How to Use Picture-in-Picture on Your Android

This Android feature lets you watch your favorite videos while multitasking

What To Know

  • To enable: Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Special app access > Picture-in-picture. Pick an app.
  • To launch: Open the app you enabled PiP on. Pick a video, set it to fullscreen, and press Play. Press Home, and the video will play in PiP.

This article explains how to enable the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature available on Android smartphones running Android 8.0 Oreo and later. With it, you can multitask, being able to, for instance, watch a YouTube video while getting directions on Google Maps.

Find and Enable PiP Apps

First make sure your Android apps are up to date, then:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap Apps & notifications.

  3. Go to Advanced > Special app access.

    Apps & Notifications, Advanced, and Special App Access in Android settings
  4. Select Picture-in-picture.

  5. Choose an app from the list.

  6. Tap the toggle button to enable PiP.

    Turning on PiP for an app in Android settings

Apps Compatible with Picture-in-Picture

Since this is an Android feature, many of Google's top apps support picture-in-picture, including Chrome, YouTube, and Google Maps.

However, YouTube's PiP mode requires a subscription to YouTube Premium (previously YouTube Red), its ad-free platform. PiP mode also works with YouTube TV, the company's streaming service.

Other compatible apps include VLC, an open-source video platform, Netflix (with an update to Android 8.1), WhatsApp (video chats), Facebook and Instagram (videos), Google Duo, Pocket Casts (video podcasts), and Hulu.

How to Launch Picture-in-Picture

How you launch picture-in-picture depends on the app. With Google Chrome, you have to set a video to full screen, then press the Home button.

On the YouTube app (with a premium account), start watching a video, and then press the Home button.

With some apps such as VLC, you have to enable the feature in the app settings first. On WhatsApp, when you're in a video call, tap the preview of the video to activate picture-in-picture. 

YouTube no longer allows PiP within Chrome. The following instructions apply to non-YouTube videos.

  1. Navigate to a website that contains a video.

  2. Tap the fullscreen option.

  3. Select Play.

  4. Once the video begins playing, press Home, then you can move the video around your phone screen.

Picture-in-Picture Controls

When you've figured out how to launch PiP in your favorite app, you'll see a window with your video or other content on the bottom right of your display.

Tap the window to look at the controls. In some cases, you'll see Play, Fast Forward, Rewind, and a Maximize\Fullscreen button that brings you back to the app in full screen. For playlists, the Fast-Forward button moves to the next song on the list. Some videos only have an exit and fullscreen button.

You can drag the window anywhere on the screen, and pull it to the bottom of the screen to dismiss it.

Some apps, including YouTube, have a headphone shortcut that lets you play audio in the background if you don't need visuals. 

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