Guide to Enable or Disable Picture-in-Picture Mode on iPhone and iPad

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

However, both iPhone and iPad need apps that support Picture-in-Picture for the feature to work. Fortunately, many applications do. For example, Apple TV automatically switches to PiP when you exit. The same goes for FaceTime, where you can continue the video call even when you switch apps.

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

How Picture-in-Picture Mode Works

While watching a video in a supported app, exit the Home screen on an iPhone or iPad and the Picture-in-Picture pane should open automatically. You can also tap the PiP icon in the video pane in certain apps (on the top left of the screen) to activate the function. Additionally, you can tap a video with two fingers to open the PiP pane.

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When you start using another app, 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 switch between three different sizes, small, medium, and large. You can also hide the pane by pushing it to a corner of the screen; You will continue to hear the sound.

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To exit Picture-in-Picture mode, tap the PiP icon inside the video pane; this will prompt the video to open automatically in the corresponding app. Alternatively, you can exit the Picture-in-Picture pane by tapping the Close icon; then you can resume the video at any time by visiting the relevant application manually.

Apps That Support Picture-in-Picture Mode

As of iOS 14, native apps like Apple TV, FaceTime, and Safari have built-in support for Picture-in-Picture mode. Popular third-party apps that support the functionality include Hulu and Netflix.

You can always verify if an app supports Picture-in-Picture mode; While playing a video, exit the Home screen, tap the PiP icon in the video pane, or perform the two-finger double-tap gesture.

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Image courtesy of Apple

If the video doesn’t appear in Picture-in-Picture mode, the app probably doesn’t support the function. You may want to check out the release notes in future updates to determine if it finally supports Picture-in-Picture mode.

At the time of writing, YouTube does not support Picture-in-Picture. But instead, you can 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 convenient, but still useful. This workaround may also work for other streaming services that provide a working web player.

Enable Automatic Picture-in-Picture Mode

If your iPhone or iPad doesn’t automatically open videos in Picture-in-Picture mode when leaving the Home screen, this function may be disabled on your device. Follow the steps below to open it.

Stage 1: Start by opening the Settings app. Then tap General > Picture-in-Picture.

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Step 2: On the following screen, 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; the video should automatically appear in a PiP pane.

If your iPad is running iPadOS 13 or iOS 12, go to General > Home & Dock > Multitasking to access the Automatically Start PiP toggle.

Disable Picture-in-Picture Mode

Despite its usefulness, you may find the Picture-in-Picture mode a hassle to deal with. If you want to stop the PiP video pane from following you when exiting applications, consider turning off the automatic PiP function.

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

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

game changer

Picture-in-Picture mode completely changes the way you experience videos on your iPhone. Don’t worry if your favorite app doesn’t support the functionality; It will probably be soon when iOS 14 gains more traction. Remember to use Safari (like YouTube) to watch videos in PiP mode for now.

Next: Smart Stack of Widgets is another fascinating feature in iOS 14. Click the link to the next article to learn how to add or edit it.

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