How to Use Picture-in-Picture Mode on YouTube Videos in Chrome Desktop

One of my favorite features on chromeOS is the Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode which lets you pop up video players to increase your multitasking abilities. You get a smaller player and can drag it across the screen to keep watching while you type or do something else.

However, anyone using desktop Chrome might find that a PiP isn’t available by default, and the experience might feel disjointed if you’ve gotten used to using it on your laptop. Today, I’m going to show you a very easy way to use Picture-in-Picture mode on YouTube for Chrome on desktop so you can keep working while visually enjoying what you’re watching.

Start by displaying the YouTube video you want to watch. A good suggestion is our recently uploaded “Steam Gaming on a Chromebook has arrived” video. Once there, start playing the content and right-click with your mouse on the player space. You should receive the following context menu with options to loop the video, copy the URL of the video, embed information, etc.

This is the wrong context menu. Try again!

Since there’s no option for PiP in the context menu, you’d be forgiven for not finding it. Looking at the bottom right of the player, you see a rectangle with a smaller rectangle inside, and you’d think that would pop the player out and onto your desktop, but instead it shows up on YouTube so you can continue browsing for other content instead. Shrinking the YouTube web app takes the smaller player with it, and you’re left with nothing on your desktop.

So even if you right clicked on the video, I want you to do it again. Trust me, just move your mouse out of the existing context menu that showed up and right-click again. Instead of bringing up the same menu, you’ll get Chrome’s built-in context menu instead, and on that, voila! “Picture-in-Picture” will be listed there. Click on it and your YouTube web app will automatically minimize and you’ll end up with a great mini-player at the bottom right of your desktop!

It does not require any Chrome extension and chromeOS users will feel right at home on their Windows desktop. Hope this was helpful, and let me know in the comments if you want more tutorials on how to emulate your Chromebook’s functionality on a Microsoft Windows device.

I just want the steps!

1. Open YouTube on Chrome for Windows
2. Click on a video
3. Right click on the video player
4. Move your mouse out of the context menu and right click again
5. Select “Picture in Picture”
6. Enjoy!

Shirley K. Rosa