Picture-in-picture (or PiP) is a feature that iPhones have had since iOS 13, and iPads since iOS 9. YouTube, being YouTube, is arriving fashionably late to the PiP party; it announced in June that it would bring the feature to Apple devices for both Premium subscribers and regular users, and just started rolling out the feature to Apple devices. Of course, there’s a catch.
PiP is currently a Premium-only feature
Now, I know I just said the company will offer PiP to all users, but, at this time, Premium subscribers are the only ones who have access to the feature on iOS and iPadOS. While that feels like a bit of a betrayal, rest assured that the feature is on its way to all. YouTube just hasn’t offered a timeline for when that will be.
That being said, it’s not like YouTube is only adding this feature to the apps of Premium subscribers. In fact, you won’t find any PiP option in the YouTube app. Go ahead, check; it’s not there. No, it seems YouTube is testing out PiP on iOS before giving it a full rollout, allowing its Premium subscribers to try it out first—but only if they know where to look.
How to enable Youtube’s PiP for iPhone
Since PiP on iPhone and iPad is currently an “experimental” feature, you need to enable it from YouTube’s “New” page, which is where they keep their list of “in the works” features you can test out as a Premium subscriber. To start, head to YouTube.com/new, making sure you’re logged in to your YouTube Premium’s corresponding Google Account. Locate the Picture-in-picture on iOS option, then choose “TRY IT OUT” to confirm.
While YouTube doesn’t specifically mention iPadOS in this opt-in feature, it’s possible you can get it to work on your iPad, according to 9to5Google. You might need to delete the app and reinstall it to jog the feature, though.
When you next open your YouTube app with your Premium account, PiP should be active. All you need to do is start a video, then swipe up from the bottom of your screen (or press the Home button), and the video will follow you as a PiP window. You can resize it, move it, and minimize it on the side of the screen just as you can with other PiP windows on iOS.
Strangely, this feature has an expiration date of Oct. 31. It’s possible that’s the date YouTube expects to roll this feature out to all users, not just Premium subscribers, but that isn’t clear at this time. For now, just make sure to enjoy PiP while you can.
Current issues with YouTube’s PiP
YouTube does say that if you lock your device while watching in PiP, the video will pause. You can start playback again by using the lock screen’s media controls.
As mentioned above, if YouTube’s PiP isn’t working for you at all, whether you’re on an iPhone or iPad, you might need to delete and reinstall the app. Just make sure you log in with the correct Google Account.
Watching PiP without a Premium account
YouTube will roll out PiP to all users, but why wait? You can get around these restrictions right now if you don’t have a Premium account—you just won’t be doing so through the YouTube app. Check out our full guide here for more information.