Fix: YouTube Picture In Picture not Working

YouTube picture-in-picture may not work due to gesture controls or geographic restrictions. Moreover, 3rd party launchers also caused the error under discussion. For some users, the picture-in-picture feature worked, but without any controls (no pause, no audio adjustments, etc.). In some cases, the picture in picture option in YouTube’s settings was disabled.

YouTube Picture in Picture

Before moving on with the solutions to fix the picture in picture issue of YouTube, keep in mind that picture in picture mode is a premium/YouTube Red feature or is available to some specific countries like the USA, so, make sure, either you are a YouTube Red user or you are currently residing in the country where the picture in picture mode is supported by YouTube. Moreover, the said mode may not work on certain types of videos that have copyright music.

Note: Picture in picture mode of YouTube is currently only available for Premium YouTube subscribers.

Solution 1: Restart Your Phone

The picture-in-picture issue could be a result of a temporary glitch of communication or application modules of your phone. The glitch can be cleared by restarting your phone.

  1. Press the power button of your phone until the power menu is shown and then tap on Power off.
  2. Now, wait for your phone to be completely turned off and then power it on.
  3. Upon restart, check if the YouTube picture-in-picture is working fine.

Solution 2: Enable Picture in Picture Feature in YouTube and Phone’s Settings

For the proper operation of the picture in picture mode for YouTube, it is essential that said feature is enabled in YouTube settings and your phone’s settings. In this scenario, enabling the picture in picture option manually in YouTube’s settings and your phone’s settings may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the Settings of your phone and open the Application Manager or Apps.
    Open Apps of Your Phone
  2. Now tap on the More button (near the bottom or top of your screen) and then open Configure Apps.
    Open Configure Apps Menu
  3. Now tap on Special Access and then tap on Picture-in-Picture.
    Open Settings of Special Access Applications
  4. Then enable picture in picture for YouTube by toggling its switch to the on position.
    Allow Picture in Picture in Your Phone’ Settings for YouTube
  5. Now, launch the YouTube application and tap on the user profile icon.
  6. Then open Settings and tap on General.
  7. Now, enable picture-in-picture by toggling its switch to the on position and then check if the picture-in-picture issue is resolved.
    Enable Picture in Picture Feature in YouTube
  8. If not, play the video and swipe down to open the notifications tray. Now tap on Settings and then check if the picture-in-picture is working fine for YouTube.

Solution 3: Switch to Another YouTube Account

The picture-in-picture issue could be a result of a temporary glitch of the YouTube account. The glitch can be overcomed by switching to another YouTube account.

  1. Launch the YouTube application and tap on the user profile icon.
  2. Now tap on Switch Account and then tap on another account (you may have to add another account).
    Switch Account in the YouTube Application
  3. Now relaunch the YouTube application and check if it is working fine.

Solution 4: Play the Video in Portrait Mode in YouTube

The picture in picture mode is designed to work in the landscape mode. The picture in picture mode might not work if you are trying to use it in a portrait mode. In this case, switching to landscape mode may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the YouTube application and play a video.
  2. Keeping the video in portrait/vertical mode, press the Home button (or use a similar option to bring out the picture in picture mode) and then check if the YouTube picture-in-picture is working fine.

Solution 5: Disable the Gestures Controls (or Use 3 Button Navigation) of Your Phone

A user must press the home button (while the video is being played) to use the picture in picture mode of the YouTube application. But there is no home button present when the gesture controls are enabled. In this case, disabling the gestures (or use 2 or 3 button navigation) may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the Settings of your phone and open System.
  2. Now tap on Gestures and then tap on System Navigation.
    Open Gestures Settings
  3. Now enable the option of 3-Button Navigation (or 2 button navigation as per your requirement) and then check if the picture-in-picture issue is resolved.
    Enable 3 button Navigation
  4. If not, then play the video and touch the bottom right of the screen (where the picture-in-picture screen is usually shown) to check if the picture-in-picture screen is shown and the error is resolved.
    Tap on the Bottom Right of Your Screen
  5. If not, play the video and tap quickly (for 4 to 5 times) on the back button to check if the button bar folds and the picture-in-picture screen shows up, so that the issue is resolved.

Solution 6: Change the Location in YouTube’s Settings to a Picture in Picture Supported Country

Picture in picture is a YouTube premium feature or only works in some specific countries (like the USA). You may encounter the error at hand if your region in YouTube’s settings is set to a country where the picture in picture feature is not supported by YouTube. In this case, setting the region where the picture in picture mode is supported by YouTube may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the YouTube application and tap on the user profile icon (near the top right of the screen).
  2. Now open Settings and tap on General.
  3. Now tap on Location and then in the list of the countries, change the location to a picture in picture supported country by YouTube.
    Change Location in YouTube Settings
  4. Now restart your phone and upon restart, check if the issue is resolved.
  5. If not, then try to use a VPN and connect to a picture in picture supported country (it is essential for the users who have traveled to a country where the feature is not supported by YouTube). Then check if the picture-in-picture issue is resolved.

Solution 7: Revert to the Stock Launcher of Your Phone

The users tend to use different 3rd party launchers as per their satisfaction. But the latest versions of Android limit the operation of these launchers for certain features like gesture controls, picture in picture mode, etc. Thus, you may encounter the error under discussion if you are using a 3rd party launcher. In this context, reverting to the stock launcher may solve the problem.

  1. Launch the Settings of your phone and open its Application Manager or Apps.
  2. Now tap on the More button (usually, on the bottom or right of your screen) and then tap on Configure Apps.
  3. Now, in the default section, tap on Home App and then change it to your stock launcher.
    Revert to Your Stock Launcher
  4. Then restart your phone and upon restart, check if the picture in picture issue for YouTube is resolved.

Solution 8: Update the YouTube Application to the Latest Build

YouTube application is updated regularly to add new features and patch the known bugs. You may encounter the error at hand if you are using an outdated version of the YouTube application. In this context, updating the application to the latest build may solve the picture in picture mode problem.

  1. Launch the Google Play Store and open its menu (by tapping on the hamburger menu).
  2. Then open My Apps & Games and navigate to the Installed tab.
  3. Now tap on YouTube and then tap on the Update button (if an update is available).
    Updating the YouTube App
  4. After updating the application, check if YouTube is working fine.
  5. If not, then play the video and use the split-screen (between YouTube and another application). Then switch the YouTube application to full screen and check if YouTube is operating normally.

Solution 9: Clear the Cache of the YouTube Application

The YouTube application uses a cache to boost up speed and improve the user experience. You may encounter the error at hand if the cache of the YouTube application is corrupt. In this context, clearing the cache of the YouTube application may solve the problem.

  1. Exit the YouTube application and launch the Settings of your phone.
  2. Now open Application Manager/Apps and tap on YouTube.
    Accessing the YouTube app
  3. Now tap on the Force Stop button and then confirm to Force Stop the YouTube application.
  4. Then tap on Storage and press the Clear Cache button.
    Force Stop the YouTube Application and Open Its Storage Settings
  5. Now check if YouTube is working fine.
  6. If not, repeat steps 1 to 5 and then in the Storage settings of YouTube, tap on the Clear Data button.
    Clear Cache and Data of the YouTube Application
  7. Now confirm to delete the data (you may have to reenter your username/password) and then check if the YouTube application is working fine.
  8. If not, then play the video and tap on the Share icon. Now without sharing the video, revert to the video and check if the picture in picture functionality is back.

Solution 10: Wipe the Cache Partition of Your Phone

The Android OS uses a cache partition to speed up things and improve the user experience. If the cache partition is corrupt or has bad information stored, the picture in picture mode will have issues operating. In this scenario, wiping the cache partition may solve the problem.

  1. Wipe the cache partition of your phone.
  2. Now check if the picture in picture mode of the YouTube application is working fine.

Solution 11: Use the Chrome Browser of Your Phone

If nothing has helped you, then either your phone is not supporting the feature or the YouTube application itself is creating the issue. In this case, you can use the Chrome browser of your phone to achieve the functionality.

  1. Enable the picture-in-picture option in your phone’s settings for the Chrome browser (as discussed for YouTube in solution 2).
  2. Launch the Chrome browser of your phone and in the search bar, search for YouTube.
  3. Now tap on 3 vertical ellipses (near the top right corner of the screen) and then checkmark the box of Desktop Site.
    Open the YouTube Desktop Site in Another Tab
  4. Now long-press the YouTube result (usually, the first one) and then tap on Open in New Tab.
  5. Then switch to the tab where YouTube is opened and if it is the mobile site of YouTube, then open it in Desktop Site (step 2).
  6. Now play a video and check if you can have the picture in picture functionality for YouTube.

If nothing has worked for you, then either try YouTube on another device or use a 3rd party application to achieve YouTube picture-in-picture functionality.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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