How to use YouTube in Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode on iOS with YouTube Premium

How to use YouTube in Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode on iOS with YouTube Premium

YouTube Picture-in-Picture (PiP) has been available on Android phones for years, from back when YouTube Premium was branded as YouTube Red. However, Google had been denying iOS users this feature, stating that Apple doesn’t allow developers to put features that use iOS APIs behind paywalls. Thus YouTube couldn’t support this feature on iOS without making it free for all, since PiP is one of those APIs.

While it’s not clear how and why exactly Google has now been able to add this Premium-exclusive feature to iOS, subscribers will be able to try it out for the very first time on the iPhone app. Safari workarounds to use PiP have been around, but YouTube tends to patch them every once in a while, making it tougher for iOS users to watch YouTube videos while navigating through their phones.

How to enable Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode on the iOS YouTube app

Follow the steps below to enable the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode feature on your iPhone:

  • Make sure your YouTube app is up to date.
  • Subscribe to YouTube Premium if you aren’t already subscribed (psst, it’s cheaper on YouTube.com/Premium, compared to the price tag in the iOS app).
  • Launch the app and head to its settings, accessible through clicking your account’s profile photo in the top right corner.
  • Go to the Try New Features section and scroll down to find Picture-in-picture on iOS.
  • Click Turn On and force-quit the YouTube app.
  • Relaunch the YouTube app and head back to its settings.
  • Go to the General section and toggle Picture-in-picture.
  • Voila, you’re done! If you don’t see the PiP toggle under General settings right away, force-quit the app a few times and give it some time.
  • If the toggle shows in YouTube’s general settings but the feature doesn’t work, make sure you have PiP enabled in the iOS Settings app under Settings > General > Picture in Picture.

YouTube describes the feature as follows:

“If you exit YouTube, videos continue in a miniplayer on top of other apps. “Start PiP Automatically” must also be turned on in device settings.”

It’s worth mentioning YouTube has also been testing a translation button in the comments section. It helps understand comments typed in a foreign language. However, you may only try one experimental feature at a time, so it’s either PiP or the comment translations. Experimental Features are exclusively available through YouTube Premium, priced at $11.99/month for the individual plan in the US (price may vary by region).

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. His personal pieces are available on his website, MahmoudItani.com, and he can be reached via [email protected] or the provided social links.