How to Use Picture in Picture on Windows

How To Use Pip Windows Featured Image

If you're someone who juggles multiple windows on your PC, Picture in Picture (PiP) can be a lifesaver. With PiP, you can keep a small window of a video on top of other windows, allowing you to continue with your work without missing out on any important details. It's a great productivity hack that can make your life much easier. This tutorial shows how to use PiP on Windows to take advantage of this handy feature.

Good to know: Photos app not working on your Windows PC? Learn what you can do about it.

How to Use Picture in Picture Mode with Media Apps

Windows has two built-in video players: Media Player and Films & TV (or Movies & TV). Both natively support Picture in Picture. In addition, third-party apps, like VLC Media Player, also offer this option.

Note: the following methods are only for videos downloaded to your drive. Skip to the next section if you want to stream videos in Picture in Picture mode.

Films & TV

Follow these steps to open a video using Films & TV and enter Picture in Picture mode:

  1. Right-click your video, hover over "Open with" in the context menu, and select "Films & TV."
Opening a video with "Films & TV" option from context menu.
  1. When your video starts playing in the Films & TV app, click the "Play in mini view" icon in the bottom-right corner.
Clicking PiP button in Films & TV app in Windows.
  1. Your video will appear in a mini-player at the top of your screen.
Video playing in PiP mode in Films & TV app.

Media Player

Media Player is the default video player in Windows. Follow these steps to activate PiP in Media Player:

  1. Right-click your video, hover over "Open with," and select "Media Player."
Opening Media Player from context menu.
  1. Click the "Mini player" icon in the bottom-right corner or press Ctrl + M.
Clicking PiP button in Media Player app.
  1. Your video will appear in a mini-player in the top-right corner.
PiP video playing in Media Player app.

FYI: check out this list of apps you should uninstall from your Windows PC.


While setting up Picture in Picture mode on VLC isn’t as straightforward as it is on Media Player and Films & TV, it’s still relatively simple. Set up PiP on VLC following the steps below:

  1. Right-click your video, hover over "Open with" and click "VLC media player."
Opening file with VLC media player via context menu.
  1. Select "Tools" from the top bar in the VLC Media Player and select "Preferences" (or press Ctrl + P).
Clicking Tools and then selecting "Preferences" in VLC.
  1. A new window will appear showing "Interface Settings." Check the "All" option under "Show settings" in the bottom-left corner.
Clicking "All" under "Show Settings" in VLC.
  1. When you click "All," an Advanced Preferences menu will appear. Scroll and select "Video" and enable the "Always on top" option on the right side of the window. Press the "Save" button.
Enabling "Always on top" option from Advanced Preferences in VLC.
  1. Navigate to "Tools -> Preferences" (or press Ctrl + P) -> Video." Disable "Windows decorations" to hide VLC’s navigation bar, then click "Save."
Disabling "Windows decorations" option in VLC.
  1. Use the drag feature to resize the VLC Player to your desired dimensions, then click "View -> Always on top."
Activating "Always on top" from "View" menu in VLC.
  1. The VLC mini-player will appear on your screen while you perform different tasks on your PC.
Mini video playing VLC window visible.

Note: only MP4 files support Picture in Picture mode on VLC. You can play other extension files, like .TS in Picture-in-Picture, only through Windows's built-in media players.

How to Use Picture-in-Picture Mode with YouTube

YouTube has a built-in Picture in Picture feature that lets you play YouTube videos in PiP mode on any browser. Follow these steps to use it:

  1. Open YouTube on any browser and start streaming your video.
  2. Right-click the video, but don’t select any option from the menu that appears.
Right clicking YouTube video in browser.
  1. Move the cursor anywhere within the video canvas and right-click again. Another context menu will appear. Select the "Picture in picture" option in this menu.
Selecting "Picture in picture" option from YouTube video in browser.
  1. Your video will start playing on a small screen in the bottom-right corner. You can drag and move the floating window and readjust its dimensions. The video will keep playing even if you exit your browser (but don’t close it).
Mini video window in YouTube in browser.

Tip: if you feel like a change, check out these interesting YouTube alternatives.

How to Play Picture-in-Picture Videos on Different Browsers

If you want to play a PiP video on YouTube, the built-in picture-in-picture option works for all browsers. But the method varies from browser to browser for other video websites like DailyMotion, Netflix, etc. While some have built-in features to support Picture in Picture videos, others may require extensions. Let’s look at how different browsers work with PiP videos.


Google Chrome doesn’t have a built-in feature to support PiP videos. However, Google has released a free extension on Chrome: Picture-in-Picture Extension (by Google). It allows you to enter PiP mode for videos on any streaming website in Chrome. Follow these steps to install and use it:

  1. Head to the download page for the Picture-in-Picture Extension (by Google) on the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Click the "Add to Chrome" button.
Clicking "Add to Chrome" button to install extension.
  1. To use the extension, go to any video streaming site and open a video you want to watch. Press Alt + P, and your video will play in PiP mode.
Video playing in PiP mode inside Chrome browser.


Firefox has native support for playing picture-in-picture videos, which allows you to watch PiP videos on websites other than YouTube. However, there is more than one way to do it. Try the following methods:

  1. Open a video in Firefox, but don’t enter fullscreen.
  1. Hover over the video, and click on the "Pop out this video" option that appears.
"Pop out this video" option in Firefox.

Note: this option appears in a rectangle button if you’ve never used the feature. If you have used it before, it will appear as an icon.

  1. Your video will appear in a mini-player in the bottom right.
Video playing in PiP mode in Firefox.
  1. Alternatively, you can make use of a keyboard shortcut to play your Firefox videos in PiP mode: Ctrl + Shift + ].
  2. If you want to close the PiP video in Firefox, press Ctrl + W.
  1. If you find that you cannot use the built-in Picture-in-Picture feature on Firefox, ensure it’s enabled. Click the Menu button in the top-right corner.
Clicking "Menu" button in Firefox browser.
  1. Click "Settings -> General" and find the "Browsing" section.
  1. Check the little box next to the "Enable picture-in-picture video controls" option.
Check "Enable picture-in-picture" video controls" option in Firefox.
  1. You should now be able to play PiP videos in Firefox.

Good to know: want to get rid of annoying ads while browsing? Check out these ad blockers that perform well on Microsoft Edge.


Microsoft Edge also has a built-in feature that allows you to play videos in PiP mode on websites other than YouTube. Follow the steps below to learn how to use it:

  1. Start streaming a video of your choice in Microsoft Edge.
  1. Hover over the video canvas and click the "Picture in picture" button that pops up.
Clicking on "Picture in picture" option in Microsoft Edge.
  1. Your video will start playing in Picture-in-Picture mode.
PiP video playing in Microsoft Edge.

Playing Picture-in-Picture Videos With Add-ons

Despite the built-in support, sometimes, you cannot play Picture-in-Picture videos on your browser. In that case, you’ll need to install an extension. Since Google’s extension is limited to the Chrome Store, we have listed two add-ons to help you stream videos in PiP mode on browsers other than Chrome.

Tip: learn how to view websites with IE mode on the Chrome browser.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to open Picture in Picture every time I switch to another app?

Once you open a video in Picture in Picture mode, the video stays on top of whatever app you use. You don’t have to open the video in PiP mode whenever you switch to another app. For example, if you’re streaming a video in PiP mode while working on MS Excel and decide to switch to MS Word, the PiP video window will remain on your screen.

Does the Picture in Picture video open as a new window?

Whenever you open a video in PiP mode, the video registers as a new window you can switch to by pressing Alt + Tab. It is a small floating window that you can resize, drag, and place anywhere across your screen. It allows you to play, pause, and resume the video, skip intervals, and perform other functions that you would on a regular video canvas.

If I close my PiP video on a browser, will my original tab (playing the video) also close?

Closing your PiP video on any browser will not close your original tab playing the video. This will only exit the PiP mode. If you use PiP to stream a YouTube video, closing the PiP window will not close the browser tab for that same video. It will remain there, and you can return to it to resume watching your video in regular mode.

Can I have multiple Picture in Picture videos at the same time?

In most cases, you can only play one picture in picture video simultaneously. For example, you can’t watch multiple PiP videos through Chrome, even if you open the video on a different tab. However, you can watch two PiP videos if one plays through Chrome and the other through Edge. Similarly, you can add third, fourth, fifth, and more PiP video windows using different browsers.

Do I need to have the original tab opened on Chrome when playing a video in PiP mode?

Closing a PiP video won’t close the original tab, but closing the original tab will close the relevant PiP video. You must keep the original Chrome tab open when playing a video in PiP mode.

All images by Ojash Yadav.

Ojash Yadav
Ojash Yadav

Ojash has been writing about tech back since Symbian-based Nokia was the closest thing to a smartphone. He spends most of his time writing, researching, or ranting about Bitcoin. Ojash also contributes to other popular sites like MakeUseOf, SlashGear, and MacBookJournal.

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