The Picture-in-Picture player aka PiP is undoubtedly one of the most useful features in macOS. With its first introduction in macOS Sierra, the feature still remains exclusive to Apple’s Safari browser. But even then the Picture-in-Picture button isn’t visible for all the videos out there on the internet and it’s quite annoying that the feature is not natively supported on YouTube videos. So this article will explain all the questions related to Apple’s Picture-in-Picture player.
To enable macOS Picture-in-Picture player for a YouTube video, you can follow one of the two methods listed below.
Method 1: Enable PiP for YouTube without any extensions
This is the most straightforward solution to this problem. Even though there is no PiP button in the YouTube player, a button hides within the player menu. But to access the menu you’ll have to bypass YouTube’s own right-click menu. Simply, right click twice on the YouTube video and select Enter Picture in Picture.
Method 2: Enable PiP for YouTube, Netflix, Plex,.. with free Safari Extension
PiPTool, developed by Bogdan Matei is a free Safari extension for adding PiP support to YouTube, Netflix, Plex and other video broadcasting services. To install the plugin, simply download PiPTool from this link and open it. You may be prompted for your Mac password to continue finishing the installation. Check PiPTool on Github in the link below.
PiPTool – Add the Picture-in-Picture Functionality to YouTube, Netflix, Plex and other video broadcasting services in macOS Sierra
Next time you visit YouTube, there will be a PiP button on the YouTube player controls. Click the button to open the YouTube video in Picture-in-Picture mode. Alternatively, you can also do the same thing by pressing the PiPTool icon in the Safari toolbar and then clicking on the youtube video.
NOTE: The PiPTool icon keeps disappearing for some users from the YouTube player. A quick reload would fix this issue.
How to Play Local Videos on your Mac with Picture-in-Picture (PiP)
Apple’s new feature isn’t supported by any video players like VLC, or even their own QuickTime. The only software that supports PiP is the Safari browser. So to play any local video on your mac in the PiP window follow the steps below.
- Find and locate the video that you wish to play on PiP player.
- Drag the video to Safari’s address box or type in the local address of the video manually.
- Right click on the video and select Enter Picture-in-picture option or click the PiP icon located at the top left of the browser.
It is necessary that the tab remains open for the PiP player to work. The PiP player will only work with file formats supported by the HTML5 audio and video tags.
[Update] Play Any Video in PIP with the new IINA player for macOS
IINA is a new open source video player for macOS with modern design and amazing user experience. It is packed with very impressive features such as PiP support, touch bar support, force touch support, playlist, chapter and many more. The app is very well designed and has 4 original themes to select from. You can even stream videos from the web and minimise them to the PiP player. To make things easier, the team has also released a Safari and Chrome extension so that you can easily stream the video with IIMA. If you are very much excited about this software, download the early builds from their website or if you have brew installed, run this command to install IINA.
brew-cask install iina
Quick Tip: Move PiP Window to Anywhere on the Screen
The PiP player allows you to resize the window and move it to any one of the corners of the screen. But sometimes we may need to move it to a different position on the screen. In such cases, simply hold down the command key and drag the player. This allows you to place the Picture-in-Picture window anywhere on the screen.
Support for Chrome, Firefox and other browsers
There are many plugins that claim to add PiP support for Chrome and Firefox. I have personally tried many of those with no luck. But if you are still interested in checking them out, here are the corresponding links.
- For Chrome, you can try this extension: YouTube Picture-in-Picture for Chrome
[Update] Now you can enable PiP in Chrome 68 by following the instructions on this link – Enabling PiP in Chrome 68
- Mozilla has been developing their own version of the Picture-in-Picture player called min-vid. The feature was available to download from the Mozilla test pilot website however the experiment has closed as of today. But don’t worry, you can still get it running by following the instructions on the min-vid Github page.
- The new Opera browser was released with a ton of features including their own Picture-in-Picture player. If you haven’t used the new Opera make sure to give it a try. You’ll like it!
If you have found any workarounds to make PiP work for other browsers please share with others in the comments.
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