also exit the Picture-in-Picture pane by tapping the Close icon. You can then resume the video at any time by visiting the corresponding app manually.

Applications that support Picture-in-Picture mode

Starting with iOS 14, native apps like Apple TV, FaceTime, and Safari come with built-in support for Picture-in-Picture mode. Popular third-party apps that support the feature include Hulu and Netflix.

You can always check if an app supports Picture-in-Picture mode: exit the home screen while playing a video, tap the PiP icon in the video pane or double-click on two fingers.


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Image provided by Apple

If the video does not display in Picture-in-Picture mode, it is likely that the application does not support the feature. You might want to keep an eye out for the patch notes in future updates to determine if it possibly supports Picture-in-Picture mode.

At the time of writing this article, YouTube does not support Picture-in-Picture. However, you can instead load YouTube into Safari, start playing a video, switch to full screen mode, and then exit the home screen to activate PiP mode. Not the most practical, but still useful. This workaround may also work for other streaming services that provide a working web player.

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Enable automatic picture-in-picture mode

If your iPhone or iPad doesn’t automatically open videos in Picture-in-Picture mode when you exit the Home screen, chances are your device’s functionality is disabled. Follow the next steps to activate it.

Step 1: Start by opening the Settings app. Next, tap General> Picture-in-Picture.


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2nd step: On the screen that follows, turn on the switch next to Start PiP automatically.


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Now try exiting the Home screen while playing a video in an app like Apple TV or Netflix – it should automatically appear in a PiP pane.

If your iPad is running iPadOS 13 or iOS 12, go to General> Home screen and dock> Multitasking to access the PiP Start button automatically.

Disable Picture-in-Picture Mode

Despite its usefulness, you may find Picture-in-Picture mode a problem to deal with. If you want to prevent the PiP video pane from following you when closing apps, consider disabling the automatic PiP feature.

To do this, go to Settings> General> Picture-in-Picture and turn off the switch next to Start PiP automatically.


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Note: Even with the above setting disabled, you can still open videos in Picture-in-Picture mode manually via the PiP icon or the two-finger double-tap gesture.

Game changer

Picture-in-Picture mode totally changes the way you experience videos on your iPhone. If your favorite app doesn’t support the feature, don’t worry – it probably will soon once iOS 14 gets more traction. Remember to use Safari (like with YouTube) to watch videos in PiP mode for now.

Then:

Another fascinating feature of iOS 14 is the smart widget stack. Click on the following article link to learn how to add or modify it.

Last updated on August 20, 2020

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