How to Use Picture-in-Picture on Your Android

This Android feature lets you watch your favorite videos while multitasking

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > Apps > Special app access > Picture-in-picture > app > turn on Allow picture-in-picture.
  • In Google Chrome, go to a site to start playing a video in full screen, then tap Home on your Android.
  • On WhatsApp, when you're in a video call, tap the preview of the video to activate PiP.

This article explains how to use Picture-in-Picture on Android. The instructions apply to all devices running Android 8.0 or later.

Enable PiP Apps on Android

Make sure your Android apps are up to date, then:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Tap Apps or Apps & notifications.

  3. Tap Special app access.

    On older versions of Android, tap Advanced > Special app access.

  4. Tap Picture-in-picture.

    Apps, Special app access, and Picture-in-Picture in Android Settings
  5. Choose an app from the list.

  6. Tap the Allow picture-in-picture toggle to turn on PiP.

    Chrome app and Picture-in-picture toggle turned on in Android Settings

What Is Picture-in-Picture?

Picture-in-Picture (PiP) is a feature available on Android smartphones running Android 8.0 Oreo and later. It allows you to multitask. For instance, you can search for a restaurant while video chatting with a friend or watch a funny video on a website while getting directions on Google Maps. PiP is a nice feature for heavy multitaskers who jump from app to app.

Compatible Apps

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, its ad-free paid subscription platform. PiP mode also works with YouTube TV, the company's streaming TV service.

Other compatible apps include:

How to Launch Picture-in-Picture

How you launch picture-in-picture depends on the app:

  • In Google Chrome, go to a site to start playing a video in full screen, then tap Home on your Android.
  • 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 PiP.

PiP 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 in the lower right of your display.

Tap the window to access the controls. In some cases, you'll see Play, Fast Forward, Rewind, and Maximize\Full screen that brings you back to the app in full screen. For playlists, tap the Fast-Forward icon to move to the next song in the list. Some videos have only Exit and Full-screen icons.

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

Some apps have a headphone icon that you can tap to play audio in the background without visual videos.

  • How do I send a picture in a text message on Android?

    To send pictures via text on an Android device, open the Photos app, tap and hold the picture you want to text, tap Share > Messages. In the Messages app, tap the plus (+) sign to open attachment options, then tap the Photos icon to browse and select photos to text.

  • How do I hide pictures on an Android phone?

    To hide photos on an Android phone, open Google Photos, select the pictures you want to hide, tap Menu (three vertical dots), and select Move to Archive. Alternatively, your Android model may include a "secure folder," or you can use a third-party app to hide pictures.

  • How do I recover deleted pictures on Android?

    To recover deleted photos on Android, try an app like DiskDigger. Download the DiskDigger app and give it access to your media files. Select Start basic photo scan; when you see the image you want to recover, tap the box in the upper-left corner > tap Recover at the top of the screen.

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