Picture-in-Picture (PiP) support was present on the iPad for years. But starting with iOS 14, you also get the PiP functionality on the iPhone. So, finally, you can stop having to pause videos every time you want to switch to another app. It works fine for the most part and lets you quickly cycle through three different sizes.
But as with anything new, you may have issues getting Picture-in-Picture mode to work on the iPhone. There are several reasons for this. So without further ado, let’s go over the relevant fixes that can help you restart Picture-in-Picture.
Upgrade to iOS 14
Have you upgraded your iPhone to iOS 14? If you are still using iOS 13, you cannot use Picture-in-Picture mode. The stable version of iOS 14 has been released and you can install it immediately on any supported iPhone (from iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus).
To check your current version of iOS, go to Settings> General> About. If you’re still using an older version of iOS, go back to the previous screen and then tap Software Update to upgrade your device to iOS 14.
Even if you’re using iOS 14, it’s worth installing incremental updates, if available. It might help fix bugs related to PiP.
Almost all native iPhone apps (Apple TV, Music, Podcasts, etc.) support Picture-in-Picture mode. Third-party video apps like Netflix and Hulu also provide PiP functionality, but you’ll also come across a fair share of apps that don’t. For example, YouTube does not support it (check below for a workaround).
Since Picture-in-Picture mode is very popular, most developers will surely integrate it into their applications. So your best bet is to keep updating any app that doesn’t support PiP yet. You can also check an app’s release notes whenever you see a new update listed in the App Store.
To update apps on your iPhone, tap and hold the App Store icon on the Home screen or in the app library, then tap Updates.
Enable automatic picture-in-picture mode
Swiping up (or pressing the Home button) while playing a video in a PiP supported app will automatically bring up the PiP video pane. If that doesn’t happen, make sure to switch the video to full screen mode, then swipe up (or press the Home button).
No chance? Try to check your iPhone’s Picture-in-Picture settings. Go to Settings> General> Picture in Picture and make sure the switch next to Start PiP Automatically is on.
Manually activate Picture-in-Picture mode
If your iPhone still does not enter Picture-in-Picture mode while exiting the Home screen, try viewing the PiP page manually. When streaming video, switch the app to full screen mode. Next, tap on the tiny PiP icon in the upper left corner of the screen, if it’s visible.
This should force the video into a PiP pane. You can then exit the Home screen and the video should continue to play in PiP mode.
YouTube – Watch in PiP with Safari
At the time of writing this article, YouTube does not support Picture-in-Picture mode. But rather than waiting for an update, you can use Safari to watch YouTube in PiP mode instead.
Jump to the YouTube web app, sign in with your Google account (if you want to access your playlists and recommendations), then upload a video. Switch to full screen mode, then exit the home screen.
And There you go! Enjoy YouTube in PiP mode. You can also try this with other apps that don’t support PiP mode as long as they have a web drive that you can access through Safari.
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Unload and reinstall the app
If the issue is limited to an app that you know supports functionality, try reinstalling it. You can delete the app or unload it (we recommend the latter because you can keep all the downloaded videos on your iPhone).
Go to Settings> General> iPhone Storage. Choose the app you want to reinstall. Then tap Offload App and then tap Offload App again to confirm.
Head to the home screen or the app library – you should see the app listed with a cloud symbol next to its name. Just tap the icon to start reinstalling it. Once done, check if it plays videos in PiP mode.
Restart the iPhone
Finally, it’s time to restart the iPhone. If you are reading this while you are still in the early stages of the stable release of iOS 14, you may be experiencing an issue in the functionality. A restart can help correct this.
If your iPhone supports Face ID, quickly press the volume up and volume down buttons, then press and hold the side button. This should bring up the Slide to Power Off prompt.
On iPhone models with a physical home button, press and hold the power button instead. After your iPhone turns off, press and hold the Side / Power button to restart it.
Hope you are now watching videos in PiP mode with no problem. Keep in mind that PiP won’t be available in all apps yet, so be sure to apply updates whenever they hit the App Store.
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Last updated Sep 19, 2020
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