How to use YouTube Picture-in-Picture (PiP) on iPhone

Let’s admit it! Watching YouTube videos in PiP mode on iPhone is something that most of us have wanted for a long time. Unfortunately, Google had kept this popular feature out of the reach of iOS users, including premium subscribers, for reasons it is best known for. However, the long wait is over for all YouTube Premium users as they can now use YouTube’s Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode on the iPhone. But what about iOS users who are not premium YouTube subscribers? Don’t worry as there are a couple of reliable tricks to enable YouTube PiP mode on your iPhone for free. So let’s take a look at it.

Watch YouTube Videos in Picture-in-Picture (PiP) Mode on iPhone (2021)

In June earlier this year, Google announced that it would implement PiP support for YouTube Premium members on iOS. Well, instead of delaying the launch, the picture-in-picture mode is now available to try for Premium subscribers on iPhone. However, there is a catch. IOS users can try the experimental Picture-in-Picture (PiP) feature until October 31st only . So if you have a YouTube Premium subscription, you can use YouTube PiP mode on your iOS device right now.

Sadly, Freemium YouTube users have been left out. But don’t worry, there are two handy solutions you can use to watch YouTube videos in PiP mode on your iPhone. I’ve been employing the Safari hack and Siri shortcut to use YouTube PiP mode on my iOS device for a long time. They’ve been (more or less) up to the task, allowing me to watch YouTube in picture-in-picture mode on my iPhone without a hitch. And they won’t disappoint you either. With that in mind, let’s jump right in.

Enable and use YouTube Picture-in-Picture (PiP) on iPhone

  1. Open a browser of your choiceand go to youtube.com/new. Make sure you are a YouTube Premium subscriber and logged into your Google account.
  2. Now, find the ” Picture in Picture in iOS” section and click the blue ” Try it” button. The feature will be activated in your YouTube app on iOS.
  3. Then head over to your iPhone, open the YouTube app and start watching a video.
  4. Next, press the home button (on iPhone SE2 or older iPhones) or swipe up from the bottom (Face ID-enabled iPhones) to go to the home screen and enable YouTube PiP on your device. You will see that the YouTube video will continue to play in a mini-player (in picture-in-picture mode) on your iPhone home screen.

Now you can pinch the PiP window to make it bigger or smaller and even send it to any corner of the screen. Additionally, you can move the overlay off the edge of the screen to hear only background audio playback while scrolling through Twitter or taking notes. Is that how it works:

Note : Since YouTube’s PiP mode is currently an experimental feature, don’t expect it to run smoothly. Also,remember that locking your iPhone screen while watching YouTube videos in PiP mode will pause the video. Therefore, you will need to resume the video using the lock screen media controls. Google has confirmed that it is working to fix this problem.

Watch YouTube Videos in PiP Mode via Safari on iPhone

Now if you don’t want to buy a Youtube Premium subscription, you can watch YouTube videos in Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode via Safari on your iPhone. I tried this nifty solution on my iPhone running iOS 15 and it worked quite well for me. Follow the steps below to learn how it works:

  1. Launch Safarion your iPhone and head over to youtube.com (website link).
  2. Now, tap the text icon (aA)in the URL address bar and choose the Request desktop websiteoption from the context menu.
  3. Next, select a video to start playing it, and then go to full screen mode. Then tap on the PiP mode iconin the upper left corner of the screen.
  4. Now the video will start to play on a mini player. You can now swipe up from the bottom or press the home buttonto minimize Safari and continue watching your favorite YouTube video in PiP mode on your iPhone.

Sometimes it is better to demonstrate things in video format for better understanding. That is why I have included this demo to show that YouTube PiP mode is in action. The best part of this solution is that it works on both iPhone and iPad. YouTube’s Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode being tested at the moment is delicate and doesn’t work well on iPad.

Watch YouTube in Picture-in-Picture mode using Siri shortcut

Although the process of creating a Siri shortcut for YouTube’s PiP mode is a bit tedious, the end result is quite good. Once you have created the YouTube PiP mode shortcut, you can play any video in picture-in-picture mode with ease on your iPhone.

  1. Launch the Shortcuts Appon your iPhone and tap the “+” Button in the upper right corner of the screen.
  2. Now, press the Add actionand select the “Web” option.
  3. Then choose “ Run JavaScript on web page” option, found in Safari section.
  4. Next, tap the Web Pagenext to the Run JavaScriptoption , and select the Shortcut Entry option from the menu that appears at the bottom.
  5. Now, you need to remove the JavaScriptthat appears in the shortcut window and paste the given below. Next, tap the ellipses icon(three dots) in the upper right corner of the screen.

let v = document.querySelector(‘video’); v.addEventListener(‘webkitpresentationmodechanged’, (e)=>e.stopPropagation(), true); setTimeout(()=>v.webkitSetPresentationMode(‘picture-in-picture’), 3000); completion()

  1. Name your shortcut. To keep things simple, I’ll call it “YouTube PiP” on my iPhone.
  2. Also, turn on the ” Show on sharing sheet”toggle and then tap on ” Share sheet types”.
  3. Tap on “ Deselect All” in the upper right corner and just select Safari Web Pages.
  4. Finally, tap the back buttonin the upper left corner of the screen. Then, tap on the Donein the upper right corner. Make sure to tap ” Done ” again to save the new shortcut.
  5. Once you have created the shortcut, open Safariand go to youtube.com (website link). After that, play any YouTube video. And while the video is playing, press the Sharebutton.
  6. Now, select the YouTube PiP Shortcuton the sharing sheet. A pop-up window may appear asking you to give YouTube PiP access to youtube.com. Make sure to tap Allowto proceed.

That is all! Your YouTube video will start playing in PiP mode on your iPhone. Now, go ahead and enjoy the video while scrolling through Twitter or chatting with your friends.

Play YouTube Videos in PiP Mode on iPhone for Free

There you go! This is how you can get YouTube PiP mode on your iPhone and iPad, even if you are not a YouTube Premium subscriber. As I said earlier, both the Safari hack and the Siri shortcut work flawlessly. However, if you are a YouTube Premium subscriber, you don’t need to worry about anything. Just join the experiment and try YouTube PiP mode on your iPhone until the official launch in the next few months. With that said, do you have any questions or comments to share? If yes, please let us know in the comment section below.

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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