Skip to main content

How to enable picture-in-picture for YouTube on your Mac

If you want to have a bit of music playing in the background or want to have your favorite YouTube video running in the corner of your screen, then the picture-in-picture YouTube feature needs to be on your radar. This allows you to turn your YouTube videos into a tiny pop-up window that can be moved and repositioned around your screen.

Mac users have several ways to activate the feature, including support on both Safari and Google Chrome. There's also a nifty Chrome extension that simplifies the task to a single button press. Here's a look at how to enable picture-in-picture for YouTube on your Mac.

Difficulty

Easy

Duration

5 minutes

What You Need

  • Safari

  • Chrome

Apple Safari YouTube PIP Option
Apple

Use Safari

Step 1: With the YouTube video open in Safari, right-click on the actual video. However, you won’t see the PIP option on this menu. Instead, you must right-click again elsewhere on the video to bring up a second pop-up menu, as shown above, while the first one is still visible on the screen.

On a MacBook, press and hold the Control key while tapping the touchpad. Do it again to access the second menu.

Step 2: Select the Enter Picture in Picture option listed on the pop-up menu.

Step 3: Unlike YouTube’s Miniplayer option found on the video’s embedded toolbar, the video should appear in a separate window at a smaller scale outside the Safari browser. You can open any app, desktop program, or browser tab and the video will continue to play. However, you must keep the parent tab open else the PIP window will close.

Step 4: To relocate the window, simply move the mouse cursor over it, click and hold the mouse button, and then drag the mouse. Release the button to finish placing the window. On a MacBook, tap one finger on the touchpad and then tap and drag another finger to move the window. Lift both fingers to place the window.

Step 5: To return the video back to its YouTube page in Safari, either click or tap on the X button or the PIP button next to Play/Pause inside the PIP window.

Chrome MacOS YouTube PIP Option
Google

Use Google Chrome

Step 1: With the YouTube video open in Google Chrome, right-click on the actual video. However, you won’t see the PIP option on this menu. Instead, you must right-click again elsewhere on the video to bring up a second pop-up menu, as shown above, while the first one is still visible on the screen.

On a MacBook, press and hold the Control key while tapping the touchpad. Do it again to access the second menu.

Step 2: Select the Picture in Picture option listed on the second menu.

Just like the PIP option in Safari, the video should appear in a separate window at a smaller scale outside the Google Chrome browser. You can open any app, program, or new tab, just don’t close the video’s parent tab.

Step 3: To relocate the window, simply move the mouse cursor over it, click and hold the mouse button, and then drag the Mouse. Release the button to finish placing the window. On a MacBook, tap one finger on the touchpad and then tap and drag another finger to move the window. Lift both fingers to place the window.

Step 4: The methods to return the video back to the parent YouTube page are identical: Either click or tap on the X button or the PIP button next to Play/Pause.

Chrome PIP Extension
Google

Use Google’s Chrome extension

If all that right-clicking is too annoying (in Chrome), you could always install Google’s extension.

Step 1: Go to the Chrome Web Store and install Google’s Picture-in-Picture Extension by clicking Add to Chrome.

Step 2: With Chrome still open, load the YouTube video you want in PIP mode.

Step 3: The Picture-in-Picture Extension’s icon should reside next to your Google profile picture in the browser’s top right corner. If not, click or tap on the Extensions icon (it resembles a puzzle piece) and then click the pin next to the extension listed on the drop-down menu.

Step 4: Click the Picture-in-Picture Extension icon. The video should appear in a separate window at a smaller scale outside the Google Chrome browser — no right-clicking required.

Step 5: To relocate the window, simply move the mouse cursor over it, click and hold the mouse button, and then drag the mouse. Release the button to finish placing the window. On a MacBook, tap one finger on the touchpad and then tap and drag another finger to move the window. Lift both fingers to place the window.

Step 6: The methods to return the video back to the parent YouTube page are identical: Either click or tap on the X button or the PIP button next to Play/Pause.

Editors' Recommendations

Kevin Parrish
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then…
Stop using these default Mac apps — trust me
A person using a MacBook Air connected to two monitors.

Apple makes a huge variety of its own Mac apps, and some of them are among the best Mac apps you can get. The problem is that while many of them are pretty excellent, that’s not the case for every last one -- some are middling while others are worth avoiding altogether.

Whatever the case, you might be looking for an alternative to Apple’s built-in Mac apps. Here, we’ve catalogued the apps we think you should replace first, and suggested which third-party apps you should swap them out for. That should bring you more features and an all-around better Mac experience.
Calculator (use PCalc instead)
The PCalc app in macOS Sonoma Digital Trends

Read more
How to choose between a MacBook and a Windows laptop
The keyboard and trackpad of the MacBook Pro.

When shopping for a new laptop one of the biggest decisions you'll make is choosing between MacBooks or Windows laptops. And it's not always an easy decision. New advances in chip technology are propelling even entry-level MacBooks to high-performance targets, and a shift in Windows laptops away from cheap plastics evens the playing field between these two platforms. Both Windows 11 and macOS are intuitive and clean operating systems. But where they differ comes down to one key element: their ecosystems.

What this means for you is that choosing an option from a list of the best laptops isn't so simple. The laptop you choose today can greatly influence which accessories you buy, which apps you use, and even what kind of phone you carry. Your entire workflow will depend on the platform you go with, from how you manage windows to which keyboard shortcuts work best. It's not a light decision.

Read more
How long do MacBooks last? Here’s when you’ll need to buy again
The M3 MacBook Air in front of a window.

There’s no doubt that Apple’s best MacBooks have a reputation for long-lasting quality, but what sort of longevity can you expect to get out of one? And just how long will Apple continue to support your laptop? Finally, what are the differences between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro?

These are no doubt important questions to consider when buying a new MacBook or even considering an upgrade. Here's everything you know about the longevity of your MacBook.
Lifespan of MacBook hardware

Read more